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Delic Radio: Ask Dr. Matt Cook: COVID-19

Delic Radio: Ask Dr. Matt Cook: COVID-19
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Hello, friends. This is Jackee Stang coming to you from the quarantine capital–Los Angeles. Hey, guess what? We are going to get through this. Let’s all take this as an opportunity to get to know ourselves, to sit in solitude or with each other spiritually, and allow this thing to pass on its own. Let’s learn from it and create the technology to keep epidemics from happening this way again. For all of us at home, this is the chance is to go inside, which psychedelics remind us is really where the magic is. If you’re going to take psychedelics, kids, remember, they are powerful just like this virus and mother nature. They are all from the same place. We are all from each other. None of it is to be taken lightly.

In this episode of Delic Radio, I talk to my friend and doctor, Dr. Matt Cook. He is a really talented former anesthesiologist turned regenerative medicine specialist. He’s the guy that the CEOs and all the bigwigs go to. I can’t name any names, but trust me, he’s the guy! I’m lucky to have him as a friend. Very wise guy. He’s speaking at Meet Delic in August. You can find out more about what he does at Bioset Medical.

We talk about this coronavirus, viruses, and being healthy. We’re going to be talking to him a lot during quarantine and this crisis in order to connect and draw from his insider knowledge as a renowned physician. Check out all of his accolades and all the wonderful things that he and his staff do up in San Jose at Bioset Medical.

Stay inside with your shelter in place, safe, and take care of each other!

Delic Radio + Dr. Matthew Cook

Jackee: Doc, my friend, you are up north near San Jose. What is the state of affairs up there with this COVID business?

Dr. Matt Cook: It’s been so interesting Jackee. I’ve basically been talking to doctors 24 hours a day for the last four weeks, just trying to get a sense of what’s happening and where it is. Yesterday, somebody said we’re 10 days behind Italy. I think we’re a little bit behind Seattle, but not a lot. And I think LA’s just a little bit behind us. My house is like a MASH unit. I’ve done an IV every day for the last six days.

I feel probably better than I’ve ever felt in my life. It feels wrong. A friend of mine called me right as I was getting ready to do this, and he goes, “How are you?” And I go, “I’m amazing.” And he goes, “If you just lied to me to cheer me up it worked.” The other side of the coin is that this is the most chaotic and stressful thing that has happened in our lives in the last 50 or 60 years. It’s going to be a disaster, and so I’m just trying to figure out how to prepare for it.

Jackee: Wow. I had a staff meeting yesterday to help wrap our heads around all of this. I brought up the point you just made that for a lot of us this is the most significant cultural thing that’s happened in maybe 50 years. But there are other cultures across the globe that have gone through pandemics. I don’t know if you have any thoughts on why or how this is different. It feels different to me because of the media, but also it’s affecting the globe at large as opposed to just one region of the world. When you say it’s going to be a disaster, what do you mean by that?

MC: The virus is in respiratory droplets that can get onto your hands. If you’re talking or standing next to somebody, you can get exposed to it. It’ll get into your nose, mouth, eyes, and sinuses. It can start to replicate there. Then, it can go down and start affecting the lining of the lungs. What can happen is that your immune system has an inflammatory response to this infection because your immune system’s trying to fight it. Younger people generally are a little bit better at having their cells go in and SEAL Team Six style, take out the virus or the bacteria. 

Sometimes when we get older, our cells are not working quite as well. We rely on making antibodies and use these things called cytokines to kill infections. That can go crazy out of control. The analogy I came up with the other day is it’s like a drone strike in response to shoplifting. Instead of sending in the police for them, they called in a drone. The drones took out the shoplifters, but they also took out the shopping center where they’re at. That can cause massive scarring of the lungs. It is called ARDS. When that happens, someone can need to be put on a ventilator for two weeks.

Somewhere between 200, 250,000 people in the country might need to be put on a ventilator. We might only have 100,000 ventilators. That would mean half the people that need to go on a ventilator, they just say, “We don’t have a ventilator for you,” because all the ventilators are being used. That’s what’s happening in Italy right now. They don’t have enough ICU beds to take care of the people, so people are dying. That’s a heartbreaking, awful scenario.

Jackee: Viruses don’t always attack the lungs, right? Sometimes they attack different mucus membranes in the head. Is it the virus that’s super strong? Because it moves into the lungs and then it affects the lungs differently than the regular flu or the other viruses that we’re more familiar with? I’m trying to wrap my head around the specificity that it’s really hurting people’s lungs. Or is it the rate at which it doubles?

MC: Most viruses come, but it’s not that irritating. This one, for some reason, has enough of a punch, and then, it also is super irritating to our immune system. Our immune system goes into this crazy, exaggerated response. The thing that causes lung injury is actually not the virus, but it’s our response to the virus.

Jackee: Fascinating. When you say crazy response, we’re talking about something like a multiple sclerosis situation where it’s working overtime and hurting itself?

MC: The immune system starts sending messages, “This is a problem and we’ve got to deal with it.” The immune system has two ways to communicate because the immune system’s like the cop in our body. One part of the immune system is the good cop, which is anti-inflammatory and healing. The other part of the immune system is the bad cop. Did you ever see the movie The Other Guys with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg? There’s a hilarious scene where Will Ferrell goes, “I thought we were going to play bad cop-bad cop.” That’s what this is like.

Normally, the immune system is a little bad cop, but then the bad cop gets turned off by the good cop, so there’s a balanced response. When it goes bad cop-bad cop, the immune system, creates an overwhelming amount of inflammation. That’s called a cytokine storm. At first, that storm is happening in the lungs. Later on, that storm starts to move all over to the body. Then it can cause low blood pressure, etc. Once all of that stuff happens, this virus can actually start to attack people’s kidneys or the heart. It’s powerful and dangerous.

Jackee: Not to diminish the biological seriousness of this virus at all, but as a layperson and a non-doctor, I’m forced to think about it in this way so I can understand it. I had a couple of calls over the weekend during which I discussed, “What does this mean philosophically? What does this say about our culture outside of how it actually affects the body?” 

But it sounds like you were describing the immune response is similar to the flight-or-fight response to triggering stimuli. I don’t know if that’s a good comparison or not, but that’s what I was thinking about when you were describing it.

MC: At any second, our brain is paying attention and looking around, while somebody’s listening to the podcast, or me just sitting here, looking outside. We’re continually making a judgment, are we going to relax? Or, are we in fight-or-flight? The fight-or-flight control center is the place called the amygdala. I call it “Crazy Amy” for short.

Yoga, meditation, and life is designed to teach us how to calm down and reset ourselves back into a harmonious balance between rest and relax versus fight-or-flight. You could call it yin, which is feminine, or yang, which is masculine. These different ways of being. What happens with this disease when it goes crazy out of control is the immune system is in ultimate fight-or-flight. That leads to dysfunction. Once organ systems start to have dysfunction, then that’s a problem.

Jackee: When we come into contact with viruses like this or disease, are we just subject to the external medical treatments? Or can we create a partnership with external treatment and help create better results?

MC: The more calm and coherent that we get as we prepare to face this, we’re getting our immune system to chill out. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last week. I’m getting myself super chilled, oriented, and coherent. I’m going to be in the best possible state that I can possibly be in.

Jackee: Your recommendation as a doctor in terms of how to best prepare for this is to preemptively work on your inner wellness, stress levels, and getting yourself to happy homeostasis which then allows your immune system. No one ever talks about that.

MC: It seems crazy.

Jackee: It seems super logical.

MC: I had 10 or 15 people over the last few weeks say, “I bet you people are going to be more interested in the stuff you talk about after this.”

Jackee: I hope that people will consider their everyday health in terms of what they eat, in terms of exercise, all these basic things that people talk about endlessly in health and wellness. I grew up in Western medicine as my stepfather is a physician, and my mother a former RN. You live your daily life, you eat what you eat, mostly complex carbohydrates, and you just live your life. When you get sick, you trust the medical system to give you medicine. That’s your life.

The food you’re eating is going to affect your experience when you get sick like your stress levels. If you care about those, then the medicine might work. You might have a better chance of healing faster when you do get into these scenarios.

MC: Our immune cells are super good at doing stuff. What usually causes them to not work so well is that people have a leaky gut, food allergies, and toxins for 20 or 30 years.

Jackee: Your immune system is tired.

MC: There was this expression that pneumonia is the old man’s friend.

Jackee: What does that mean?

MC: Back in the ’50s, somebody was 70 or 80. Now, that seems young to me.  He was sick, then he got pneumonia and died. He was the victim of something called immunosenescence. The immune system was starting to not work as well, and it took him down. It can take people down at a much younger age, but it happens to people who are older that have other things going on.

What that means is this is an opportunity for the world. You can make a decision. You can say, “You know what? I’m going to make this the healthiest year of my life.”

Dr. Matt Cook

MC: Once you get some momentum behind that idea, the next thing you know you start socializing with your friends, then something amazing is going to happen that you can’t predict. Is there data that says that’s going to make you resistant to a virus? No. Would it help you feel better? Is it probably going to help you be more resistant to things in the future? Is that journey going to take you somewhere that’s probably way better than anywhere you would have been otherwise? Probably.

Jackee: The only way to experience amazing things is to try. Just being human is miraculous. The body that we’re in is so super smart if we maintain it, treat it right, and feed it right. You’re not going to feel amazing by eating French fries every day. It’s just not going to happen.

We have to stop pretending that amazingness is just going to fall out of the sky, and start empowering ourselves to create it on our own with diet. It sounds cliché, but the answer’s been in front of us this whole time. We have the tools through diet and exercise. Unfortunately, we’re missing so many of the nutrients that you would normally get from food. Now, we have to get micronutrients in IVs or in other ways. I hope that despite the pain that this is putting our culture, our species through, that people will see the opportunity.

MC: Part of my whole PTSD conversation is in reframing. We have the script for that story. It starts out, and we go through it. As we go, the story sort of changes. You realize, “That thing led me to point B. Then point B led me to point C. I’m actually grateful for point A because it did take me to point C.” Then, later on, you start getting a little gratitude for the first thing that happened, even though it was traumatic.

That’s what I’ve been trying to do in this situation. Be in this point. Then, try to see into the future an amazing solution, and then navigate to that solution while you’re in the state of chaos.

Jackee: You got to find solutions. You got to pivot. We’re talking about ozone. I’ve known ozone as an alternative treatment for years. It seems to be getting some light and coming out of the shadows as a useful treatment for viruses.

MC: If you’ve ever been in a lightning storm, you’ve smelt it. When you mix electricity and oxygen together, it can form a number of different species where instead of having two oxygen molecules come together, which is O2, you can have three of them come together, which is O3. When the three of them come together, they start to break down and that creates an oxidation reaction. That can have a whole bunch of beneficial effects on biological systems.

Jackee: In the world where oxidizing food, for example, is bad, how then is oxygen good inside the body for treating inflammation?

MC: The human body is constantly doing oxidation-reduction reactions. There’s a whole bunch of parts of biochemistry that are like an assembly line, but at a certain point, you need to do something to move it to the next step in the assembly line. And a lot of times, you have to do is an oxidation-reduction reaction. That can facilitate movement. We do that when we burn energy in the body. The thing that does that for us is NAD. NAD facilitates a whole bunch of oxidation-reduction reactions in the body. Viruses have a little landing gear that they use to land on the cells, and then ozone can oxidize. And if it oxidizes that, it makes it so the landing gear doesn’t work that well. Then, the virus has a hard time getting into the cell.

MC: Because ozone is oxidizing, it can also kill a virus. Also, because it has an oxidizing effect, our body creates a crazy antioxidant response to the ozone. That means it’s important that you give the right dose because a little bit of it could be good, but too much of it could be bad.

Jackee: Like psychedelics.

MC: Kind of like psychedelics. For example in the blood, the blood has a huge buffering capacity. You could put a little bit of ozone in there. If there are viruses floating around in the blood, they can’t deal with that. They don’t have enough buffering capacity, so they can get killed by the ozone.

If you were to breathe ozone into your lungs, it would be toxic because your lung also doesn’t have a very good buffering capacity on the side where the air is. The alveoli are really fragile. You can put ozone in oil and put it in your nose and throat. That may have an antiviral effect. I’ve been using ozone to help people with viruses for years. We’re trying to figure out how to do a bunch of clinical trials around the use of it and see what happens with it.

Jackee: Amazing.

MC: One epidemiologist I heard today predicts that half of America is going to get COVID-19. I think that in a year from now, there’s going to be 10 trials that are going to show that ozone’s safe to give to people with these infections and that it lowers mortality. That’s my prediction.

Interestingly, there have not been a lot of great treatments for viruses that came out of Western medicine. Which is what has sent me down this road. I just evolved into this interesting place of just trying to find solutions. I’ve been doing work in virology. I did this research project in college. And then I keep bouncing around to helping patients with viral problems over the last 25 years, in part because there just haven’t been a lot of great solutions from Western medicine. I’m trying to get some ozone trials going really fast so we can meet this in the best possible way we can. 

Jackee: We talked about NAD on the last podcast you were on. Do you think that’s useful in treatment once somebody has COVID, or it’s more preventative?

MC: NAD is amazing. It’s facilitating all of these oxidation-reduction reactions. Our levels decrease from age one to age 90. Who are the people who are having all these problems? Older people. Now, one of the things that NAD is really good at doing is helping reset the electrical charge on yourself. I’ve been thinking about this idea a lot in the last couple of weeks, because what is this virus doing? It’s got this little landing gear that’s landing on the cell, and then it inserts its genetic material into the cell.

Jackee: Oh, it’s so trippy.

MC: It’s very like The Matrix.

Jackee: Super sci-fi.

MC: It’s super sci-fi. One thing NAD probably does is helps maintain the electrical charge of the cell. If the cell has a super-strong electrical charge, and the membrane’s working well, is it possible that that membrane might be slightly less susceptible to the virus infection? I have a ton of experience taking care of people with chronic viral things, from herpes to HIV to hepatitis. You name it. 

Jackee: One quick question again about hydrogen. Or, about ozone. A practical question. Is it true that hydrogen peroxide creates an ozone effect?

MC: You nailed it. Now we’re going back to the infectious disease world of functional medicine. It turns out that ozone is not the only oxidative kid on the block. One of the other oxidative kids on the block is hydrogen peroxide. For years, doctors in the integrative medicine space have been doing IV therapy with hydrogen peroxide because it has an oxidizing effect. In doing so, it can kill bacterias and viruses.

Jackee: Let’s close out with some practical advice from Dr. Cook. People are at home, and they have a lot of time to focus on their health. What can people do? What practices and disciplines can people start thinking about to arm themselves with wellness or to get on the road to wellness?

MC: Get in the right headspace. See yourself at the other end of this, better and stronger. Then see that it’s going to influence you to bring knowledge, wisdom, and truth. Imagine that that’s going to happen. This is a good idea. I got this from Jackee. Do you know how you give something up for Lent? Give something up for quarantine. Give up five things. Just lowering toxicity is going to be positive. 

On the vitamin front, try to get a load of vitamin D, and a little bit of vitamin A. I would load up on as much vitamin C as you can. Zinc blocks viral replication. If you have zinc lozenges share them. Lysine blocks viral replication as well. And as far as vitamin D goes, you can be in quarantine but you may be able to go get some sunshine. Exercise is going to be good, but not crazy hard. I wouldn’t be doing high-intensity interval training. Then maybe get an ozone generator.

Jackee: How much is an ozone generator?

MC: I think it’s going to cost $4,000. I think they have one for $1,800, and one for maybe $2,400. Something like that.

Jackee: That’s a great place to start.

MC: Do all of those things, then take your health to the next level. There’s a lot that you can do. We’re going to evolve into a better form of communicating and sharing information among medical professionals, but then also patients. Then imagine as you do that that something miraculous like that is going to happen in your profession and your field. You’re going to be infinitely better in some way because of that. See that future now. Navigate to that position.

Jackee: Beautiful. If I had to choose one of the top three things I’ve learned from you thus far, the importance of mind over matter, or believing my ability to heal myself, goes such a long way. When you can take the time to wrap your mind around your own ability to heal yourself, I think that’s where we need to be.

It’s helped me measurably move forward in my wellness journey. It’s not what I expected. We’re taught that “Well, doctors have all the answers.” We, as the patient, don’t have to do anything. Which I think is ridiculous. Also in this COVID situation, we don’t want people running around whether they get it or not. Mass hysteria…

MC: I’m trying to think not so much like a doctor, but more like an entrepreneur.

Jackee: Creatively.

Dr. Matt Cook: Right now, we don’t know what the best thing is. Every day, we’re going to start to know more. If we get into a calm and relaxed stage, get our immune system super dialed in, repair our body to the best possible way based on our social, cultural, emotional, spiritual belief systems, then we think like an entrepreneur. We’re going to crowdsource a solution to this, I think. 

Jackee: It’s got to be. We’ve got to work together. It’s going to be amazing.

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