Little Known: The Immune System Wires Personality, Which Rules Death

immunity & personalityThe immune system is front and center with this pandemic raging. It is not a simple system, have a read of a recent blog dealing with COVID-19immunity. Also, have a listen to Immunity podcast and enjoy this insight. Little Known -the immune system directly links personality to the long-term risk of death. Sounds scary?  A recent study sheds new light on why people who are more conscientious tend to live longer.

Results from the new international study published in the Journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity have found that the immune system plays a previously unknown role in the link between personality traits and long-term risk of death. Recall from previous blog activities of the immune system.IN YOUR DNA

The question is how is there a biological pathway? One that can be altered? Personality rules your risk of early death. Thru observation, it was shown that people scoring lower on the personality trait of conscientiousness (a tendency to be responsible, organized, and capable of self-control) can be at a 40% increased risk of future death compared to their higher scoring counterparts. Conscientious individuals – you know the personality – live longer as a result of their immune system, specifically due to lower levels of a biological marker called interleukin-6. Present in one of our genes and enhances antibody production. 

The study was drawing on data from the Midlife in the United States Longitudinal Study carried out on 957 adults who were examined over a 14-year period. Other centers were in Humboldt University, Berlin but principals worked at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Aging Badass for The Immune System Age

It truly is badass, aging’s effect on our immune system! As the years pass, everything changes within and on the outer of our bodies. This blog, hopefully, will increase your knowledge of how the area of immunity! We hear from all caring sources – exercise no matter how long – move! Our body’s defenses are altered – and not for the better! Age brings inflammation and chronic inflammation reaps havoc throat our bodies’ systems. Not always bad inflammation is a natural part of the immune response and occurs when our body is healing or needs to fight infection.Aging Immune system

The immune system especially has a problem with chronic inflammation. Also, abnormally high levels of inflammation will occur with any affront to our system, including vaccination.

We begin to lose control over the immune system, now you know why the seniors need to be at a priority for vaccinations, even the healthy ones.

Inflammation part of the immune response also happens when our body is healing or needs to fight infection. Now you understand the title describing with age comes ‘badass’ issues. And when these high levels linger over a long period of time, it can cause tissue damage, which can even lead to the development of cancer.  Plain and simple! REfresh your background knowledge by listening to Doc’s podcast on Immunity.

aging Long-term inflammation also is known to cause shortening of telomeres (protective structures located at the ends of chromosomes), you’ve heard of them? 

The 2009 Nobel Prize went to Elizebeth Blackburn, Ph.D., the author of a must-read book – The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer 

Lifestyle including diet, sleep, and exercise can alter the length of the telomeres. Longer telomeres are good and shorter telomeres are not good at all and associated with increased risk of cancer, with the liver being particularly susceptible to these changes. The fewer damaged telomeres, the less fat in the liver and longer you could live. Exercise surprises inflammation-driven cellular aging and tumor development.

Now to what got me going on this badass concept – a new study! Regular gentle exercise could play a role in reversing liver damage that can lead to cancer. The study was done in mice and next to be studied is us, humans.

A modest amount of aerobic exercise in mice reduced the levels of inflammation in the liver that develops from adding years, but was reversed and went on to prevent tumors from developing. Also noted that fat in the liver was reduced.

The lungs of the mice were also studied and found to decrease inflammatory markers including T and B lymphocytes that are integral to the proper function of the immune system. 

You may have heard them mentioned as memory cells once vaccination or infection occurs. They can recall the SARS-CoV-2 virus and make antibodies usually years later. However, with the current virus pandemic, it is not yet known how long our ‘immunity’ will last. 

This was published in the Journal of Immunology, was funded by Cancer Research UK.

Discover The Free New COVID-19 Vaccines’

COVID-19 has now surpassed heart disease and cancer as the leading daily cause of death in the U.S. One American is dying of COVID-19 every 40 seconds at this posting.

The point is that now it is more than ever preventable. Everywhere you turn there is information on the 2 new COVID-19 vaccines – how they work, what they do and not do follow by how the company plays a key role. And they are free! I tuned in to the full FDA advisory committee meetings of both drug companies’ (Pfizer, Moderna) vaccine submissions in order to get all the medical information available. covid-19 vaccine

My blog objective is to let you in on the finer points of what is factually known to date. Critical is understanding FDA emergency use approval (EUA) meaning for the CIVID-19 vaccines. Incomplete data is why full approval did not occur. Questions exist and include how long immunity lasts and are what are the side effects beyond the known 60 days. Follow-up for 2 years is typical for full safety FDA endorsement. 

The two EUA approved vaccines use mRNA to carry information (S protein found on the surface of the SARS CoV-2 virus) into cells, telling cells to make the S protein then our body sees the S protein and starts to mount a defense against the foreign protein. The mRNA is gone from the body by 24 hours. A booster for 21 (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna)  is required. All vaccines are free. Plenty of scammers out there, be careful. Yes, your insurance will cover the administrative fee for actually giving you the ‘jab’.

We always have a choice, and you may have a choice which vaccine and when to receive the ‘jab’ (British term). If your COVID-19 risks are greater than the risk from taking an emergency use approved vaccine, then you should take a EUA vaccine. After vaccination, you are told to continue to mask up and socially distance. No determination yet for up to how long you must do so. The educated guess from both vaccine producers is that in 7-14 days after 2nd jab (booster) immunity can begin, yet unsure if you could be an asymptomatic spreader after having both jabs.

To be clear, presently, there are other vaccines in final human testing – Phase 3. These are more traditionally constructed. That is a different weakened virus (ex. adenovirus) that is coated with the S protein is introduced into the body. The body immediately starts to defend activating the immune system (listen to this podcast for more on the immune system).

So many questions persist regarding the nature of the protection acquired from these mRNA vaccines. Does the vaccine keep you from infecting others? Can it truly block transmission of the virus, which is often spread by infected people who show no signs of sickness?
How long does immunity last? It is unknown to date if either vaccine offers complete indefinite protection against infections. 

Studies show that the immunity for those who receive the vaccine lasts longer than immunity developed post COVID-19 infection (only 6-8 months due to B cell memory). Second, the studies have shown that antibody levels are 5-20% higher in those vaccinated as compared to those who had natural infection. Third, studies in those recovering from COVID-19 infection showed that the body’s response did not always produce antibodies correctly. Strange! Since, if someone has had chickenpox, there is no need to get immunized for chickenpox, but recovery from COVID-19 infection does not always produce full protection.

 Post Vaccine or no vaccine you must Wear Mask and social distance.

News Flash-new variant virus was discovered in the UK & South Africa, believed to be 70% more transmittable yet it is unknown if present approved vaccines will offer protection against these variants.

Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D a nutrient present in a few foods, a hormone that our bodies produce has been long known to impact bone growth, bone healing, and boost immune system function. Hence I am taking extra D3 during this pandemic! The sun alone may not be able to meet our needs and actually, you need time to allow the ‘D’ from the rays to be absorbed into your body. So after sunning, no shower for at least 2  hours! Also, your skin color, time of year, and where you live are critical factors. Check how much you are getting daily and remember always better to get it from foods than supplements. Please if you are under 70 be sure you are getting 600 IU (15mcg)/day. Over 70 increase to 800IU(20mcg)/day. More than 4000IU/day is dangerous. The University of Florida provides examples of foods that contain vitamin D:

3 ounces (oz) of cooked sockeye salmon: 570 IU or 14 mcg.
3 oz of drained canned tuna: 240 IU or 6 mcg.
3 oz of drained canned sardines: 165 IU or 4 mcg.
1 cup of 1% fortified milk: 120 IU or 3 mcg.
6 oz of low-fat vanilla yogurt: 80 IU or 2 mcg.
three-quarters of a cup of fortified orange juice: 75 IU or 2 mcg.
1 serving of fortified breakfast cereal: At least 40 IU or 1 mcg.
1 large hard-boiled egg: 45 IU or 1 mcg.

But I digress, this blog is to share new info regarding Vitamin D’s influence in fighting Diabetes, Hypertension, and Dementia.


Long-term studies one over 6 years resulted in mounting evidence supporting the supposition that vitamin D gives our brains a boost. Prevention is the cornerstone of any disease, especially dementia. Those with deficiencies had the highest risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


A  study, derived from the Nurses’ Health Study, found that daily supplementation of calcium and vitamin D was associated with a 33% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That’s a big number!

Hypertension/Heart Disease

study, published in Circulation, followed more than 1,700 individuals (more than 5 years), without any cardiovascular disease to find a significant association in time between vitamin D deficiency and their development of cardiovascular disease.

Various other studies have also come to the conclusion that low levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of coronary artery or heart diseases.

– best when taking supplements buy vitamin in the D3 form


PODCAST – COVID-19 Immunity

The latest podcast addresses the big question of immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. You have had the nasty thing and how long before your immunity ceases? ListenUp! Doc Handal shares the latest research and explains the basics of how a strong immune system responds. Have a listen via your favorite source to the COVID-19 immunity podcast.

Viral Load vs. Viral Dose

Viral load exposure versus viral dose exposure – frequent small amounts versus one large exposure – determines how ill you become from exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It has been repeatedly been shown that this will affect the severity of your illness and outcome. Makes perfect sense when you know that the body can start to develop an immune response (mount a defense) if it is exposed in frequent small amounts of a foreign substance (in this case virus) as opposed to receiving a large dose all at once. Time to mount a response can be critical. 

Simply put a large exposure to SARS-CoV-2 is more likely to trigger severe COVID-19 and poor outcomes.

An illustration in humans is the cruise ship that left Argentina in March. All passengers wore masks almost all who were positive by end of the cruise were asymptomatic. True evidence that universal masking may result in a higher proportion of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. 

Prospective studies in humans can’t ethically be undergone, but multiple animal studies support this very principle.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Monica Gandhi, MD, and George Rutherford, MD, of the University of California in San Francisco, postulate that ‘masking’ may act as a “variolation,” exposing individuals to a smaller amount of viral particles and producing an immune response. Further, they write “the initial dose of virus that a patient takes in, is one likely determinant of ultimate illness severity.”

Is the size of the viral load found in a person that determines the outcome?  A South Korea-based study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that viral load was no different in asymptomatic patients versus those with symptoms. Our bodies are so very complicated, one simple explanation/process does not apply to all of us. 

It must be how you got to that load slowly or all at once. I believe viral load makes a difference, no matter the bottom line –

Wear a Mask!

It is not ALL CLEAR

At present COVID-19 mortality rates is 50% to 62% for adults admitted to the ICU. The hallmark lung findings: dry cough and fever and then pneumonia is not found in everyone. COVID-19 doesn’t always go completely away ad you are back to yourself! It might linger for weeks in some and in others might leave permanent body organ damage.

However, the burden of COVID-19 infection in children was much lower compared with seasonal influenza, with CDC reporting (as of April 28)  eight deaths in children ages 14 and younger related to COVID-19 compared with 169 influenza-related deaths in the same age group during the 2019-2020 flu season.

Adults can suffer heart attacks when infected with the SARS Co-2 virus. Not all will have had hypertension or Diabetes Type 2 although these pre-existing conditions are commonly seen in these patients. Often no lung symptoms! This is from a retrospective study within a single health system in New York City.

To re-iterate my advice: You do NOT want to get this virus if you can avoid it. Please follow safe distancing and  not venturing out unnecessarily. Age, as well as other medical conditions, should make you more patient as we all wait for a worthwhile vaccine or at least until medical professionals decide upon the best treatment plans. 

This infection is so hard to recognize and treat as in every person the virus acts differently. Is it because of what shape our immune system is in? Hence you have read my recent blog on a current regimen to boost body defenses (immunity) it as well as in the media.

COVID-19 New Reveals

Recall, I mentioned in an earlier blog, certain countries were hit harder – had more cases of this virus and more deaths. Yes, cities given their population density were postulated to have more cases just on that but now think mutations!

I also mentioned in a past blog there were a number of mutations postulated. Clearly now research shows  that COVID-19 mutated early on in the pandemic to create a more transmissive strain: the ‘G clade’, which may also be associated with a higher viral load. Sure enough, that is what was found in patients in Italy. At ‘home’ NY residents had a high percentage of the ‘G clade’ than found in other states. 

More news about this very complex virus is that its impact on the human body can last a very long time and leave many with permanent damage to organ function. Some individuals after as much as 50 days are struggling with symptoms. Children with COVID-19 can suffer an overwhelming inflammatory syndrome, a  version unique to children, attacking the heart and causing death. Naturally, children with a predisposing condition are at greater risk.

I would like to take an offensive approach and after research internationally and in US literature I want to share a few recommendations that make sense to me. Many medical opinions suggest boosting your immune system in the case. To that end recommendations have included relatively benign supplements*: 

Zinc -losenges best -75-100mg/day 

Vitamin C -500mg twice a day

Vitamin D3- 1-4000 mg /day

Melatonin, slow-release begin with 3 mg. and increase as tolerated (at bedtime) increase to 6-12 mg daily

 Quercetin 250-500 mg.  twice a day – an antioxidant, antiinflammatory found in plants

Some individuals have started to monitor with an oximeter (very hard to find to buy as most made in China) to monitor their oxygen saturation. Recall you % drops before you get dry cough and pneumonia.

I have not mentioned in detail, to date, the Hydroxychloroquine drug but its use is for when you believe you are infected. Must be started ASAP, 400mg twice a day then 200 mg twice a day for 4 days. French pulmonologists from early in outbreak to date recommend this medication. Because of clotting seen in many COVID-19 patients, ASA 81-325mg a day is another recommended drug.


*check with your healthcare provider prior to taking any supplements

Everyone Wear A Mask


To stop infected people (some don’t even know) from expelling virus. Even if not sneezing or coughing simply talking sends droplets out.

To help remind you not to touch your face – the SARS-COVID-19 virus can enter your body through nose and mouth (yes and thru eyes). Once in ….

If you are going to get infected better to get it in a small dose – ‘start small’ a low inoculum. This gets your immune system going to stop the intruder-the virus. A small inoculum allows your body to mount a defense and start making antibodies to the virus.