Vaxxers, Anti-Vaxxers, Boosters and Long-haulers
I received the J&J vaccine. 17 months and two boosters later, I am being advised to get the latest “bivalent” booster designed to ward off the BA.4 and BA.5 variants.
So much for one and done.
Is the pandemic over?
Not exactly. We still have 60K weekly reported COVID infections in the US. Most of these infections will not result in hospitalizations or mortalities but 1 in 5 of patients contracting COVID will experience long-haul symptoms. If you don’t vax, you are 7X more likely to contract covid, 49X more likely to be hospitalized and 32X more likely to die but only have slightly more risk of long-haul symptoms than your vaccinated counterparts. (1)
The debate whether to vax or not has been simmering for over 200 years.
In1796, Edward Jenner formulated the first vaccine to treat smallpox. Shortly thereafter the Anti-Vaccination League protested citing safety concerns and arguing that a natural, organic lifestyle supports an immune system capable of combatting infectious disease even more-so than a vaccine.
We believe this is true.
But we also believe that vaccines can help further tilt the odds in your favor.
In 1796 a “natural, organic” lifestyle was easy to achieve. The average male adult weighed in at 163 pounds, ate a diet that lacked modern starches and included powerful mitochondrial targeted antioxidants provided by shellfish, fish, bird/chicken eggs and organ meat. 90%+ got their daily exercise working on the farm.
The excess glucose taken in from modern starches raised our average weight to 199 pounds. The surplus glucose induces mitochondrial dysfunction (hence why 1 in 10 of us are diabetic) and we eat industrially produced animal products that lack mitochondrial targeted antioxidants leaving our immune systems vulnerable to viral and bacterial infections. Mitochondrial dysfunction in the thymus has been identified as a factor in vulnerability to COVID 19 due to poor T Cell production and function. If you choose not to vax, you may want to supplement your diet with mitochondrial targeted antioxidants.
Long-haul - Causes and Symptoms
The science community is still working to understand the cause of long haul symptoms including fatigue, brain fog and shortness of breath.
Recent studies observed long- haulers have 100X more T-Cells than their counterparts. (2) The thymus trains T-Cells to attack and destroy cells infected with the virus. So why the high T-Cell levels?
All we have is speculation.
One hypothesis suggests that long-haulers can’t turn off their immune response and continue to produce T-Cells despite testing negative for the virus. These surplus T-Cells can cause damage by attacking healthy cells, a form of autoimmune disease.
Another hypothesis is that the virus is hiding in places that our tests can’t detect but our immune system can.
Let’s get back the symptoms starting with fatigue and brain fog.
In May, 2021, we blogged about long-haulers and fatigue. Since then, we have opened a pre-clinical trial with Type 2 Diabetes subjects looking at Diabetes Fatigue Syndrome. Both long-haulers and T2 diabetics have reduced energy output traced to mitochondria dysfunction which inhibits the ability to convert glucose into the form of energy we need to that we use to power our cellular functions (ATP). Brain fog and fatigue go hand in hand. 20% of the oxygen we breathe is used to power neurons.
Nature’s most powerful antioxidant, astaxanthin, mitigates reactive oxygen species (ROS) associated with mitochondrial dysfunction.
Shortness of Breath? This symptom has several possible root causes. COVID-19 is an airborne virus gaining entry by penetrating the nasal tract and lung linings. Covid infections can scar the lungs but even mild cases can cause shortness of breath. The chemistry to repair cells is slowed by the presence of ROS.
We have yet to find a clinical study correlating the dietary intake of antioxidants with a reduction in long-haul symptoms but seems like an obvious area to explore.
What if… the virus is hiding in the T-cells?
We know that mitochondria dysfunction reduces the efficacy and number of T-Cells made in the thymus. What if a percentage of T-Cells lose the battle and become infected with COVID? That is a mind-blowing thought. The “good” T-Cells will hunt down and destroy their infected counterparts.
No matter the cause of long-haul symptoms, mitochondria dysfunction and its accompanying oxidative stress causes fatigue and compromises the T-Cells that we require to put down the disease.
Adjuvia(tm) Astaxanthin is nature’s most powerful mitochondrial targeted antioxidant and should be part of any long-hauler's strategy to combat fatigue, brain fog and help repair cells.
1) Reardon. Nature News , 25 May 2022 “Long COVID risk falls only slightly after vaccination, huge study shows”.
2) "SARS-CoV-2-specific T Cells associate with inflammation and reduced lung function in pulmonary post-acute sequalae of SARS-CoV-2" Littlefield et. al. May 26, 2022. PLOS Pathogens. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1010359