Physicians in Wuhan, China, the epicenter for COVID-19 coronavirus that is now infecting human populations around the globe, report a shortage of test kits for this infectious pathogen. But maybe doctors rather than test for a virus ought to be testing for a viral vulnerability factor – an unstable form of haptoglobin (HAPTO-G), genetically prevalent in Asian populations. Then they wouldn’t be likely to run out of test kits as they are manufactured, in of all places, right there in Wuhan.
What is haptoglobin? (hap-tow-glow-bin) This blood protein binds to hemoglobin, the red protein in red blood cells that carries both oxygen and iron. By virtue of its binding power, haptoglobin mops up hemoglobin and loose iron when red blood cells die off so as to limit the availability of potentially destructive unbound iron. Haptoglobin also reduces the amount of iron lost in the kidneys and recycles it.
Out of three types of haptoglobin (HAPTO-G), one type doesn’t bind as well to hemoglobin, releases excess iron which then increases iron-induced oxidation (rusting), and increases oxidation (hardening) of cholesterol and degradation of vitamin C.
Oxidation of vitamin C
The Vitamin D Cure, Re... Best Price: $2.05 Buy New $2.99 (as of 11:37 EST - Details) While vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant itself by virtue of its ability to donate two electrons to unbalanced atoms, vitamin C is vulnerable to oxidation itself.
While it is commonly said vitamin C blood levels are solely determined by dietary intake (fruits, vitamin pills), some is determined genetically by the type of haptoglobin that is predominant.
Haptoglobin & vitamin C
The type of unstable haptoglobin that leads to the oxidation of vitamin C is very prevalent among Asians.
Unstable haptoglobin is prevalent in up to 56.4% of Chinese males and females, whereas the two more stable forms are distributed in 10% and 33.6% of genetic groups in Chinese populations. The more stable form of HAPTO-G is prevalent among 35% of Caucasians.
Vitamin C blood concentrations are lower among Asians with unstable Hapto-G. Among individuals who don’t consume the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C from their diet, the likelihood a person will be vitamin C-deficient is ~3-fold greater among individuals who inherit the unstable form of HAPTO-G.
Because unstable HAPTO-G does not as efficiently bind to iron, blood storage levels of iron (ferritin) are obviously higher among many Asians.
Haptoglobin & viral growth
Mortality rates are higher among virally-infected individuals with unstable HAPTO-G.
Among virally-infected adults, median survival was 7.3 years in the unstable haptoglobin group vs. 11.0 years for the stable HAPTO-G group.
Supplemental vitamin C (1600 mg./day) was found to reduce duration of hospitalization by 36% among patients with pneumonia, which is what coronavirus-infected patients die of.
Highly virulent coronavirus-infected patients produce a viral load of 357 copies per milliliter of blood serum, enough to overwhelm the immune system and marginalize dietary and oral doses of vitamin C. Continual vitamin C infusions would be necessary.
Due to the fact vitamin C levels are lower among Asians, the COVID-19 coronavirus is not expected to be as virulent or frequent in populations outside Asia.
Haptoglobin hardens cholesterol too
That same type of unstable HAPTO-G results in hardened arterial cholesterol, what doctors call atherosclerosis.
Diabetics have this same type of predominant form of haptoglobin and have a 500% greater risk for cardiovascular disease compared to diabetics who have a more stable form of haptoglobin.
Unstable haptoglobin is almost as predictive (4.2-fold increased risk) for a heart attack as is elevated cholesterol.
Vitamin C replacement
Oral vitamin C is rapidly excreted in urine flow (half-life of 30 minutes), which has caused some vitamin C skeptics to refer to vitamin C pills as nothing more than “expensive urine.”
Viruses increase demand for vitamin C. Oral vitamin C taken throughout the day would be necessary to maintain optimal blood levels among healthy patients, but that may not be achievable when viruses like the coronavirus take hold. The viral load increases exponentially as does the need for vitamin C, beyond what can be taken normally via oral dosing. Continuous vitamin C infusions may be required in severe life-threatening viral infections.
Vitamin C regeneration
Humans once internally produced vitamin C in their liver via enzymatic conversion of glucose sugar to ascorbate (aka vitamin C). All humans along with guinea pigs, fruit bats and primate monkeys have the same universal gene mutation and can’t endogenously secrete vitamin C due to a missing GULO enzyme (gulonolactone oxidase). Animals that secrete vitamin C internally are not sickened by coronaviruses.
The gene that controls vitamin C synthesis in the liver is defective. In the 1970s biochemist Irwin Stone predicted some day in the future there would be gene therapy to correct this single-gene mutation and restore the human body to internally produce vitamin C on demand 24/7.
That day may have arrived as a commercially branded vitamin C, FORMULA-216 (formulated by this author), has passed preliminary tests and raises blood levels of vitamin C on a 24/7 basis without consumption of fruits or vitamin pills.
Such 24/7 secretion of vitamin C during viral infections is critical to keep up with the viral load and replication rate, as viruses live inside healthy living cells and hijack their genetic machinery to replicate.
Researchers now await genetic tests to confirm the GULO gene has been re-activated. While the precise mechanism awaits confirmation, there is no question this novel form of supplemental vitamin C provides immune support and can stand up to the worst infections. It would be most beneficial to Asian populations and contains additional natural stabilizers that mop up loose iron to protect vitamin C from oxidation.