It’s More About You Than the Covid 19 Virus

It’s More About You Than the Covid 19 Virus

Paul A. Goldberg MPH, DC, DACBN, DCBCN

The Goldberg Tener Clinic
Successfully Reversing Chronic Disease Since 1976

“The primary cause of disease is in us, always in us.”

Antoine Beauchamp, 1883

In the last blog (Microbial Connections Part I: Probiotics, Have You Been Misled?) it was pointed out that it is usually more about the individual that determines the outcome of a viral or bacterial infection than the microbial agent itself. We discussed the term Biological Terrain, coined by Microbiologist Antoine Beauchamp, referring to the internal environment of the body as being the primary factor determining the outcome in infectious issues such as Covid-19. The last few weeks demonstrates this is still not appreciated as evidenced by the preponderance of information emanating from medical and governmental sources focusing only on containment, drugs and vaccines.

I was trained in Epidemiology and Disease Control at the University of Texas Graduate School of Public Health and appreciate the modeling that has taken place by Public Health Professionals to predict the future of our nation as it deals with this viral threat. The focus has been on the human population (or herd), which in the U.S. consists of three hundred thirty million people. These individuals, however, differ greatly one to the next biochemically and immunologically. Considerations of social isolation are prudent but the leaders of our nation are failing to give appropriate guidance as to how we can reinforce our own biological terrain.

That containment is useful originated with the ancient Jews and is addressed in detail in Leviticus. In the Middle Ages during the Black Death/Bubonic Plague, it was observed that Jewish Communities had far lower death rates than the general population. This was directly due to the Jewish People isolating their ill and maintaining a high level of hygiene as is detailed in Leviticus. It also created problems for the Jews as they were accused by their Gentile Neighbors, based upon the fact that few Jews developed the plague, of being involved with witchcraft. Many Jews were burned as witches and necromancers as a result. It was, however, simply good hygiene and isolation that were at work.

In addition to isolation there is a concerted effort by the government to find a “cure”. The cures proposed include drugs such as Hydroxychloroquine, used to “treat” malaria and rheumatoid disorders. Drugs have drawbacks, however, not the least of which are side effects. Our medical system’s passion for finding cures and treatments as opposed to addressing causes draws attention away from what is responsible for the problem and what individuals can do to protect ourselves.

Lessons from History

History offers important lessons. In the early 20th century infectious diseases such as typhus, diphtheria and cholera took a deadly toll on the population. It was not the administration of drugs that brought cholera, diphtheria and other infectious diseases under control. Overcoming those infectious outbreaks was the result of implementing hygienic measures that included sanitation of sewage and water and the practice of installing screen windows on homes to limit the entry of insect vectors. These, not the physicians with their drugs, controlled and eliminated the widespread outbreaks of infectious diseases in the United States.

Rene Dubos in his famous book The Mirage of Health said “The decrease in death rates were clear as public hygienic reform methods were initiated. Incorrectly the germ theory (and its patron the Medical Profession) was given credit while it was the efforts of those involved in hygiene and sanitation that were the real heroes. The present generation goes askew yet further believing that the control of infectious disease dates from the use of antibacterial drugs (antibiotics). So short are medical memories! In truth the mortality of many other infections had begun to recede in Western Europe and North America long before the introduction of specific methods of therapy, indeed before the demonstration of the germ theory of disease.”[1]

The importance of Hygienic factors emphasized by Hygienic Advocates received modest attention in regards to organized Community Public Health Efforts but little in the lives of individuals within those communities. The application of individual hygienic reform in the physician’s office place was relegated to the trash heap being superseded by an array of drugs and nostrums. Hygiene in its many applications was placed on the back shelf to be largely forgotten. Today the need for applying Bio-Hygienic measures is greater than ever.

Just as the application of Bio-Hygienic™ measures has allowed our practice to reverse the chronic health problems of thousands of patients over the past forty five years, so too the proper application of appropriate Bio-Hygienic™ measures can lend significant support in protecting the health of us today during the Covid-19 crisis.

Example of How to Improve The Environment of our Body & Protect Ourselves

Some will say as regards Bio-Hygienic™ measures “Oh, those Bio-Hygienic things are too simple” or “I already knew that”. Yes, they are simple and they are easily available. Nature itself is not simple, however and if people understood even a fraction of the biological complexity and effectiveness of Bio-Hygienic steps they would be singing a different tune. Let’s look at sunlight as an example.

Sunlight allows for the creation of the hormone 7-dehydrocholciferol in our body, which in turn creates cholecalciferol. This is incorrectly referred to as “Vitamin D”. It is not, however, a Vitamin as by definition a Vitamin is an essential nutrient that must be obtained from the diet. Exposure to the sun itself allows for the efficient production of cholecalciferol through which our body produces essential immune factors that protect us against infectious agents.

Let’s take a look as to why The Goldberg Bio-Hygienic Re-Creation Approach includes developing a program of sun exposure for our patients, depending on their needs and why this is today important in relationship to the Covid- 19 Virus.

Vitamin D is well known for its classic role in the maintenance of bone mineral density. However, vitamin D also has an important “non-classic” influence on the body’s immune system by modulating the innate and adaptive immune system, influencing the production of important endogenous antimicrobial peptides such as cathelicidin, and regulating the inflammatory cascade. Multiple epidemiological studies in adults and children have demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk and greater severity of infection, particularly of the respiratory tract. Although the exact mechanisms by which vitamin D may improve immune responses to infection continue to be evaluated, vitamin D supplementation trials of prevention and adjunct therapy for infection are underway. Given its influence on the immune system and inflammatory cascade, vitamin D may have an important future role in the prevention and treatment of infection.

There is abundant data that so called “Vitamin D” is a hormone that regulates gene expression affecting immune function and inflammation and modulates the expression of antimicrobial peptides such as cathelicidin.[2]

Given its increasingly recognized role as an immunomodulator, studies have explored the relationship between “vitamin D” deficiency and the incidence and severity of infection in adults and children. Many studies have focused on respiratory disease.

Recent studies [3] indicate that vitamin D has extensive influence on gene expression affecting the immune system and the inflammatory cascade. Multiple cell types of the immune system, including respiratory epithelial cells, macrophages, monocytes, and dendritic cells, possess both the enzyme (CYP27B1) required to convert inactive, circulating 25OHD to active 1,25OHD and its receptor, the vitamin D receptor (VDR). The best known immune-modulatory pathway has been described as identifying a mechanism by which vitamin D mediates the response to tuberculosis infection.

Cathelicidin is an antimicrobial peptide produced in the presence of sunlight exposure that is able to directly kill pathogens or bind to endotoxin, by forming ion channels and creating greater membrane permeability[4]. In addition to its role against tuberculosis (mycobacterium T.B) cathelicidin has activity against viruses and other bacteria.

In sum, Sunlight influences susceptibility to and severity of bacterial and viral infection via multiple mechanisms.

History, as in the example of the Middle Ages and the Black Death reveals the importance of taking Bio-Hygienic Steps both as individuals and as a nation to overcome health threats such as the Covid – 19 Virus. Sunlight is only one of many Bio-Hygienic Factors to address in both infectious and chronic disease states.

The Medical Profession has historically urged as part of the treatment of sick people, that they avoid sunlight and fresh air. In older medical texts (up till about 1940) sick people were warned to avoid the sun, stay indoors with the windows closed and blinds shut.

We find that today with our current challenge with Covid-19 that many people are also avoiding sunlight and fresh air as part of the social isolation urged by Medical Authorities, afraid to go outdoors as if sunlight and fresh air were part of the problem when in reality they are part of the solution. Sunlight has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and fresh air is critical in keeping our immunity and respiratory systems healthy. Let’s not go back to the ill advice given for centuries by the medical profession to avoid fresh air and sunlight but rather utilize them in a prudent fashion while practicing reasonable social distancing. Too simple? Perhaps in its implementation but not in its effects.

You have been misled if you are simply waiting for the government and pharmaceutical companies to arrive at a “cure” or vaccine. There is much we can do for ourselves by implementing hygienic measures individualized to our needs. The proper application of Sunlight and fresh air to human health is but one of many Bio-Hygienic factors that our practice has successfully utilized over the past four decades in reversing chronic diseases and in keeping our patients healthy.

Related Articles by the Goldberg Tener Clinic

  1. Probiotics: Have you been misled? Microbial Connections Part I
  2. Tackling Inflammatory Bowel Disease Part I
  3. Tackling Inflammatory Bowel Disease Part II
  4. Bacterial Overgrowth of the Small Intestine (SIBO)
  5. EOE, Gastritis and Colitis
  6. Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis
  7. A Radio Interview with Dr. Goldberg: Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  8. Serious Considerations Regarding Colonoscopy
  9. The Facade of Functional Medicine
  10. The Coronavirus: What you Can Do About It

Chronic Disease Reversal Case Studies

  1. Autoimmune / Allergic Disorders
  2. Digestive Disorders
  3. Rheumatoid Disorders
  4. Hormonal and Weight Disorders
  5. Diabetes
  6. Chronic Skin Conditions
  7. Cardiovascular Disease
  8. Chronic Headaches
  9. Thyroid Disorders
  10. Fibromyalgia
  11. Chronic Fatigue
  12. Goldberg Tener Clinic Kids

[1] Dubos, Rene The Mirage of Health p 150 SBN-10: 9780813512600


[3] Mora JR, Iwata M, von Andrian UH. Vitamin effects on the immune system: vitamins A and D take centre stage. Nat Rev Immunol. 2008;8(9):685–698. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]Hewison M. An update on vitamin D and human immunity. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2012;76(3):315–325.[PubMed] [Google Scholar] Hansdottir S, Monick MM, Hinde SL, Lovan N, Look DC, Hunninghake GW. Respiratory epithelial cells convert inactive vitamin D to its active form: potential effects on host defense. J Immunol. 2008;181(10):7090–7099. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

[4]  Ramanathan B, Davis EG, Ross CR, Blecha F. Cathelicidins: microbicidal activity, mechanisms of action, and roles in innate immunity. Microbes Infect. 2002;4(3):361–372. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

[5] Van der Does AM, Bergman P, Agerberth B, Lindbom L. Induction of the human cathelicidin LL-37 as a novel treatment against bacterial infections. J Leukoc Biol.

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