Jon D. Kaiser, MD
Integrative Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Holistic Health
For appointments call: 415-381-7655
Long Covid - Part 2
A general description of my approach to treating Long-haulers Syndrome can be found under 'Long-haulers Syndrome I'.
Watch my YouTube series on 'Recovering from Long Covid' by clicking HERE.
Long Covid - Mitochondrial Support
Mitochondria make all the energy for your cells. This energy is converted into an incredibly important molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP provides energy to your cells so they can properly function. It’s what enables your heart to beat, your brain to think and your adrenal glands to make hormones to help you tolerate stress.
The production of ATP is a highly dynamic process. Imagine a large steel plant with molten steel and hundreds of sparks flying through the air. Now imagine that all of those sparks were radioactive and could damage whatever they came in contact with. Now you have a glimpse into the inner workings of the mitochondria, where highly toxic free radical molecules are a byproduct of ATP production. Free radicals can quickly damage cellular structures they come in contact with, including the membranes and genes of the mitochondria themselves.
Fortunately, nature provides the mitochondria a network of antioxidant molecules to deal with this incessant rain of free radicals.
Key vitamins and antioxidants, (including C, E, CoQ-10), as well as lesser known molecules including N-acetyl-cysteine (used to make glutathione) and alpha lipoic acid, are used by your cells to protect highly sensitive structures in the mitochondria from damage.
If your mitochondria work harder than usual, they require higher levels of these critically important molecules to adequately “cool the reactor” and prevent the spillover of toxic free radical molecules into the inner mitochondrial environment.
Situations that can cause your mitochondria to need higher levels of antioxidant molecules include increased work stress, increased emotional stress, unhealthy eating habits, increased exercise intensity, ongoing allergies, infections and the presence of toxins in your environment.
Do you think you’ve experienced any of the above recently? Let’s see…we’re in the middle of a pandemic, there’s less childcare to help out with the kids, the planet’s climate is becoming less stable and there’s political and racial unrest in our country. Have any of these events caused you to experience increased stress?
Mitochondrial dysfunction is believed to play a significant role in why long-haulers syndrome develops and persists. Pinchas Cohen, professor of gerontology, medicine and biological sciences at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, published a study which showed that Covid-19 directly decreases mitochondrial energy production by inhibiting cellular genes. He states:
“Future work should consider mitochondrial biology as a primary intervention target for SARS-CoV-2.”
Thirty years ago, while I was caring for several hundred AIDS patients, many of them developed severe side effects from the early antiviral medications (AZT, D4T, DDI). These side effects were conclusively linked to mitochondrial toxicity and included severe fatigue, weight loss, peripheral neuropathy and dementia.
After several years of testing and refinement with multiple micronutrient combinations to support mitochondrial repair, I identified one specific formula that was able to reverse the clinical effects of mitochondrial toxicity. This cocktail of antioxidant molecules helped my patients reestablish healthier mitochondrial functioning and improve their overall level of health.
The following antioxidant cocktail is taken once or twice daily depending on the severity of the clinical situation. Its key components include:
• Coenzyme Q-10 50mg
• Alpha lipoic acid 200mg
• Acetyl-L-carnitine 500mg
• N-acetyl-cysteine 600mg
Since mitochondrial nutrients work together as a network, it’s very important to get the dosage ratio of these micronutrients correct. This is the dosing ratio that improved the mitochondrial damage in my AIDS patients and it’s also the formula I have used for over 25 years to help the patients I’ve treated for fatigue and brain fog improve their health.
By supporting improved mitochondrial functioning, any other treatment, from yoga to medications, will be more effective and better tolerated. This is because improved mitochondrial functioning helps the brain, liver and immune system function at their highest level.
These four micronutrients are not commonly found in most multivitamins. If they are in your daily multivitamin, they are usually not present at the dosages necessary to exert a therapeutic effect on improving mitochondrial functioning. If you already take a separate multivitamin, you may want to add the above mitochondrial support cocktail to it. It is my experience that consuming this formula of micronutrients in the proper dosage ratio will help you achieve improved mitochondrial function. Additional nutrients such as niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin E, vitamin C and resveratrol can be added as well.
Please check out my recent BLOG POSTS with more details on the above interventions.
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Keep Hope Alive!
Jon D. Kaiser, M.D.
"I can confidently state that Dr. Kaiser is by far the best doctor I have ever encountered. I have been in his care for over a decade and have gone from being severely ill (bedridden 24/7, unable to read, walk or care for myself) to now functioning at a high level. Dr. Kaiser is an unlimited source of ideas, strategies, helpful tools and advice. If you want to improve your health and the quality of your life, I strongly recommend you consult with Dr. Kaiser."
Lisa G......Lodi, California