COVID-19: The hidden cause of illness and death

"Acute renal failure"

The water – zinc - copper connection

By Janine Gallizia



COVID-19 "induces acute renal failure" through kidney tubule damage (necrosis) leading to respiratory congestion, lymphatic acidosis, heart failure, systemic inflammation…

BUT will ONLY induce severe symptoms in people with PRE-EXISTING chronic kidney disease


Human Kidney is a Target for Novel Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Infection. “CONCLUSIONS SARS-CoV-2 induces ARF (acute renal failure) in COVID-19 patients. Viruses directly infect human kidney tubules to induce acute tubular damage.” (1)

“The mortality rate was significantly higher among patients with SARS and acute renal impairment compared with those with SARS and no renal impairment (91.7% vs. 8.8%). (P < 0.0001)” …“Renal tissues revealed predominantly acute tubular necrosis with no evidence of glomerular pathology.” (2)  



  • What is a virus?

  • Why do some people with COVID-19 experience no or mild symptoms whilst others die?

  • The viral activation process – 3 ESSENTIAL phases for viral infection to occur

  • The COVID-19 pathway into the cells

  • What is the consequence of kidney tubule damage on health?

  • What happens when water reabsorption is compromised?

  • Who is at risk?

  • Explaining the early COVID-19 symptoms

  • Solutions

  • References


What is a virus?

Viruses are genetic material (DNA or RNA) enveloped in a protein coat. They are classified as « non-living ». There is nothing more abundant on Earth than viruses; there is an estimated 100 million more viruses on planet Earth than stars in our Universe. The current belief that all viruses are “bad” or dangerous mimics the past-belief that all bacteria are dangerous. The discovery of the microbiome changed this belief. The large majority play an essential role in our health and that of our universe, without viruses we could not survive. Viruses that cause infection can only be activated once they are delivered into a living host (human, animal or plant) cell.

Why do some people with COVID-19 experience no or mild symptoms whilst others die?

We are told this is due to our immune system, but what is our immune system? Our immune system is predominantly our lymphatic system. To what degree we are affected by bacterial or viral infections (including coronavirus COVID-19) is due to how well our lymphatic system functions, and the health of our lymphatic system depends on how well our kidneys function.  


The viral activation process – 3 ESSENTIAL phases for viral infection to occur

The cause of mortality COVID19.jpg

COVID-19 has spike proteins that protrude out from the surface of the virus. The tip of these spike proteins acts as a key that binds or connects with the ACE2 human cell receptor proteins (the compatible lock to the COVID-19 spike protein key). Together this key and lock connection allows the virus to enter the cell. In this manner ACE2 receptors are considered the pathway for COVID-19 to enter the human cell. ACE2 receptors are located along the membrane of kidney, lung, heart, brain, nose and gut cells. 

Viruses require 3 distinct processes to occur in order for the virus to become active, multiply and create a serious infection. If any one of these processes do not occur within the body the virus is eliminated from the body or remains dormant (asleep), producing no effect/symptoms.

Step 1: (3)

The cause of mortality COVID19step1.jpg

Viruses enter our cells by binding onto antennae-like receptors that protrude out from the cell membrane. This bonding process results in the fusion of the viral and cell membranes, which allows the virus to pass into the cell. The viral material is instantly and effectively encapsulated/quarantined into an endosome as a protective measure by the cell.

French Professor of microbiology and world-renowned expert of infectious diseases Dr Didier Raoult has been treating coronavirus patients successfully with Hydroxychloroquine, a simple medication which is well documented to inhibit virus entry combined with zinc supplementation (Zn2+) as zinc inhibits the uptake and replication of SARS-coronavirus by blocking the ACE2 receptors. (4)

The cause of mortality COVID19step2.jpg

Step 2:

The second step of virus activation is triggered by the influx of potassium ions passing through the M2 ion-channels along the cell membrane. The change from a sodium to a potassium-rich environment in maturing endosomes, decreases the pH of the environment within the endosomes which triggers the uncoating of the viral core inside the cell and the importation of the viral RNA into cell’s nucleus, where replication and transcription take place leading to infection. (5) A change in the pH within the endosome releases viral RNA, which enters our cell’s nuclei where it becomes activated, replicating to create infection.


Step 3:

Once viral matter is dispatched throughout the body, it is up to the immune system and specifically the lymphatic system to combat the infection. Our lymphatic system consists of a vascular system, glands and organs. It extends all throughout the body, it is connected to every cell via lymphatic vessels and the interstitial fluid (the liquid that surrounds each cell). Unlike the circulatory system the lymphatic system does not transport blood and plasma, it transports lymph, a white fluid that carries our white blood cells throughout the body and to areas of infection.


Image of the lymphatic system (6)​

The role of the lymphatic system is to transport hormones, to absorb and transport fatty acids and fats from the digestive system essential for our cells, remove waste/unwanted proteins/toxins and combat infectious matter. Our white blood cells include: Lymphocytes, Neutrophils, Monocytes and Macrophages, Natural Killer T-Cells, Dendritic Cells, Platelets and Endothelial Cells, etc. White blood cells are found in the lymph, lymphatic tissue and blood, they are produced in the bone marrow, lymph node and the thymus gland, they are an essential part of the immune response should a virus get passed stage 1 and 2 mentioned above.  

The COVID-19 pathway into the cells


CoVid19 enters cells by fusing with the ACE2 receptors along cell membranes. As such all cells that have ACE2 receptors become important doorways allowing the virus to enter that specific organ. The lungs, heart, brain, nose, gut and kidneys therefore all become targets for an accumulation of viral matter as the virus enters these organs.  


Focus has been placed on the respiratory challenges of CoVid19 however the underlying truth is that all organs and organ systems have demonstrated damage directly caused by the virus, but none creates greater havoc on a person’s health as the kidneys.


Alan Kliger, a nephrologist at the Yale School of Medicine who co-chairs a task force assisting dialysis patients who have coVid-19 explained that 14 to 30 percent of intensive-care patients in New York and Wuhan, China lost kidney function to the point of requiring dialysis. Stating “Almost half the people hospitalized because of covid-19 have blood or protein in their urine, indicating early damage to their kidneys”. (7)


Autopsies performed in Wuhan on people who died of coVid19, found that 9 of 26 patients had acute kidney injuries with SARS-CoV antibodies detected in the kidney tubules. (8)


The majority of ACE2 receptors in the kidneys are located in the kidney tubules. As such the kidney tubules are a pathway for CoVid19 to enter human cells.

What is the consequence of kidney tubule damage on health?

In an article published in Kidney International, the Official Journal of the International Society of Nephrology, we learned that “The mortality rate was significantly higher among patients with SARS and acute renal impairment compared with those with SARS and no renal impairment (91.7% vs. 8.8%) (P < 0.0001).” (9) but that “Renal tissues revealed predominantly acute tubular necrosis with no evidence of glomerular pathology.” (9) This is because it is the kidney tubules that regulate our body’s balance of water and electrolytes throughout the body in a process called osmoregulation. “Kidney tubules selectively reabsorb filtered water and electrolytes to regulate body water and electrolyte balance. The tubules can reabsorb most of the filtrated water by 99% via urinary concentration mechanisms. The tubules also reabsorb sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate.” (10)


What happens when water reabsorption is compromised? As water drains from the body so does life, as water is ESSENTIAL to maintain life!

When water reabsorption into the body is reduced, the body enters a condition that creates a form of dehydration in the cells, the blood, the interstitial fluid and the lymph, leading to a hypertonic state. Water is essential to maintain the structure, energy production and life of every cell. This dehydration of cells leaves the cell membrane thin and the cell deformed or shriveled. This reduces the capacity of the cell to make and stock energy, eliminate wastes and can result in cell and gene dysfunction. (11)

This cellular dehydration also causes congestion and stagnation of the lymph. No longer liquid, the lymph is unable to flow correctly to eliminate the acidic waste eliminated by every cell or the viral matter. When patients with chronic kidney impairment become infected with COVID-19 they already have a pre-existing chronically dehydrated and congested lymphatic system. When this occurs the immune/lymphatic system no longer flows correctly, therefore it is no longer able to transport the essential immune fighting white blood cells to infected areas efficiently which allows the virus to propagate further.

All cells produce acidic cellular waste which is deposited into the interstitial fluid surrounding the cells. When these acids cannot be drained away from the cells, due to interstitial dehydration and congestion, the acids accumulate and irritate the outer membrane of the organs and tissues. This acid accumulation leads to interstitial and lymphatic acidosis and results in a systemic inflammatory response. As a protective response to these stagnant burning acids the body increases the production of mucous to protect tissue damage by the acids, leading to further congestion. Interstitial acidosis greatly suppresses T cell-mediated immunity, required to fight the infection, greatly reducing the body’s ability to defend itself even further. (12) This systemic inflammatory condition caused by the accumulation of acids within the lymphatic system leads to an over stimulation of the immune system known as a cytokine storm.


Image of interstitial fluid (blue) surrounding cells, alongside a blood vessel. (13)

Who is at risk?

Everybody can contract COVID-19 and every person is at risk of cellular damage that occurs in tissues with numerous ACE2 receptors (brain, lungs, heart, gut, nose and the kidneys). The underlying cause of a degrading state of health is due to the disruption of the water recycling system because of kidney tubule damage. Until measures are taken to support and restore this kidney tubule damage, the potential health risks will continue. I believe the consequences of the kidney tubule damage from people infected by COVIDè-19 will be witnessed in the next few months to come, not due to a new wave of infection but due to the acute kidney damage.  


An official Italian document reporting the statistics of the Italian people who have died from COVID-19 was released 17/3/2020, by the Italian Superior Health Institute (ISS). (14) The statistics in this document reflect those documented more recently.


The average age of people dying with COVID-19 is approximately 80 years old. The average age of infection is 63 years old.  According to the Chinese CDC (Centers for Disease Control), children are not at all affected by Covid-19. Children less than 10 years of age represent less than 1% of the people contaminated.


Official ISS statistics - Death occurrence over different age groups (14):

  • 707 deaths between 70-79 years of age

  • 852 deaths between 80-89 years of age

  • 198 deaths over 90 years of age

  • 17 deaths under 50 years of age “5 of these people were under 40 years old, all men, aged between 31 and 39 years, with past serious pathologies”.


Aside from specific age groups being at risk, "99% of people who have died of COVID19 deaths in Italy had one or more PRE-EXISTING pathologies”. (14)


Explaining the early COVID-19 symptoms

The Official ISS report (14) published 17/03/20 stated that the most frequent early symptoms experienced by the Italians that have died from Covid-19 are:


  • Fever (77% of the cases)

  • Difficulty breathing (74% of the cases)

  • Cough (42% of the cases).


Fever - The skin is the biggest elimination organ in the human body. It is also often considered to be the body’s third kidney as the skin plays an important, often vital role, in the elimination of wastes IF kidney function is impaired. A fever is a natural self-preserving elimination function of the body brought about to eliminate waste fast. The body temperature will rise, causing the pores in the skin to dilate as the body pushes waste, toxins and infectious matter out of the body by perspiration and evaporation. A normal fever should by accompanied, not stopped. By taking medication to stop a fever the elimination process is haltered and the wastes accumulate further within the body.


Difficulty breathing – As the lymphatic system is congested, acids and mucous accumulate in the interstitial fluid around the cells. This reduces optimal lung capacity which leads to impaired breathing.


A cough - is a self-preserving natural mechanism of the body to clear out accumulating mucous from the congested lungs. Taking medication to stop the coughing process is not helpful for the elimination process. Coughing should be accompanied not stopped.


Treatment of COVID-19 should involve kidney and lymphatic support. Sadly these people are dying because of a pre-existing kidney impairment which is worsened due to COVID-19 infection. 



1) Masks, gloves and distancing can reduce contact with the virus.

2) Zinc – Adequate zinc ingestion from the diet or supplementation from your local pharmacy or health food shop inhibits viral entry and replication of SARS-CoVid2 (COVID-19). Zinc is also a very important anti-viral. Good food sources include “squash seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pecans, chia seeds, flax seeds, brazil nuts, and almonds.” (15)


3) Selenium – Adequate selenium ingestion from the diet or supplementation from your local pharmacy or health food shop inhibits viral replication of SARS-CoVid2 (Covid19) and also upregulates the body’s greatest virus inhibitor - P53. Good food sources include Brazil nuts, mushrooms, lima beans, Seeds (Sunflower, Sesame, chia and Flax) brown rice, broccoli, cabbage and spinach. (16)

4) Vitamin D3 – Adequate vitamin D3 synthesis can reduce risk of CoVid19 infections by lowering viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines. (17)


5) Copper 1 – Raw fruit and vegetables. Copper 1 and zinc are antagonists, meaning the level of one will affect the other. Zinc inhibits viral uptake and replication. Zinc is used to combat viral infection which can cause a zinc deficiency in other areas of the body, as such zinc supplementation is important in the case of viral infection. When zinc levels rise, free-copper 1 levels drop. A balance must be maintained between the two. Zinc supplementation without copper 1 intake in viral infections can further reduce free circulating copper 1, therefore reduce oxygen transportation into cells leading to a state of hypoxia (cellular oxygen deficiency), a reduction in cellular energy production (ATP) and a reduction in tissue repair as copper 1 is the precursor of collagen and elastin which are required to make and repair new tissue. All of which are witnessed in coVid19 patients. Copper in supplement form is a toxic form of copper (2), as opposed to the required copper 1, therefore only food sources should be considered as Emeritus Professor George J Brewer confirms. (18)

The best food source of copper 1 are foods high in vitamin C content as vitamin C contains the cofactor tyrosinase which is abundant in copper 1. As such foods high in vitamin C balance zinc, combat viral infection, hydrate the lymphatic system, remove the acidic waste from the body and support the kidney tubules by swiftly repairing damaged tissue is fruits and vegetables including: lemons, kiwis, grapefruit, red bell peppers, berries, melons, etc.

6) Sleep – Sleep is necessary to induce repair of tissue and help combat infection.

7) MOVE! To clean out the lymphatic system the body requires movement. The heart pumps the blood around the body. The lymph nodes in the lymphatic system are predominantly in our joints: neck, armpits, groin, knees, spine. This is because the lymphatic system requires the movement of our body to push lymph through the body.  




1) Bo Diao, Chenhui Wang, Rongshuai Wang, Zeqing Feng, Yingjun Tan, Huiming Wang, Changsong Wang, Liang Liu, Ying Liu, Yueping Liu, Gang Wang, Zilin Yuan, Liang Ren, Yuzhang Wu, Yongwen Chen. Human Kidney is a Target for Novel Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Infection. MedRxiv 2020.03.04.20031120; doi:   


2) Chu KH1, Tsang WK, Tang CS, Lam MF, Lai FM, To KF, Fung KS, Tang HL, Yan WW, Chan HW, Lai TS, Tong KL, Lai KN. Acute renal impairment in coronavirus-associated severe acute respiratory syndrome. Kidney Int. 2005 Feb;67(2):698-705.




4) Aartjan J. W. te Velthuis, Sjoerd H. E. van den Worm, Amy C. Sims, Ralph S. Baric, Eric J. Snijder, Martijn J. van Hemert. Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture. Published: November 4, 2010.


5) Ari Helenius. What has pH got to do with it? Institute of Biochemistry, ETH Zurich, HPM E6.3, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland. Virus entry: NATURE CELL BIOLOGY VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 2 | FEBRUARY 2013).


6) Image of the lymphatic system


7) Lenny Bernstein, Carolyn Y. Johnson, Sarah Kaplan and Laurie McGinley. Coronavirus destroys lungs. But doctors are finding its damage in kidneys, hearts and elsewhere. Washington Post. April 15, 2020.


8) Su, Hua et al. Renal histopathological analysis of 26 postmortem findings of patients with COVID-19 in China. Kidney International, Volume 0, Issue 0.


9) Chu KH1, Tsang WK, Tang CS, Lam MF, Lai FM, To KF, Fung KS, Tang HL, Yan WW, Chan HW, Lai TS, Tong KL, Lai KN. Acute renal impairment in coronavirus-associated severe acute respiratory syndrome. Kidney Int. 2005 Feb;67(2):698-705.


10) Jeonghwan Lee, Kipyo Kim, Sejoong Kim

Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Republic of Korea. Microfluidics in Cell Biology Part A: Microfluidics for Multicellular Systems. Methods in Cell Biology; Volume 146, 2018, Pages 85-104.


11) Chris YK Cheung and Ben CB Ko.

NFAT5 in cellular adaptation to hypertonic stress – regulations and functional significance. Journal of Molecular Signaling. 2013; 8: 5.


12) Fernando Erra Díaz, Ezequiel Dantas, and Jorge Geffner. Unravelling the Interplay between Extracellular Acidosis and Immune Cells. Hindawi. Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas en Retrovirus y SIDA (INBIRS), Universidad de Buenos Aires, CONICET, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Volume 2018 |Article ID 1218297


13) Lakna. Difference Between Plasma and Interstitial Fluid. November 21, 2017.


14) 17/3/2020, Istituto Superiore di Sanità – ISS (Italian Superior Health Institute).


15) Top 10 Nuts and Seeds Highest in Zinc


16) The 7 Best Vegetarian Foods for Selenium


17) Nutrients. 2020 Apr 2;12(4). pii: E988. doi: 10.3390/nu12040988. Evidence that Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths. By Grant WB1, Lahore H2, McDonnell SL3, Baggerly CA3, French CB3, Aliano JL3, Bhattoa HP4.  


18) Professor George Brewer – How to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease. Health and Medicine, Scientia. Nov 21, 2018.

The contents of this document are presented as helpful information. This document is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any medical condition. For diagnosis or treatment, please consult a medical professional. Your personal medical professional should always be consulted when beginning any new regimen or diet treatment for a medical condition or when making the decision to try any alternative medicines recommended for general physical health or mental health or for the treatment of a specific health condition, illness, or disease. The author is not responsible for medical conditions requiring professional supervision, nor they liable for any damage or negative consequences for any specific health actions resulting from reading this informational document. References are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of any website or other resource on the part of the author. The author has not been compensated to list any such resources. Readers should be aware that the websites listed in the document might change.

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