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Genetics: COVID Vaccine, Statins

From eNewsletter 12/9/2020

DID YOU KNOW that a groundbreaking new study, well, not so groundbreaking if you've followed our advice on statins, states that screening for genetic mutations before prescribing statin cholesterol medication is important? The study, published last week in JAMA Network Open, explains how Harvard researchers performed pharmacogenetic testing related to statins, such as atorvastatin and simvastatin, to assess which patients might experience muscle damage, which can sometimes be serious and life-threatening. The results of the study acknowledged the following:

  1. Mutations of the gene SLCO1B1, which for several years we have screened for in our PureGenomics genetic screening, is connected to increased statin myopathy (muscle damage) risk.

  2. Pre-screening patients for mutations of the SLCO1B1 gene did not have any adverse outcomes in mitigating high cholesterol, as physicians were able to find other safe treatments that were not harmful to these patients.

We are so pleased to see this study because we hope this will mitigate the myriad stories of unnecessary suffering in those who have taken statins. If you are currently taking a statin drug, we implore you to screen for SLCO1B1 gene mutations. If you already have done our PureGenomics screening, you can easily check your results. For anyone considering a statin, you must ask your physician to test you for SLCO1B1 mutations first. If they will not assist you, we are a good backup. COVID-19 Condition Monograph Update Steve just updated for the third time the most recent data for treating COVID-19 conventionally and through integrative means. The 253 reference monograph is free at this COVID-19 Condition Monograph link. COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment Continue with extra immune support until summer of 2021. SARS-CoV-2 is not going away anytime soon. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 is not the only virus we fight. There are influenza (flu), norovirus (stomach flu), adenovirus (common cold), and four other coronaviruses (common cold), among others. Prevent and Fight Coronavirus 2.0 is our must-read protocol.

Have a happy, healthy day! Steve and Bonnie


COVID Immunity and Reinfection Clarified Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's health emergencies program, said data has emerged that suggests "protection may not be lifelong" for people who have had the coronavirus, and "therefore we may see reinfections begin to occur." According to the CDC, reinfections are expected "based on what we know from similar viruses." The most comprehensive and long-ranging study of immune memory to the coronavirus to date, which appeared in Biorxiv, suggests that after getting COVID-19, the amount of immunity memory would likely prevent the vast majority of people from getting hospitalized disease and severe disease for many years. And the research squares with another recent finding: that survivors of SARS, caused by another coronavirus, still carry certain important immune cells 17 years after recovering. This confirms what we suspected: SARS-CoV-2 will not go away, but we will react to future exposure like we would the common cold or other coronavirus. However, because this is currently a novel virus to humans, a new study from Medrxiv found COVID-19 was associated with worse outcomes compared to influenza, as the hazards of in-hospital death and ICU admission were 3-fold higher. So continued vigilance is needed. Genetic Diversity in Those Getting COVID-19 Vaccines Vaccines to block COVID-19 that are in development by Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and others, and that are currently in Phase III clinical trials, may not do as well covering people of Black or Asian genetic ancestry as they do for white people, a study released by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology indicated. The study was published last week in Cell Systems. Humidify, AGAIN! If you have not already read our continuous mentions for humidifying your home during the cold weather months to lower the risk of getting COVID-19, yet another study, this from Annual Review of Virology, suggests keeping your home as close to 40 percent humidity as possible. NOTE: in some areas where it gets bitter cold, there will be instances where you must temporarily suspend whole house humidifying to protect the structure your home. Vitamin D3 Researchers commenting in Nutrients suggest vitamin D insufficiency may account for almost nine of ten COVID-19 deaths. Obviously this needs further confirmation in larger sample sizes, but it is a compelling hypothesis nonetheless. A new study in BMJ Journals found that a greater proportion of vitamin D-deficient individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection turned SARS-CoV-2 RNA negative quickly when prescribed high-dose vitamin D3 supplements.

Another study from Medrxiv purports vitamin D serves as a mitigating effect for COVID-19 infection, severity and mortality.

COVID-19 and Flu At-Home Test Kit Approved

The first combination COVID-19 and flu test designed for home-collected samples has been authorized by the FDA, meaning a single swab can be used to detect up to three different potential infections. While it does require a prescription, the Quest Diagnostics test kit doesn't require users to go to their doctor, a hospital, or a test site in order to be tested. You send the swab off from home to a lab for processing. The test results will cover both COVID-19 and influenza A and B. COVID-19 Mortality While the mortality rate is still very low, COVID-19 has likely become the leading cause of death, surpassing unintentional overdoses, among young adults aged 25-44 in some areas of the United States during the COVID-19 outbreak. The study was presented by Harvard researchers recently in Medrxiv.

For all ages, COVID-19 passed heart disease as the leading cause of death during the past week, according to the latest report from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. There was no indication of how many deaths occurred in those with comorbidities (the presence of one or more disorders/diseases in addition to a primary disease or disorder). Zinc Two more studies, one from Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects and the other from International Journal of Molecular Medicine, both laud zinc's antiviral activity and ability to ameliorate the COVID-19 disease process. Green Tea Compounds Two new studies promote the benefits of green tea for helping to inactivate SARS-CoV-2. One study from Biorxiv, and the other from Frontiers in Plant Science, found effectivity of SARS-CoV-2 was significantly reduced by a treatment with green tea, roasted green tea or oolong tea. Mouthwash and Oral Rinses Two recent studies in Biorxiv laud the benefits of using mouthwash and oral rinses for mitigating the proliferation of SARS-CoV-2 in the mouth and nasopharynx area. Hormones Play a Role in COVID Severity Female reproductive steroids, estrogen and progesterone and its physiologically active metabolite, allopregnanolone, provide anti-inflammatory functions, reshape competence of immune cells, stimulate antibody production and promote respiratory epithelial cell repair, and inhibit the ACE2 receptor, the door of access for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) to infect us, according to research in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. This is more proof of why COVID-19 seems to hit men harder than women.


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