The Cytokine Storm
By: Ian B. Gann CEO, Double Helix Water, Inc.
The concept of a Cytokine Storm was first written about in 1993 – it gained more attention with study of the SARS virus. Currently the term is being widely spread in popular culture and some people are very worried about those cytokines, “We need less cytokines because they are killers!”.
This concept, while understandable given what has been rather irresponsibly thrown around, borders on ridiculousness. It comes from a misunderstanding of what a cytokine is.
In brief terms, a cytokine is a broad label covering many different chemical secretions made by cells involved with your immune system – the most well-known being a category called T-Cells (although the less known B-Cells also secrete cytokines). These secretions are basically the “chemical orders” the T or B-cells create, in order to do a wide range of actions all involved with the function of your Immune System. If you are interested, and have not already read it, I have written an explanation to give a better concept of the incredible defense machine that is your immune system and how cytokines function here.
Let’s make something clear – without proper cytokine production you are in trouble. If your body somehow produced no cytokines you would most likely die from the common cold. You would die from a bacterial infection from a cut on your finger. You would die from just about any foreign attacker. And if somehow you lived in a bubble and were able to have absolutely no contact with any foreign attackers, bacterial or viral, you would still die as your immune system failed to “kill” the constant percentage of cells that replicate incorrectly (mutations).
Getting rid of cytokines? Probably not a good idea. Although if you do want to lower your cytokine production without Immune Suppressing drugs then you could try the following:
Drink a lot of alcohol (A LOT) every single day
Smoke as many cigarettes as possible
Get no sleep at all
Subsist entirely on fast food
Make sure you are as stressed out as possible
Expose yourself to all the toxins you can
That regime would definitely lower your Immune System. I’m willing to bet you could quite effectively lower the overall production of cytokines and then some. And I think almost any doctor or medical researcher on the planet would say that regime is insane.
So . . . getting rid of those pesky cytokines is probably not the answer.
But what about the “Cytokine Storm?”
To break it down very simply, what they are talking about is inflammation. Inflammation is a natural part of your body’s Immune System reaction to handle foreign invaders. However, inflammation can go too far, risking death of the organism or permanent damage to parts of it in the process.
Interestingly enough your body’s cells already know this and produce certain secretions to lower the inflammation. And guess what these are called? Cytokines. Some cytokines are produced to lower inflammation that has gotten out of hand. So once again – probably not a good idea to destroy your body’s ability to produce cytokines.
There are other ways to lower inflammation:
Immune System depressant drugs
There are a number of drugs designed to specifically suppress the Immune System. This then can suppress inflammation or the “Cytokine Storm”. You have probably read of some of these being tested for this purpose. Generally speaking, these were developed for people whose Immune Systems are already functioning incorrectly – specifically for people with auto-immune disorders, meaning their immune system is targeting the “good guys” – their healthy cells.
There are side effects to taking a drug to suppress your Immune System. I know of no Doctor or Medical Researcher that would recommend simply taking such a thing as a preventative, it’s very dangerous. Having said all of that, such drugs should only be prescribed by a Medical Doctor you are currently seeing.
Proteolytic enzymes are specific types of enzymes that play important roles in protein digestion, immune function and other vital processes. There are various studies suggesting that proteolytic enzymes could be an effective aid in decreasing inflammation. One study in particular found that they aided in effectively reducing pain and inflammation after surgery.
In one 2010 study of 250 people with pain from degenerative-disc disease, 59% of the participants were able to substitute fish oil for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
According to a 2014 study, zinc decreased inflammation among older adults.
In my first blog on the immune system I very intentionally did not mention Double Helix Water. After all, I am currently the CEO of Double Helix Water, my father, David L. Gann, wrote the book, Double Helix Water - obviously I think everyone should be taking it. The research on Double Helix Water, the Immune System and cellular function is readily available on our website. I suppose I did not want to come across as, “Here! Look what’s happening in the world today! You have to buy my product!” But I was still countered with a number of people aggravated at me for even daring to write about the Immune System and some questioning why I did not bring up Double Helix Water at all . . . so I figured this time around I would make it easier for all concerned. Data on Double Helix Water, Inflammation and the Immune System can be found here:
Immune System Response with Double Helix Water
UCLA study by Dr. Benjamin Bonavida
I still stand behind my statement in my blog on the Immune System, that the most important measures to put your attention on in these times are good hygiene practices and having a properly functioning Immune System.
It is interesting to note that, based on the research I have seen, the majority of people who do experience a “Cytokine Storm” with this novel virus, are people who have compromised Immune Systems – their Immune Systems are already not functioning properly. It also seems like a large percentage of those who are infected (who do have properly functioning Immune Systems) have little to no symptoms and do not experience the “Cytokine Storm.” This may be wrong. More data and research is being done every day. Time will tell.
But in the meantime, if you are practicing proper hygiene, and are causatively working on having a properly functioning Immune System, and are still worried about a potential “Cytokine Storm,” a little research into good anti-inflammatory agents might be the way to go. With the caveat that I would assume anyone who starts to experience the “Cytokine Storm” ought to get to a hospital right away and not mess around with “self-medicating” at home in this condition.
I hope this information has been of some use.