Hello and welcome. High-income countries like Australia have been playing Russian roulette with our public health, especially around the COVID crisis. Lockdowns and personal restrictions have increasingly been applied by our institutions, while they wait for the vaccine effect to take hold.
Now, I'm not here to question the validity of the vaccine because it's tested and has been proven for many diseases to prevent infection and transmission. However, with respect to the COVID vaccines, there are a lot of question marks. And certainly last week, I was discussing some of the alternative approaches that are found in the scientific literature with regard to the efficacy of alternatives to the vaccine, for prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine actually breaching the host defense system.
Last week, we were looking at the smoker's paradox or this strange situation where the nicotine is postulated to allow the host cell to defend itself against infection. And when I put this video out, a lot of comments were received really early on, and someone brought to my attention, some fascinating research from the University of Michigan. And I followed up on that lead because there was a really groundbreaking development which I was unaware of. It is talking about a molecule or a nutraceutical called lactoferrin. And we're going to be talking about lactoferrin today, but importantly, I'm also going to be focusing on the research that was brought to my attention because the majority narrative for vaccine safety hasn't looked at the complementary strategies. And one of my roles in public health is to provide a balanced view of what is out there in the research literature.
So today we're going to be focusing on lactoferrin and COVID, what you need to know. I'm going to jump the gun here. Why I've put the pictures of the cows up on the title slide is because lactoferrin is found in high concentrations in human milk and milk from cows. I'm going to be looking at some of this really fascinating research about lactoferrin.
But before I do this, and again, this was prompted, or I was prompted to create the first couple of slides in this talk by some discussions I had with my daughter around vaccines safety. I wanted to use the introduction to this, to highlight some of these papers, which I think are important for those individuals and the wider public to be aware of when they're considering their own personal choices.
The first publication is entitled, Playing vaccine roulette: Why the current strategy of staking everything on COVID-19 vaccines is a high-stakes wager. I mentioned at the outset of this talk that the majority narrative of vaccine safety has not adequately looked at complementary strategies. And so we have a situation where we have a disproportionate response to fighting COVID-19 with vaccines only.
What are some of these complementary strategies? Well, they obviously include no-brainers like strengthening the health care system, but what about some of the non-pharmaceutical preventions? We need to take these into consideration. We need to be aware of them. And we also need to emphasize that there hasn't been a lot of discussion in the mainstream media about the responsibility that the individual has to themselves for maintaining and promoting a healthy lifestyle so that the individual doesn't necessarily retain or move towards some of the co-morbidities such as high blood pressure and obesity and diabetes, which are known problems for those who may contract any of these respiratory viruses, including coronavirus.
I have to emphasize that the publication on vaccine roulette certainly paints a different picture when we look at what the Australian government has suggested and mandated, in many cases, and is upholding the narrative that we move towards vaccine only, using threats to freedom and job loss.
That's one of the publications, which I think is very important that everyone review when they're considering how the mainstream media is portraying the vaccine narrative.
Now the next publication is concerning something called informed consent. And this appeared in the International Journal of Clinical Practice. This came out at the end of 2020, and it's a really, really important study because it's focusing on the fact that when the initial trials were undertaken by Pfizer and Moderna, and all those who were using mRNA vaccines, that there wasn't adequate disclosure that the vaccines may make people more sensitive to severe disease than if they were not vaccinated. We have to understand that these mRNA vaccines have never been approved before. And in fact, vaccines for other respiratory viruses have also not been approved either. The reason for this is that there is something called antibody-dependent enhancement or ADE, and vaccination may in fact worsen this disease.
So when the scientists were investigating the initial trials, they discovered that consent and disclosure of known facts had not been properly highlighted to either the clinical trial participants or to those currently being mandated. That is, there has been a failure to meet the medical ethics standard or for there to have been adequate informed consent. Now, I have a real problem with this because as a scientist who is persuaded by evidence-based information and clinical research, I want to know that the trial participants were properly informed and that medical ethics in fact had been properly carried out. Furthermore, I need to know whether or not there are alternatives to the one-size-fits-all narrative that we hear every day when we turn on mainstream media.
What is the third publication that I find particularly persuasive? This paper came out recently and it is a report on myocarditis. Now this particular publication again, is focusing on cardiothoracic problems. Now, obviously, we've heard about this in the media, but what does the detail in the literature says? They look at something called the VAERS, which stands for the Vaccine Adverse Events Report System. And there's a whole lot of different adverse events which are reported in this system, not just heart complaints. But if we focus on what this publication is talking about, the context for these selected risks suggests that males have an overwhelming predominance of adverse effects and that they can have myocarditis at rates in the 13 to 23-year-old range age group that are really severe. And within eight weeks of vaccination being rolled out to those young kids aged between 12 and 15, the database recorded a 19 times higher than expected level of myocarditis versus unvaccinated with an overall death rate of a little over 1%. The conclusion that the scientists came up with was that COVID-19 biological products are deterministic for myocarditis cases observed after injection.
So there you have it. Three publications I think everyone should consider. That is informed consent, the database which records adverse events, finding that there are a lot of adverse events, and whether or not it is good policy and good government health care to mandate a one-size-fits-all narrative. In any case, I think that we should be expanding what we consider, and I think publications like this University of Michigan paper are really important. And so we're going to spend the rest of this talk focusing on that.
Now, what is this publication so that you can go and retrieve it for yourself? It appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and it is focusing on how drugs can be repurposed. And the point here was to find clinical candidates with strong antiviral activity, which could potentially be repurposed against SARS-CoV-2 to minimize the impact of COVID illness. And what did this publication set out to do?
Well, they review the context of this problem and state that therapeutic interventions to develop novel vaccines and novel drug discovery usually has a 90% failure rate and may take 10 to 15 years. Therefore, even though mRNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 have been rapidly developed, it might be important for everyone to consider the concept of drug repurposing. And this is what this University of Michigan research did. What they looked at was screening 1,425 FDA-approved compounds. That means that these are readily available compounds, and they discovered that 17 of them were showing to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 infection. And the dominant one, which is most interesting because it is the safest, is actually a nutraceutical called lactoferrin, which is found in human milk and also bovine milk, which is obtained from cow. And a little bit later in this talk, we'll be focusing on where else lactoferrin can be found as well.
The conclusion of the research was that lactoferrin is a safe therapeutic option shown to have both entry and post-entry inhibition of the coronavirus. What do we mean by that? Well, that means that it's efficacious for those before they become ill, as well as those who have already become ill. So it is a really great publication.
There are also a range of different compounds, as I stated, another 16, which we're looking at whether or not they had antiviral potential. And there are some asthma/COPD drugs as well, which were highlighted as well.
Now, how was the study done?
Well, they use something called image analysis. And as I said, they had the 1,425 different drugs and they created a panel for these. But firstly, I want to show you what the actual virus looks like to the researchers when they undertook the experiment. And so in the panel, on the left-hand side, you can see in the bottom row, what an uninfected group of cells looks like. And when you're imagining how they undertook the experiment, they got a number of different cell lines and these cell lines were then purposefully infected with the virus and they added these particular compounds to the cells to see whether or not they would reduce the infection rate. And you can see in the top row, the infected cells, and they have different colors. And so the key takeaway from this is on the right-hand column, you can see in the infected cell lines that the SARS-CoV-2 N-protein shows up as a purple color.
So bearing that this is what they were looking for in the experimental outcome, they conducted the experiment, ran all these drugs through the different cell lines at a range of different concentrations. And this particular slide shows how they did it. You can see that as they assayed the different concentrations of the 1,400 or so compounds, they were looking for evidence of infection or the lack of infected cells. And if we track through to the graph on the right-hand column, you can see the dose-response confirmation. And this is showing what, as you increase the concentration of the different compounds, the reduction in the percent of viral infection. And this is a standard curve that you want to see for this type of experiment. So I bet you are all waiting to see exactly what the results for various different compounds were. I'm going to show this to you on this next slide now.
Now, if we look at the key results... And remember, these drugs are available now. You can request these drugs. You don't need to fight with anyone over them. These are available now. On the right-hand column, we have the commonly accepted treatment, which is remdesivir. But if we look on the left-hand column, you will see the impact of both human lactoferrin and bovine lactoferrin on not only the percentage of infected cells, but you can see the reduction towards a zero infection at increasing concentrations of the bovine lactoferrin. Similarly, on the left-hand side, you can also see how this looks under the microscope, and you can see that the non-infected cells don't possess this purply color, which is the direct infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. And so really this is absolutely groundbreaking research. I think it's a beautiful, beautiful study. I would recommend everyone to download the paper for themselves, read through it, and look at the table of different compounds, which were identified using this really outstanding experimental protocol.
But you're probably wondering, why does it work? Now, let's look at this as well. I've excerpted this image from another publication that came out in 2020 as well, that was also looking at the impact that lactoferrin has. And most of you would be familiar with at least the terminology of this thing called an ACE2 receptor, and this is something which the coronavirus goes after and targets because remember, it's trying to get inside the host cells to cause acute infection. And lactoferrin has the ability to bind to some of these cell surface receptors, like the ACE2 and other receptors, and effectively block the entry of the coronavirus, meaning that it does not make you sick. Really, this is absolutely outstanding research and I'm really pleased to review this publication for you today.
As well, you're probably wondering, where do I go out and get lactoferrin? If you're of the disposition that you might like to try this, I would obviously encourage you to download the publication and read it for yourself. I'm not a medical doctor, I'm a microbiologist and a scientist. So I am presenting this, not so much as medical advice, but as a scientific disclosure, something which I consider everyone should be aware of. And so where do you get lactoferrin? Well, you could jump online and you could purchase it as a nutraceutical because it is found naturally in milk from humans and cows.
As well, there've been a number of publications looking at various different foods like cheese. And which of the cheeses have a higher lactoferrin concentration in it? Well, they've discovered that it is Swiss-type and semi-hard cheeses which have a higher concentration. And for those of you in Australia, most of you would be aware of a company called Bega. They have been investing heavily in lactoferrin equipment to mass-produce lactoferrin because of the range of antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, immune-modulating, and immune-stimulating properties that lactoferrin has. And Bega has developed a standalone website called happyhealth.com.edu. And this is, they have a range of different products for lactoferrin.
In any case, I think that this is an outstanding example of scientists that are looking for valid compounds which don't have any problems associated with their accessibility. They're already FDA approved, meaning that anyone can call for their use. And these scientists have done a very careful study to examine whether or not they show antiviral activity. And for those of you who are scientifically minded and dive into the PubMed literature, you're quickly going to discover that lactoferrin has a whole range of additional properties. So it is a value for anti-cancer treatment and cancer therapy because of its immune-modulating properties. And it really focuses on inflammation and inflammation really is an acidic environment. So this particular compound has the ability to reduce inflammation. And this is really a good thing.
In any case, I think it's a fantastic initiative. I was very excited to bring you this short video to comment on lactoferrin and more specifically around drug repurposing so that we don't have these single narratives as there is only one way to prevent infection and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, because that's just not true. There are a whole range of complementary approaches to this particularly important public health problem. I hope to bring you a lot more of these videos about this topic in the coming weeks and months. Anyway, bye for now, see you next week.
Mirabelli, C., Wotring, J., Zhang, C., McCarty, S., Fursmidt, R., Pretto, C., Qiao, Y., Zhang, Y., Frum, T., Kadambi, N., Amin, A., O’Meara, T., Spence, J., Huang, J., Alysandratos, K., Kotton, D., Handelman, S., Wobus, C., Weatherwax, K., Mashour, G., O’Meara, M., Chinnaiyan, A. and Sexton, J., 2021. Morphological cell profiling of SARS-CoV-2 infection identifies drug repurposing candidates for COVID-19. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(36), p.e2105815118.
Paul, E., Brown, G., Kalk, A. and Ridde, V., 2021. Playing vaccine roulette: Why the current strategy of staking everything on Covid-19 vaccines is a high-stakes wager. Vaccine, 39(35), pp.4921-4924.
Cutone, A., Rosa, L., Ianiro, G., Lepanto, M., Bonaccorsi di Patti, M., Valenti, P. and Musci, G., 2020. Lactoferrin’s Anti-Cancer Properties: Safety, Selectivity, and Wide Range of Action. Biomolecules, 10(3), p.456.
Dupont, D., Arnould, C., Rolet-Repecaud, O., Duboz, G., Faurie, F., Martin, B. and Beuvier, E., 2006. Determination of bovine lactoferrin concentrations in cheese with specific monoclonal antibodies. International Dairy Journal, 16(9), pp.1081-1087.
Wang, Y., Wang, P., Wang, H., Luo, Y., Wan, L., Jiang, M. and Chu, Y., 2020. Lactoferrin for the treatment of COVID‑19 (Review). Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 20(6), pp.1-1.
Kell, D., Heyden, E. and Pretorius, E., 2020. The Biology of Lactoferrin, an Iron-Binding Protein That Can Help Defend Against Viruses and Bacteria. Frontiers in Immunology, 11.
Berlutti, F., Pantanella, F., Natalizi, T., Frioni, A., Paesano, R., Polimeni, A. and Valenti, P., 2011. Antiviral Properties of Lactoferrin—A Natural Immunity Molecule. Molecules, 16(8), pp.6992-7018.
Cardozo, T. and Veazey, R., 2020. Informed consent disclosure to vaccine trial subjects of risk of COVID‐19 vaccines worsening clinical disease. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 75(3).
Bari, M., Hossain, M., Akhter, S. and Emran, T., 2021. Delta variant and black fungal invasion: A bidirectional assault might worsen the massive second/third stream of COVID-19 outbreak in South-Asia. Ethics, Medicine and Public Health, 19, p.100722.
Find out today how your home ranks using our 12-point rating scale and take control of your environmental health.