COVID has something quite special up it’s spike – it’s called covidin, it mimics the hormone we use to manage our iron metabolism. So covid causes iron chaos, both in the short term and long term.
Click to listen to the audio…
A suggestion to overcome LONG COVID – sooner, rather than later
Congratulations, you survived COVID….
Maybe the actual event was relatively mild, you weren’t hospitalized and hooked up to a ventilator, or anything, but you were down for a couple of days. And felt miserable and sorry for yourself. On paper at least, you’re over it, but you aren’t yourself.
Especially when you have to BE ACTIVE.
It’s as if the wind has been knocked out of your sails.
And this, is NOT YOU. Prior to your viral encounter, you gym-med 5 times a week and LOVED IT.
You’ve had a bad flu before, but this is different. Why ?
It’s long covid
A trip to the doctor leaves you with a diagnosis of LONG COVID.
LONG COVID is currently a catch all phrase which encompasses everything from feeling a bit flat and under the weather, to being flattened because of severe organ damage and muscle wasting, because you spent 3 weeks in ICU.
In your case, it doesn’t really tell you why you feel so awful.
Your doctor tries to be reassuring………
Everything “looks” normal.
You will recover, it will just take time.
And they’re “right”, you probably will get over it, but you want to do this sooner, rather than later.
What could the problem be ?
Well, I would like to suggest, it might be due to a “shortage” of iron and if it is, it’s something that you can fix, sooner rather than later.
So let’s explore the idea of a shortage of iron.
There are actually two ways to be SHORT of iron….
The two faces of iron deficiency
You can genuinely have too little iron i.e. an absolute shortage of iron. This either happens because you’re not getting enough iron in your diet or you’ve lost too much iron, along the way.
When this happens you frequently end up short of red blood cells.
So you’re diagnosed with iron deficiency anaemia.
But, it is possible to actually have enough iron in your body, but to be suffering from an iron distribution problem, so you end up with difficulties …in this case the iron deficiency is functional.
You don’t have enough iron to do the job.
You frequently have enough iron, to keep red blood cells within the normal range, although it may be on the low side, what you do not have enough iron to do, is to fire up those cell furnaces (the mitochondria).
It’s called iron deficiency WITHOUT anemia.
So what does this look like ?
- Brain fog
- Decreased exercise tolerance
- Shortness of breath and
- Muscle & joint pains
Mmmm…………looks a bit like LONG COVID, don’t you think ?
Is it just a co-incidence ?
Ask any medical student, sitting through lecture after lecture of different diseases, if they haven’t on occasion got their knickers in a knot, imaging they’ve got what they’re studying. They even have a name for the condition……………
It’s called medicalstudentitis.
But, there is plenty of science to back up the COVID iron connection.
COVID causes iron dysregulation BIG TIME !
Now to be fair, any time you been INVADED, the immune system is making moves to keep you safe.
One of the moves the immune system makes…….
Is to hide your iron away, because iron is needed by pathogens to replicate. By taking the iron out the circulation, the immune system disempowers the invader. Well that is the theory, but it can sometimes it can backfire….
This might happen when the invader is an intracellular pathogen. Think COVID !
Playing hide and seek with the iron
The whole thing starts when fired up immune cells, most notably macrophages spew out a whole bunch of cytokines, these are chemicals that are designed to whip up a frenzy.
One of these chemicals is interleukin-6.
Interleukin-6 kick starts the inflammasome transcription factor into action and this facilitates iron hoarding, by dialling up the production of hepcidin and ferritin.
These guys work in tandem to hide the iron away.
This is all normal biology, but COVID takes this up a notch…..
It all begins with that magnificent crown. The spike protein is the tool that the virus is using to GET IN ….
and it is being used by vaccine manufacturers, to prime the immune system, to attack the virus.
But COVID has something quite special up it’s sleeve spike….
This is what was discovered by a team of computational researchers back in 2020 and a growing body of evidence, suggests it’s a big part of what is making COVID so deadly.
Unpacking THAT crown
The spikes that make up the crown are actually made up of multiple subunits. The ones that scientists have been fixated with are the S1 and S2.
The S1 is the one that knocks on the door.
And the S2 grabs hold of the door handle , facilitating the virus entry.
Once the virus get’s in, it hijacks the cell’s equipment and turns the cell into a virus replicating machine. So in no time at all, one virus, quickly morphs into a legion.
And of course, if you’re making lots of new viruses, you’re making lots of spike protein too.
Spike up or spike out
Now what exactly happens to the newly minted spike protein, depends….
On how things are going.
- If the virus is winning, then the spike protein is used to assemble new virus.
- If the immune system is winning…………… the cell is destroyed. More often than not, quite violently .
This means the cell contents are strewn all over the place. The cell contents, inevitably includes not yet assembled into new virus, spike protein.
War is a dirty business, no worries….
Clean ups are swift and thorough………….. in a jiffy, the spike protein is chopped up, into component parts.
I told you that the spike protein was made up of a several components. The “important” bits are the S1 and S2 components, because these are what the virus uses to GET INSIDE. But there is also a beautiful jewel, embedded in the crown
And this jewel is as TOUGH AS NAILS !
Researchers have shown, it sticks around a lot longer than most other proteins, because it has a “special” configuration, which makes it difficult for OUR enzymes, to chop it up.
And the jewel is SPECIAL.
It’s been given the name COVIDIN and what makes it special, is it looks an awful lot like hepcidin.
You can think of hepcidin as a mining magnet.
He controls the acquisition, storage and distribution of iron. Basically, he keeps iron OUT of the circulation and INSIDE cells. Select cells. So when you’re infected with a corona…… covidin is circulating, alongside hepcidin.
And two dudes on a mission to HIDE iron away, can cause iron metabolism to be compromised, and lead to
SERIOUS iron shortages
Is one of the factors, making COVID deadly.
But, even a milder case of COVID, can leave you short of iron, because the iron that you’ve got, has gone into long term storage and is effectively INACCESSIBLE. Now this is more likely to happen, if you were a little bit short of iron to begin with, a situation which is quite common – especially in women, during their reproductive years.
And isn’t it interesting, long COVID disproptionately affects women, under the age of 50 years.
If this is you ?
Iron supplementation is going to help you create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY, so you FEEL YOURSELF, sooner, rather than later. I would suggest you opt for an iron injection, rather than an oral iron supplement, because it will “fix” the problem, faster.
NOTE : Biology will prevent you from quickly repleting your iron stores using oral sources, because hepcidin doesn’t “know” the muscles etc. are struggling to fire up the furnaces. He is taking his cue from the liver, which is actually overloaded with iron. Click here to learn more.
Iron supplementing can be “dangerous”
There is a caveat…
Iron is both needed and toxic, at the same time – so you should only consider taking extra iron, if you need it. Blood tests will help you decide.
Blood tests (an iron panel) will help you decide if this is your problem.
Before you supplement, discuss your situation with your physician and here is a paper you can download to share with your health care provider, should they be a little unfamiliar with iron deficiency without anemia.
PS. If you would like me to take a look at your iron panel. Go to the Commission tab here, to get started.
Iron metabolism in infections: Focus on COVID-19. Seminars in Hematology (2021) 58:182–187. Domenico Girelli, Giacomo Marchi, Fabiana Busti, Alice Vianello
Hyperferritinemia in critically ill COVID-19 patients – Is ferritin the product of inflammation or apathogenic mediator? Clinica Chimica Acta 509 (2020) 249–251. Jenifer Gómez-Pastora, Mitchell Weigand, James Kim, Xian Wu, Jacob Strayer, Andre F. Palmer, Maciej Zborowski, Mark Yazer, Jeffrey J. Chalmers, William G. Lowrie.
Iron: Innocent bystander or vicious culprit in COVID-19 pathogenesis? International Journal of Infectious Diseases (2020) 303–305. Marvin Edeasa, Jumana Saleh, Carole Peyssonnaux.