Can You Fight COVID-19 and Other Viruses With Water?

Humidity is the concentration of water vapor in the air. This is an important and often overlooked variable in maintaining good health. During the winter months, cold temperatures and furnaces lead to dryer air with low humidity.

High and low humidity extremes can trigger nasal congestion or the perception of congestion. Dry air with low humidity can increase feelings of being congested as your sinus membranes dry out and become irritated. The authors of one study found high humidity contributed to nasal patency, or the experience of breathing through clear nostrils.1

Low humidity can also contribute to dry, irritated eyes and it may be a factor in increasing the evaporation of your tears. Colder temperatures and lower humidity also tend to dry out your skin.

Knowledge that humidity plays a role in the rate of respiratory infections is not new. In one study published over three decades ago, researchers found that maintaining mid-levels of humidity could help to lower the rate of respiratory infections and allergies.2

Proper Humidity Improves Human Immune Function

In a paper published in the Journal of Global Health,3 scientists reviewed the literature and proposed that humidity not only may reduce transmission of viral infections, but also play a role in your immune response.

They suggested the increase in viral infections during the winter months is a function of damage to the mucosal barrier by dry air. Within the mucus membranes are glycans, which are chemical structures that are bonded to most proteins. When pathogens enter the body, glycans are involved.

Mucins add another layer of protection. These glycosylated proteins found in the mucosal barriers are a decoy trap for viruses. Once trapped, viruses are then expelled out of the airway. While these barriers are highly effective, they require proper hydration to maintain functionality.

When mucous membranes are exposed to dry air, their protective function is impaired. The results from an animal study4 demonstrated that raising relative humidity to 50% decreased mortality from flu infections. The researchers found that animals that lived in dry air had a reduction in their mucociliary clearance and the ability to repair tissue. They were also more susceptible to disease.

The combination of low temperatures and low humidity is an ideal environment for the spread of viral infections. This plays a prominent role in seasonal changes for viral infections, such as influenza. According to the authors of one study:5

“A key epidemiological study analyzing data collected over 30 y[ears] across the continental United States showed that a drop in absolute humidity, which is dependent on relative humidity and temperature, correlates most closely with the rise in influenza-related deaths.6

Experimental studies in guinea pigs demonstrate that low temperature and low humidity enable aerosol transmission of influenza virus, providing one explanation for the seasonality of viral transmission.7

The authors of the Journal of Global Health article reported on studies in the U.S. where they found that humidity in residential and commercial spaces are often below 25%. This enhances viral transmission. While humidity during the summer months is often higher, air conditioning limits humidity and air exchange that may result in low indoor air humidity. The researchers suggest:8

“In addition to being a protection against initial infection, functional mucosal barrier is also important in suppression of viral progression in already infected patients. Since many hospitals have very dry air, providing humidified air to patients in early stages of the disease may be beneficial.”

Humidity Affects Ability of Virus to Infect

There are two types of measurements for humidity: One is absolute and the other is relative.9 Absolute humidity is the expression of the amount of water vapor in the air without regard to temperature. The higher the water vapor in the air, the greater the measurement of absolute humidity.

Relative humidity measures water vapor relative to temperature. It’s a measurement of the exact water vapor expressed as a percentage of how much could exist in the air at a given temperature.

In one study10 researchers simulated coughing using mannequins11 and nebulized influenza virus in an examination room. The room was kept at a constant temperature and the samples were collected with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health bioaerosol samplers.

Viral plaque assay was used to determine the number of infectious viruses collected. The samples were collected at five different intervals spanning from 15 minutes to five hours after simulated coughing with the nebulizer. They were compared at 20% and 45% relative humidity.

The researchers12 found the viruses retained 70.6% to 77.3% infectivity when the relative humidity in the room was less than or equal to 23%. However, when relative humidity was 43% or higher, the infectivity percentage dropped to 14.6% to 22.2%.

In an analysis of other studies, scientists evaluated influenza virus survival and transmission in absolute humidity. They found absolute humidity also reduced transmission and virus survival, but much more significantly than relative humidity.13

Common Factors in Areas With Low COVID-19 Infections

Influenza has a season based on environmental temperatures, and scientists are hoping the same will be true for COVID-19. In one study,14 data revealed that many of the people who were infected lived in areas with low temperatures and low humidity. Infectious disease specialist Thomas Pietschmann from the Center for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research explained:15

“Viruses have greater stability at low temperatures. This is similar to food that keeps longest in the refrigerator. On cold and usually dry winter days, the small droplets, together with the viruses, float in the air longer than when the air humidity is high.”

Data from recent studies indicate that countries south of the 35 degrees North latitude line have a marked difference in numbers of individuals infected as well as mortality rates.16 Researchers theorize17 this is, in large part, related to people north of the line not getting enough sunlight to retain vitamin D during the winter months.

One group of outliers includes the people of Nordic countries. However, the scientists pointed out while those countries are far north of the demarcation line, vitamin D deficiency is also relatively low, potentially from widespread use of supplements.

Other researchers18 examined climate data from areas reporting significant community infection with COVID-19. They found the numbers in areas along a line between the 30 degrees North latitude line and 50 degrees north latitude were roughly equivalent.

The weather in these areas was also consistently similar. They interpreted this distribution as a function of temperature and humidity that was consistent with how seasonal respiratory viruses react to the environment.

In early April 2020, Mark Alipio published a preprint letter19 describing the results of his data analysis of 212 patient records. Alipio, who undertook the analysis without funding, found that patients who presented with vitamin D levels 30 ng/ml or higher had much better outcomes from COVID-19.

As you would expect, it is far easier to naturally maintain adequate levels of vitamin D south of 35 degrees North latitude. The fluctuations in numbers of people infected and the mortality rates may be a function of both vitamin D levels and humidity.

Indoor Humidity Levels May Protect Against Infection

While outdoor humidity is out of your control, you may have some impact on your indoor humidity levels. Scientists20 found the rate of infection with COVID-19 rose in interior spaces. Interestingly, the highest number of infections were spread in the home (79.9%) followed by transportation (34%), including planes, trains, cars and buses. This demonstrates the need to address the indoor spread of infection.

If you have dry air in your home or workplace, you may experience dry skin, or a dry, scratchy throat. Consider using an inexpensive temperature and humidity gauge so you know the level of humidity at home and work.

There are several ways to increase the humidity in your home. If your workplace has low humidity levels, consider speaking with your employer about reducing the risk of colds, flu or COVID-19 by raising the humidity level to 40% to 60%.

This is the level many experts believe helps moisturize your membranes and reduce the risk of infection.21 If your employer is unwilling to make an adjustment, there are strategies you can use to help maintain the health of your nasal and sinus membranes:

  • Consider a vaporizer or room humidifier (see caution below)
  • Breathe in steam from a hot cup of tea or coffee
  • Boil water on your stove to boost the humidity
  • Place bowls of water around your home that help improve humidity as they evaporate

If you decide to use a room humidifier, be particularly careful to keep the humidity levels between 40% and 60%. Consistently high levels of humidity will increase the risk of mold growth. This can have a devastating effect on your health.

The warm, moist environment of a humidifier is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, so your machine must be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions at least once every three days.

The water in the reservoir should be changed daily. If you suffer from chronic respiratory infections, allergies and/or asthma, or if you frequently have red and itchy eyes, consider having your home inspected for mold.22

Reduce Your Potential for Infection and Improve Outcomes

There are several ways you can reduce the potential of becoming infected with COVID-19, influenza or cold viruses. If you do become infected, there are strategies you can use to improve your outcomes. In addition to maintaining indoor humidity at 40% to 60%, here are several more suggestions to consider:

Hand-washing — Proper hand-washing is an important strategy to remove harmful pathogens and stop the spread of bacteria. This simple strategy has a significant impact on infection.

Hydration — Keeping your body hydrated is another way of protecting your mucus membranes. It has additional benefits as well as I discussed in “This Could Prevent 3 Million Cases of Degenerative Disease.”

Vitamin D — As I’ve written recently, optimizing your vitamin D levels has proven to help reduce mortality from influenza. The authors of recent studies also found that those with levels of vitamin D above 30 ng/mL have better outcomes from COVID-19.

Diabetes and High Blood Pressure — These two health conditions significantly impact the outcome of an infection with COVID-19. To learn how and what you can do to reduce your potential risk, see “Want to Defeat Coronavirus? Address Diabetes and Hypertension.”

Quercetin and Zinc — Zinc has a known effect on reducing the length of viral infections and quercetin helps to increase the amount of zinc that gets into the cell. I discuss how this happens in “How to Improve Zinc Uptake With Quercetin to Boost Immune Health.”

Vitamin C — This vitamin has a history of reducing the damaging effects of respiratory viruses and is an important part of treating sepsis.

Elderberry — Elderberry protects against viral infections by keeping viruses from entering your cells and replicating. Supplementation with elderberry can shorten the duration of a cold.

Sleep — Sleep plays an integral role in your immune system and has a curious bidirectional link to your gut microbiome. If you need help getting quality sleep each night, here are 33 tips to help optimize your sleep routine.

Gut Microbiome — Optimizing your gut microbiome is a long-term strategy to improve your overall health. The trillions of bacteria living in your gut contribute to increasing or reducing inflammation, depending on whether they are beneficial or harmful bacteria.

A vital first step is to reduce the amount of sugar you eat, whether it’s refined white sugar or metabolized from carbohydrates in your food or beverages. There are other simple strategies you can start implementing now to help protect your health in the years to come. Find more suggestions at “Go With Your Gut.”

Astaxanthin Helps Alleviate Cytokine Storm

Part of what makes COVID-19 such a dangerous disease in severe cases is because it can trigger a cytokine storm reaction leading to sepsis, organ failure and death.

I’ve written a number of articles discussing a variety of natural supplements known to inactivate viruses, quell inflammation and regulate the inflammatory process. Examples include vitamin C, melatonin and licorice root. You can find them all on my Coronavirus Resource Page.

Blocking Cytokine Storm Is Crucial

Most recently, the paper1 “COVID-19: Potential of Microalgae Derived Natural Astaxanthin as Adjunctive Supplement in Alleviating Cytokine Storm,” published April 21, 2020, on the research library website SSRN, addresses the use of astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant supplement derived from microalgae. According to the authors:

“There is rationale, pre-clinical evidences of effectiveness and evidence of safety from long-time use for other indications to justify possible inclusion of natural astaxanthin as adjunctive in combination with primary anti-viral drugs therapy will hugely benefit COVID-19 patients by improving their health and reducing recovery time …

Clinically, natural astaxanthin has shown diverse benefits with excellent safety and reported to block oxidative DNA damage, lowered C-reactive protein (CRP) and other inflammation biomarkers. Previous studies reported that natural astaxanthin exert positive effects in alleviating cytokine storm, acute lung injury, acute respiratory syndrome, etc …

Current understandings based on accumulated evidences suggest that SARS-CoV-2 induces a potential amplified inflammatory response to sequential consequences of ALI [acute lung injury], ARDS [acute respiratory distress syndrome] to a life-threatening dire consequence of potential septic shock with elevated expression of inflammatory related genes along with inevitable secondary infections, rather than increased viral load …

The attenuation of the cytokine storm by targeting key steps in the process may deliver improved outcomes … Shi et al. suggested a two-phase approach for potential treatments of COVID-19 patients: the first immune defense-based protective phase for non-severe COVID-19 cases and the second, inflammation-driven damaging phase for severe COVID-19 patients.

Zhang et al. presented a critical review … stating that blocking the cytokine storm at right time followed by initiation of anti-inflammation therapy is very critical for reducing the rate of fatalities. … A range of antioxidants as supplements will offer a window of quick recovery of patients by reducing post treatment side-effects.”

Rationale for Using Astaxanthin

The astaxanthin paper cites research showing astaxanthin “can play major roles in regulating immunity and disease etiology” thanks to its multifaceted activity. Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, but it’s also an immune booster, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotector, immunomodulator, antibacterial and anti-apoptotic. In terms of antioxidant power, it’s thought to be the most potent available. As noted in the astaxanthin paper:2

“The antioxidant activity of astaxanthin is reported to far exceed the existing antioxidants with ROS- scavenging capacity of 6,000 times that of vitamin C, 800 times that of coenzyme Q10, 550 times that of vitamin E, 200 times that of polyphenols, 150 times that of anthocyanins, and 75 times that of ?-Lipoic acid.”

Importantly, as explained in this paper, astaxanthin has a very unique molecular structure that allows it to penetrate the bilayer membrane of cells. The ability to quench reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals in both the inner and outer layers of the cellular membrane allows it to provide superior protection against oxidative stress, compared to other antioxidants.

Vitamin E and beta-carotene, for example, only work in the inner side of the membrane, and vitamin C only works on the outer side.3 What’s more:

“The anti-oxidative effect of astaxanthin cooperates with its anti-inflammatory actions by up-regulating anti- oxidative enzymes (e.g. superoxide dismutase) and down-regulating pro-oxidative enzymes (e.g. nitric oxide synthetase).

Astaxanthin is also known to protect pancreatic beta cells by reducing oxidative stress and sugar toxicity, improve the levels adiponectin and HDL, and enhances blood flow and circulation,” the authors state, adding:  

“Increasing evidences indicate that dysregulation of cytokines in acute inflammation is the most important step in mediating, amplifying and perpetuating the process of sepsis or ALI …

The excessive release of various pro-inflammatory cytokines mainly including TNF-?, IL-6, IL-1?, IL-12 and IL-8 rapidly initiate a systemic inflammatory response leading to simulation of adaptive immune response and cytokine storm resulting the acute cellular injury to form sepsis or ALI.

These observations along with currently accumulating evidences related to COVID-19, strongly suggest that the inflammatory process involve in association with ARDS related ALI and sepsis.

This warrants that effective anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory treatments must be given strategically to treat COVID-19 patients …

Anti-inflammatory / anti-oxidants candidates to intervene the excessive production of cytokines, including IL6 and TNF-? can be a promising strategy for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 induced ARDS related ALI and sepsis.”

According to the authors, astaxanthin may be uniquely suited for this task. Astaxanthin, “with its proven anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity backed by multiple preclinical and human trials and with its extraordinary safety profile can be one of the most promising candidates to be tried against COVID-19,” they say.

How Astaxanthin May Inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Damage

The authors believe astaxanthin may help minimize the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection by:4

Inhibiting nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kB), a transcription signaling pathway involved in the innate immune response. This reduces the M1/M2 macrophage phenotype ratio, which is an important part of lowering levels of inflammatory cytokines.

NF-kB is also a mediator of inflammation in acute lung injury, and according to the authors, “Previous studies reported that the anti-inflammatory effect of [astaxanthin] involves the suppression of NFkB activation in ARDS”

Inhibiting production of IL6, a key culprit in sepsis, acute lung injury and ARDS

Inhibiting production of TNF-alpha, which decreases the levels of several proinflammatory cytokines

Inhibiting apoptosis (cell death) in alveolar epithelial cells

Increasing Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), which according to the authors “can play a vital role in proper regulation of SIRT1 to attenuate lung injury and inflammation” in sepsis-induced acute lung injury

Inhibiting the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR 4) signaling pathway, which reduces the pro-inflammatory response. As noted by the authors, “TLRs are a group of pattern recognition receptors that play a critical role in the innate immune system”

Decreasing alveolar wall swelling

Significantly inhibiting bronchial alveolar lavage fluid in acute lung injury and suppressing lung edema

Reducing the decline in pulmonary alveoli in lung tissue

Modulating the immune response by stimulating lymphocyte proliferation (a type of white blood cell involved in fighting infections), increasing natural killer cell cytotoxicity and increasing the number of T cells and B cells (two major components of your adaptive immune response)

Down-regulating NOD-like receptor 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome — which is part of your innate immune response during lung infection — and its downstream apoptosis and inflammatory response

Reducing C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation

The following graph illustrates and summarizes the beneficial effects of astaxanthin and how it can help quench the cytokine storm response responsible for the sepsis, acute lung injury, ARDS and multiorgan disorders often seen in patients with severe COVID-19 disease. According to the authors:

“Taken together, we speculate that implications of astaxanthin as adjunctive countermeasure in the treatment of COVID-19 may exert dual purpose of both as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound with beneficial outcome of reduce fatality and rapid recovery …”

beneficial effects of astaxanthin

Astaxanthin, One of Nature’s Most Powerful Antioxidants

In short, astaxanthin ticks many important boxes when it comes to ameliorating COVID-19, including immune response regulation and the enhancement of both cell-mediated and humoral immune responses, as well as the simultaneous protection against oxidative damage and inflammation.

Aside from being potentially useful against COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, astaxanthin has also been shown to provide broad-spectrum, systemwide health benefits, protecting against radiation and promoting skin, eye, brain and heart health. To learn more about this powerful antioxidant, see “Research on Astaxanthin Demonstrates Significant Whole Body Benefits.”

Weekly Health Quiz: Hyperbaric Oxygen and Ventilators

1 Which of the following is the most prominent risk factor for being hospitalized with COVID-19?

  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Obesity

    After old age, obesity appears to be the most prominent risk factor for being hospitalized with COVID-19, doubling the risk of hospitalization in patients under the age of 60 in one study. Learn more.

  • COPD

2 Which of the following sites censors content about the COVID-19 pandemic and remedies that might help prevent or treat the disease?

  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • All of the above

    Any content that questions or contradicts the biased edicts of the World Health Organization is now being blocked, taken down or tagged as fake news on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Learn more.

3 Which of the following describes the benefit hyperbaric oxygen treatment can provide in the treatment of COVID-19?

  • Allowing your body to absorb a higher percentage of oxygen without placing stress on the lungs

    Mechanical ventilation can easily damage the lungs as it’s pushing air into the lungs with force. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) may be a better alternative, as it allows your body to absorb a higher percentage of oxygen without forcing air into the lungs. Learn more.

  • Forcing more air into your lungs
  • Reducing oxygen uptake
  • Suppressing cells’ need for oxygen

4 COVID-19 patients placed on mechanical ventilators often have poor outcomes, leading some physicians to use alternative measures to keep patients off ventilators as much as possible. These include:

  • Not admitting patients to the ICU
  • Having patients lie on their stomachs (prone) to allow for better lung aeration

    Given the poor outcomes, some physicians are now trying to keep patients off ventilators as much as possible by using alternative measures, including having patients lie on their stomachs to allow for better lung aeration. Learn more.

  • Offering face masks to all COVID-19 patients
  • Administering experimental medications

5 Testing your vitamin D levels during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is important because:

  • People with low levels of vitamin D enjoy talking more and social distancing makes it difficult to have conversations
  • People with normal levels of vitamin D have better health when they own guinea pigs
  • People with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of experiencing more severe disease and knowing your level helps determine how much supplement to take

    Testing your vitamin D levels during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is important because people with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of experiencing more severe disease and knowing your level helps determine how much supplement to take. Learn more.

  • People with normal levels of vitamin D experience alterations in taste and so should stay out of the sun completely

6 Which of the following appears to be a hallmark of more severe COVID-19 disease?

  • Abnormal bleeding and hemorrhaging
  • Brittle bones and bone loss
  • Explosive diarrhea
  • Blood clots associated with an abnormal coagulation disorder

    Aside from sepsis, blood clots caused by an abnormal coagulation disorder also appear to be common in patients with severe COVID-19 disease. Learn more.

7 A vaccine reaction known as “paradoxical immune response” refers to:

  • Robust antibody response to the vaccine, but when encountering the wild virus, the patient becomes severely, often lethally, ill

    Coronavirus vaccine development has proven very difficult over the past 30 years, as the vaccines create very robust antibody response, but when the patient encounters the wild virus, they become severely ill and often die — a reaction known as paradoxical immune response or paradoxical immune enhancement. Learn more.

  • A complete lack of antibody response to the vaccine
  • A cytokine storm reaction in response to the vaccine
  • Instantaneous death in response to the vaccine

Can UV Light Treat the Blood of COVID-19 Patients?

Is it possible that ultraviolet light (UV) might be an internal treatment for SARS-CoV-2? We know that it kills pathogens, especially on surfaces. And, it’s already used in food processing,1 wastewater treatment facilities2 and medical settings to kill germs3 — in fact, according to DukeHealth, it can cut the transmissibility of four major superbugs.4

William Bryan, acting head of the Science and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, even hinted that UV light might kill the coronavirus.5 But there is also evidence that UV light and a related therapy, ozone, can be used internally to treat viral infections, including COVID-19 infections.

Ultraviolet Irradiation of Blood: A Cure That Time Forgot

Ultraviolet irradiation of blood (UBI), also called photoluminescence therapy (PT), was an accepted treatment for infections until the 1940s and 1950s,6 used for septicemia, pneumonia, tuberculosis, polio and more. The popularity of UBI was eclipsed by the debut of penicillin antibiotics and the Salk polio vaccine, medical developments that were considered miracles.

There are two remarkable features to UBI, which has been called in the medical literature “The Cure That Time Forgot.” First, there were no reports of the treated microbes developing resistance, a phenomenon so common with antibiotics it has limited their usefulness and created dangerous “superbugs.”7

Secondly, the deactivation of pathogens that occurs with UBI may not stem from the virus-killing properties from UV light that are seen on surfaces, but other mechanisms. According to Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology:8

“UBI may enhance the phagocytic capacity of various phagocytic cells (neutrophils and dendritic cells), inhibit lymphocytes, and oxidize blood lipids. The oxidative nature of UBI may have mechanisms in common with ozone therapy and other oxygen therapies …

UBI affects various functions of red blood cells and various different leukocytes as has been proven in various in vitro studies. A common model is stimulator cells in mixed leukocyte cultures; another is helper cells in mitogen- stimulated cultures. UV also reversed cytokine production and blocked cytokine release. UV can also disturb cell membrane mobilization.”

While the researchers do not question the effectiveness of UBI in treating infections, they address how the exact mechanism has not been fully pinned down:

“However it is not impossible, that the killing of circulating lymphocytes could reduce systemic inflammation, which would again be beneficial in cases of sepsis. It is also clear that UBI can oxidize blood lipids and lipoproteins, and therefore increase oxidative stress.

However it is also possible that a brief burst of oxidative stress, may be beneficial, whereas continued chronic levels of oxidative stress have been generally considered as detrimental. Many antioxidant defenses are up-regulated by brief exposure to oxidative stress … The oxidative nature of UBI has encouraged us to draw parallels with ozone therapy.”9

Early UBI Investigations

The suspicion that UV could kill pathogens came from a simple discovery in 1877. Scientists noted that sugar water stayed clear when it was in the sun but turned cloudy when it was in the shade. When examined under a microscope, the “cloudiness” was found to be bacterial growth, which the UV light had successfully retarded.10

In 1903, Niels Ryberg Finsen won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for opening “a new avenue for medical science” through his discovery of the effect of concentrated light radiation in the treatment of diseases, especially lupus vulgaris.11 The first UBI machine was a primitive circular “irradiation chamber,” wrote the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology researchers, that:12

“… contained a labyrinthine set of channels that connected the inlet and outlet ports. All these channels were covered with a quartz window that formed the top of the chamber.

The irradiation chamber was so designed as to provide maximum turbulence of the blood flowing through … to prevent the formation of a thin film of blood on the chamber window that would absorb and filter out much of the UV light.”

Today autologous medical procedures that obtain and return cells or tissues obtained from the same individual are well-established.

Statements About UV Light for COVID-19 Have Factual Basis

A modern version of the original UBI “irradiation chamber” is currently under development, though it is not clear the research is what President Trump was referring to. Doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, in partnership with the specialty pharmaceutical company Aytu BioScience, are developing and commercializing a UV device called “Healight.”13

According to Nurse.org, “Healight technology delivers intermittent ultraviolet (UV) A light through an endotracheal catheter” in patients undergoing mechanical ventilation.14 The light was “first developed in 2016 by the research team of the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) Program at Cedars-Sinai and led by Dr. Mark Pimentel.”15

The original focus of the research, before the COVID-19 pandemic, was on treating pathogens associated with gastrointestinal disorders. But now there are hopes for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.16

“Our team has shown that administering a specific spectrum of UV-A light can eradicate viruses in infected human cells (including coronavirus) and bacteria in the area while preserving healthy cells,” Pimentel said.17

Dr. Ali Rezaie, another member of the MAST team, said, “We believe this therapeutic approach has the potential to significantly impact the high morbidity and mortality of coronavirus-infected patients and patients infected with other respiratory pathogens.”18

Aytu chairman and CEO Josh Disbrow told BioWorld the device will reach the coronavirus where it is concentrated, in the trachea and lungs, reducing viral load while sparing healthy cells.19 The company seeks emergency use authorization from the FDA so patients with COVID-19 on mechanical ventilation can be treated as clinical trial data is collected.20

Research in the journal Transfusion found that UV light deactivates the SARS virus in blood, a coronavirus very similar to COVID-19.21

A device similar to Healight was approved for use by the EU in 2015 but not, as yet, by the FDA.22 According to the manufacturer, the UVLrx 1500 System “offers the first intravenous, concurrent delivery of ultraviolet-A (UVA)” and because of its Dry Light Adapter™ and a standard I.V. catheter “eliminates the need for removal of blood from the body.”23

Lukewarm Media Response to UV Light COVID-19 Research

When UV light therapy was brought up in a recent press conference, it drew mostly negative coverage from mainstream media or no coverage at all, possibly because reporters either didn’t understand the concept of internal UV light, or didn’t look at the research. “By the time the virus has taken hold inside your body, no amount of UV light on your skin is going to make a difference,” wrote the BBC.24

UV treatment for COVID-19 is ill-conceived and untested, said experts quoted in USA Today.25 UV light is “dangerous,” wrote The Washington Post.26 Commensurate with the censorship of non-mainstream medicine that tech giants now exercise, a video about Healight was removed from YouTube.27 Vimeo also deleted the Healight video and Twitter temporarily suspended Aytu’s account.28

Mainstream media were put off by the partnership between the Cedars-Sinai doctors and Aytu and the promotional video about Healight. The Los Angeles Times asked:29

“… whether it’s proper for a biotech company to resort to YouTube animations and Twitter tweets to ‘get the word out’ about a medical device supposedly being submitted for FDA review. Who is supposed to be the audience for these animations? If not FDA examiners, is it stock investors, who have been generally less than enthusiastic about Aytu?”

Yet, when it comes to questions about for whom early notices of an unapproved treatment are designed, the Times should look at Big Pharma. It is notorious for trying to build buzz in exactly this way.

For example, in 2010 while it was still waiting on FDA approval for its candidate drug flibanserin, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals tried to sell the disease of “hypoactive sexual desire disorder” to create demand for the drug — which the FDA later rejected, saying the benefits “did not outweigh its side effects.”30

Big Pharma’s ubiquitous “symptom checkers” and “disease awareness” ads do the same thing. Who had ever heard of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or shift work sleep disorder and other obscure conditions until industry began selling the conditions to create demand for its drugs? Or — who had heard of human papillomavirus (HPV) before Merck started its “One Less” advertising campaign as its HPV drug, Gardasil, was launched?

As far as financial arrangements between doctors and industry are concerned, again Big Pharma wrote the book. In 2011, the FDA actually had to look at loosening its conflict of interest rules for doctors sitting on advisory committees because it could not find doctors free from Big Pharma payments.31

Ozone Therapy May Also Prove Promising for COVID-19

In the middle of a fight against a viral pandemic in which accepted treatments are failing abysmally, more attention should also be given to ozone therapy. Oxygen is one of the foremost factors in infection healing. Ozone improves oxygen delivery by encouraging its release by hemoglobin and improving red blood cell flexibility, allowing the red blood cells to better travel through small capillaries.

Nitric oxide, antioxidants and ATP production are also improved by ozone, which serves to improve blood circulation, modulates cytokines and the immune system and reduces inflammation. Since ozone attacks lipids and COVID-19 is a lipid-coated virus, ozone reduces or eliminates its infectivity by destroying the virus’s lipid coat.

Ozone is dangerous to respiratory lung epithelium, so breathing it must be strictly avoided. However, this valuable natural substance can be safely used in a variety of other ways including infusion through the vagina, rectum and ear in therapies guided by experienced clinicians. Ozone is also obtained from ozone saunas and drinking ozone water.

You can technically generate ozone from ambient air, but the most convenient way to bubble ozone through drinking water is through an oxygen concentrator. A high saturation of oxygen, 93% to 95%, can be attained if the oxygen concentrator is run at a low flow rate. Note, though, that this method is not correct for other ozone delivery strategies.

Like UBI, ozone therapy challenges the orthodoxies and profits of mainstream medicine and Big Pharma, and so is underreported. Yet, it is backed by scientific evidence. Dr. Robert Rowen, a leading expert in ozone therapy, and bio oxidative therapy specialist Dr. Howard Robins, wrote in Journal of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology:32

“When blood is treated with ozone, it instantly reacts with electron-rich double bonds of lipids and other molecules. This creates longer lasting downstream weaker oxidant metabolites called ozonides: reactive oxygen species and lipid oxidation products, inclusive of peroxides, peroxyls, alkenes, alkanes.

These molecules appear to act as messengers for the key biochemical and immune modulating effects of the therapy … Ozone therapy could be easily deployed worldwide, even in very poor countries. With few conventional treatments for viral pneumonia, this epidemic could provide impetus to study ozone therapy.”

You can receive ozone therapy from a clinician who specializes in the practice and learn more from Rowen’s website.33

UV and Ozone Therapy Should Be Considered for COVID-19

When facing an unprecedented viral pandemic like COVID-19 that defies conventional treatments, “out of the box” thinking about treatment may be just what we need. Too often people dismiss older treatments, thinking that medicine and science have come so far since then.

But have we? We have antibiotics that created antibiotic-resistant superbugs that can no longer be killed. We now have viruses that are mutating faster than any treatments for them. We ignore UBI and ozone therapy and new research into them at our own peril — especially if cases and deaths from COVID-19 continue to mount.