PublicNews18: Beyond COVID-19: hinokitiol is also antibacterial and antifungal
hinokitiol has been used in traditional medicine as therapy for infections, and has demonstrated effectiveness against infectious organisms such as Staph, again, in conjunction with zinc. Showing antifungal properties by preventing fungal wood rotting makes it a promising topical therapy for infection. All this portends well for treatment of eczema and/or ectopic dermatitis or fungal infections on the skin.
A product (patent no. 2020900820 ) under the brand name, Dr ZinX, takes advantage of the antiviral properties of zinc. Containing both a source for zinc and the RNA-inhibitor hinokitiol that introduces the zinc into the cells, replication of COVID-19 has been demonstrated to be interrupted . Since Dr ZinX is an oral application, it makes sense that it will do the most good in the area where the virus initially begins multiplying—the mouth, the source of infectious droplets with coughing and sneezing.
hinokitiol is also antibacterial and antifungal
Hinokitiol has been tested successfully as antiviral, first noted in the SARS outbreak (also a coronavirus) prior to the appearance of COVID-19. Dr ZinX has a proprietary concentration of the hinokitiol that is felt necessary for efficacy and therefore offers an advantage over products without the crucial patented concentration.
Hinokitiol (β-thujaplicin) is a natural monoterpenoid found in the wood of trees in the family Cupressaceae. It is a tropolone derivative and one of the thujaplicins. Hinokitiol is widely used in oral care and treatment products. Hinokitiol is a zinc and iron ionophore, additionally it is approved as a food additive.
The name of hinokitiol originates from the fact it was originally isolated in Taiwanese hinoki in 1936. It is almost absent in Japanese hinoki while it is contained in high concentration (about 0.04% of heartwood mass) in Juniperus cedrus, Hiba cedar wood (Thujopsis dolabrata) and Western red cedar (Thuja plicata). It can be readily extracted from the cedarwood with solvent and ultrasonication.
Hinokitiol is structurally related to tropolone, which lacks the isopropyl substituent. Tropolones are well-known chelating agents.
Can an RNA-inhibitor be useful?
As an MD practitioner in obstetrics and gynecology and in primary care for over 35 years, and as an experienced medical writer and lecturer, I have to navigate the same world everyone else does, but with the insight that a medical vocation has given me. Even though the COVID-19 virus is new to us, I have some thoughts on one of the ways to fight it—by fighting its ability to reproduce (replicate).
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented issues with containment for three reasons:
1. It is a “novel” virus, meaning humans have never been exposed to it before, therefore lacking immunity.
2. It is very contagious, easily infecting a person by mere contact with droplets from an infected person.
3. It has a long “incubation” period, that is, the time from acquiring the infection and developing symptoms.
These conditions all conspire to spread it quickly and universally, especially the long incubation period (2 weeks), which means a person can unknowingly expose countless people while not realizing the danger he or she is creating. Nevertheless, researchers are firmly on the learning curve about this virus and are using their knowledge to lessen its danger.
COVID-19 is an RNA virus, so an RNA-inhibitor can be useful
An RNA virus is a single-stranded genetic instruction set (our DNA is a double strand). The virus makes a special protein that favors insertion into lung tissue cells and gastrointestinal tissue. Thus, COVID-19’s lung disease and diarrhea demonstrate the virus’ affinity for these types of tissue (pneumonia, pneumonitis, and diarrhea).
An “RNA-inhibitor” interferes with the normal goings-on of the RNA virus’ insertion into our cells. RNA-inhibitor activity has been identified in natural sources, one of which is hinokitiol (beta-thujaplicin), found in certain woods (red and Hiba cedar, etc.). Research has determined that its actions are dependent on an abundant supply of zinc, which is brought into cells via hinokitiol-dependent mechanisms. In fact, zinc has been used for treatment of the common cold virus for generations. Its ability to be toxic to cancer cells may explain why people with cancer may experience a zinc deficiency .
For its antiviral properties, the combination of hinokitiol + zinc has been shown to be useful when used in a frequent portal of entry for COVID-19, the mouth , which is where it is theorized to replicate before spreading to your lungs.