Long Covid and the Spike Protein
A look at the latest science which suggests that the SARSCOV2 spike protein may be persisting in people's bodies and causing problems.
I’ve recently had a couple of patients who were suffering badly from multiple different symptoms which they attributed to the lingering effects of their SARS COV 2 infections, or so-called ‘Long Covid’.
There are may Long Covid symptoms, but some of the most common are; muscle and joint pain, brain fog, fatigue, breathlessness and sleep problems.
Whilst the precise cause of Long Covid is still not clear, research is beginning to point to the spike protein of the virus as being linked to the lingering symptoms.
The spike protein part of the SARS COV 2 virus allows it to bind to and enter human cells. In particular, the spike protein binds to specific receptors on our cells called ACE2 receptors.
What’s become clearer with more research is that spike protein is hanging around in people’s bodies long after their original infections have cleared up, and may be associated with the ongoing ill health people are experiencing. For instance, a 2022 study showed that part of the spike protein was still found in immune cells (monocytes) up to 15 months after an infection. In another 2022 study, spike protein was found in people’s blood plasma 12 months after their original infections.
In another study discussed in the scientific journal Nature, autopsies of people who had died with COVID showed that both the spike protein and the RNA from the virus were widely distributed in people’s bodies, including in their brains, up to 7 months after they were first infected.
So, there’s some tiny bits of the virus hanging around in people’s bodies, so what?
Well, the problem is that there is now research showing that the spike proteins even on their own are potentially causing problems. One 2022 study showed that the spike protein can cause cardiovascular disease independent of viral infection. The spike protein was shown to disrupt the capillaries in the heart by having detrimental effects on cells called pericytes. Other research has shown that the spike protein also disrupts the endothelial lining of blood vessels.
As the evidence pointing to a role for spike protein mounts, it’s worth noting that it’s not just natural infections that introduce spike protein into people’s bodies, it’s also coming from vaccines. The mechanism of the gene-based COVID-19 vaccines is such that following vaccination, people will also produce large amounts of spike protein.
Logically, there is nothing to suggest that spike protein produced after vaccination is any safer than spike protein produced during an infection. One study published in January 2023 showed that spike protein was detected in the blood of adolescents and young adults who developed heart inflammation (myocarditis) after receiving mRNA vaccines.
Is there anything you can do about spike protein?
Firstly, and unhelpfully, I’m not aware of any test that’s readily available that will show the presence of spike protein in your system.
Secondly, research into compounds that might combat the ill-effects of spike protein is underway, but it's early days. As usual, there has been a focus on expensive pharmaceutical solutions to the problem, but a few more natural solutions have also been looked at.
Below are some inexpensive and natural compounds that have shown some promise in recent studies;
Cinnamon - A 2023 study showed that compounds in Cinnamon stop the spike protein binding to (ACE2) cell receptors.
Nattokinase - A 2022 lab-based study showed that Nattokinase, an enzyme found in a Japanese food called Natto, degraded the spike protein.
Quercetin and Genistein - In a 2022 study, these two plant-derived flavonoid compounds were shown to interfere with spike protein binding to receptors.
Finally, I would like to add my usual disclaimer that if you think you may have symptoms related to Long Covid (spike protein) you should always do your own research and discuss any potential treatments with your doctor before starting them.
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Cliff Russell - Registered Osteopath - East Grinstead (UK)
Author: Cliff Russell - Registered Osteopath