These microscopic organisms are capable of infecting plants, animals, bacteria and even single-celled microorganisms known as archaea, and it’s only once inside the cells of a host organism that a virus can replicate. Even so, viruses are actually the most abundant type of biological entity on earth.[i]
Most of the time when you think about viruses it’s probably in terms of their pathological potential, such as a cold or flu virus — and this is what I’ll be focusing on here. But I do want to mention that not all viruses are harmful.
One of the many interesting facts about viruses is that they can be beneficial, such as viruses known as bacteriophages, which can kill harmful bacteria.[ii] Other viruses can exist in a dormant state inside your body for years without inducing symptoms, while still others can induce chronic infection that persists for your lifetime.
That being said, viral infections can cause illness ranging from mild (cold, flu and warts, for instance) to deadly (such as smallpox and HIV/AIDS). They can quickly replicate inside your body and ultimately kill enough cells to cause permanent damage or even death. The outer protein coating on a virus, called the capsid, is what protects its genetic material and also helps it to attach to a host cell via what’s called an Isoprin bond. This protective coating is part of what makes viruses so difficult to eliminate from your body.
As explained by Medline Plus:[iii]
“Viruses are like hijackers. They invade living, normal cells and use those cells to multiply and produce other viruses like themselves. This eventually kills the cells, which can make you sick … Viral infections are hard to treat because viruses live inside your body’s cells. They are “protected” from medicines, which usually move through your bloodstream.”
Systemic Proteolytic Enzymes Eat Up Virus’ Protective Coating
You’re probably well aware that antibiotics, which kill bacteria, are useless against viruses. Anti-viral drugs, meanwhile (the few that are available), are ridden with some of the worst side effects in medicine. So what’s a person with a stubborn, or serious, virus to do?
First, consult with a natural health care provider. Next, consider replenishing your body’s supply of natural systemic proteolytic enzymes. You see, while viruses can be difficult to kill (some more so than others), they’re not invincible. For instance, ultraviolet radiation is one of the most potent viral killers, as it breaks the virus’ capsid, which means it can’t inject its genetic material into your cells (UV radiation also destroys virus’ genome). Chlorine works to kill viruses in a similar fashion.[iv]
This is useful information if you need to clean your countertops or disinfect your laundry (one of the best ways is simply to hang it out in the sunlight to dry) … but what about inside your body?
Other natural substances also fight viruses quite effectively … which brings us back to proteolytic enzymes. These are naturally produced in your pancreas, but your natural production declines with age; these inflammation-busters become largely depleted as you hit 40 and over.
” … proteolytic or systemic enzymes do a number on the all-important exterior protein coating of the virus. They eat it! Remember the virus is active as long as its coating is intact. What happens when a virus cannot complete an Isoprin bond? Well, simply it becomes inert — harmless!”
Dr. James Howenstine, MD, a board-certified specialist in internal medicine also explained:[vi]
“When a virus contacts a human cell, the external coating connects to the cell, and the virus becomes able to contact DNA. This connection to DNA permits the virus to reproduce in a rapid manner. Proteolytic enzymes consume the exterior coating of a virus rendering the virus permanently inert. To recover from a viral infection requires that enough enzymes be taken to get ahead of the rapid viral replication within cells.”
Systemic Enzymes Also Ramp Up Your Immune System to Rid Your Body of Viral Infection
Your immune system is actually your body’s best defense against viruses, and, provided you’re healthy and following a healthy lifestyle (good food, stress management, sleep, exercise, etc.), it is remarkably efficient and effective at this job. Your immune system attacks viruses on multiple levels. For instance, immune system cells may attach to a virus directly to kill it before it enters your cells. If it makes it inside your cells, it can “flag” them so that your immune system’s T cells can destroy it.
Plus, once you’ve been exposed to a virus, your body remembers the virus so that if you’re exposed again it can quickly launch an attack to defeat it. This is called acquired immunity and it’s the reason why, say, if you had measles as a child you won’t get it again as an adult — you’re immune for your lifetime.
The many complexities of your immune system is another fascinating aspect of your body (deserving of an article in and of itself), but, getting back to proteolytic enzymes, one of their greatest benefits is that they significantly stimulate your immune system. According to Michael Sellar, editor of Enzyme Digest:[vii]
“With systemic oral enzymes we can get the benefit of drugs without their side effects and long-term dangers. They can help control inflammatory processes by lowering elevated inflammatory markers and boost many components of the immune system to fight bacterial and viral infections.”
So not only do proteolytic enzymes rid a virus of its protective outer coating, rendering it inert, they also boost your immune system, helping it to further rid your body of viruses, for an effective two-pronged virus-busting attack. “The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy” explains:[viii]
“Oral enzyme combinations … synergistically increase the antiviral effects of the immune system and the break-down of circulating immune complexes. Systemic enzyme therapy is used to fight the virus and strengthen the body as a whole. Enzymes also reduce inflammation, stimulate the immune system, improve circulation, help speed tissue repair, bring nutrients to the damaged area, remove waste products and enhance wellness.”
Washing your hands regularly with soap and water is actually one of the best ways to avoid getting infected with a virus in the first place, but should one gain entrance to your body, taking proteolytic enzymes like Heal-n-Soothe is one of the best preventive measures against viral illness that there is.