K.J. Wu (National Geographic 4/15/20) estimated that there are 10 nonillion viruses on earth. I looked up "nonillion" and found it is indeed a number and not a typo.
To be fair, Wu's estimate covers the entire gamut of virus and not all viruses can infect humans. For example, we can eat raw saltwater fish (sushi) but can get very sick eating raw freshwater fish. The viruses that infect saltwater fish don't survive in our blood due to the different saline levels. There are more than 200 known viruses that have successfully infected humans per Wu.
Just how many of the 10 nonillion viruses are we being exposed to?
Dr. Christopher Mason (5/26/21 Cell) gives us a hint. They collected 5000 samples of urban microbiome from 60 different cities finding 10,928 DNA viruses and 748 different types of bacterial that were not previously reported. Note this effort did not look for RNA viruses such as COVID19, Ebola, Zika and MERS. Just by the viruses found on your shoes after walking through a train station, the team had a 90% chance of predicting what city you come from.
We are surrounded by viruses.
We can travel anywhere on Earth in <24 hours and bring our city's microbiome with us. Warming climates allowing tropical viruses to migrate "north" Growing populations come in contact with more animals more frequently. All conditions for new viruses to emerge or cross over from one species to another.
Can we vaccinate our way to good health?
Vaccines work by training our adaptive immune system to recognize a virus so that if we get infected we can immediately respond with white blood cells that can neutralize the virus before it overwhelms our defenses. The first vaccine was invented in 1796 for smallpox. 220 years later we have about 25 vaccines approved for use in the USA which covers major threats such as the mumps and measles. RNA viruses such as COVID19 are more prone to making errors when replicating hence more likely to mutate adding to the risk that the virus develops means to evade our defenses.
Getting a vaccine is not a guarantee. The LA Times (6/7) reported that a 65 year old fully vaccinated women died from COVID19.
The mitochondrial and immune system health is very closely intertwined with age. (1)
Fighting off viral infections requires the ability for the thymus and bone marrow to quickly manufacture enough strong white blood cells trained to kill a virus before it kills us. White blood cell production requires tremendous amounts of energy. The mitochondria are our body's power supply and essential for the rapid production of white blood cells.
By the time we reach 65 years old the average human has lost 65% of our mitochondria function.
It is no-wonder our seniors are most vulnerable to viral infections.
Slowing the rate of decline, however, is possible. The most important micronutrient required to maintain mitochondrial health is nature’s most powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is made naturally by arthropods (bugs) and in the natural food chain there were so many bugs making astaxanthin that no other animal species had to spend energy to make astaxanthin. We simply ate bug or ate animals that ate bugs. Unfortunately as we centralized animal production in feed lots and fish hatcheries, we took bugs out of their diet and astaxanthin out of ours.
Astaxanthin protects the mitochondria from itself. Our mitochondria generate toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) that attack and degrade the efficiency of the mitochondria. Astaxanthin is a powerful sponge that absorbs the oxygen radicals before they can do damage to the mitochondria. You don’t need much astaxanthin to protect ourselves but you need it in your daily diet as once the sponge is full it has to be replaced. Sorry vegetarians. Plants do make mild antioxidants but nothing close to the absorption capacity of astaxanthin.
To rapidly make white blood cells in the thymus and bone marrow requires different micronutrients such as zinc and folate (vitamin B) as well as Omega 3 fatty acids & Arachidonic Acid to operate. These micronutrients are frequently absent in diets rich in carbohydrates, sugars, fats and proteins.
If you are on the Mediterranean diet or are a vegan/vegetarian or over 20, Adjuvia Gelcaps are the perfect mitochondria health supplement.
If you are a pizza and beer fan, overweight, or have a chronic disease, consider supplementing with Adjuvia Immune Booster which adds 7 other micronutrients required to power the immune system.
(1) Aging Thymus Gland and Immune System. Haroun, MOJ Anatomy & Physiology Volume 5 Issue 3-2018.
Age-Related Mitochondrial Dysfunction as a key Factor in Covid-19 Disease. Moreno et.al. Experimental Gerentology 142(2020) 1111147
Mitochondial Dysfunction and the Aging Immune System. McQuire, Biology 11/5/19.