This episode of Bulletproof Radio is part one of a special two-part series. There was a lot to discuss about Covid-19 with Mansoor Mohammed, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of The DNA Company.
Today’s guest is widely regarded as a pioneer in medical genomics and has been the recipient of multiple academic and industry awards. He’s the holder of several patents in the general fields of molecular diagnostics and genomics research. Now you might think that we’re going to get into something scienc-y about DNA and coronavirus—and we are, but there’s so much more to consider.
For example, how DNA impacts your ability to fight Covid-19 and the vast ripple effect this pandemic is having across the world. There’s also an emotional effect, secondary to the pandemic, that very few people are talking about in any meaningful way.
Hardcore stress, anxiety, social isolation, employment and education disruption, and safety and security concerns are moving in waves across the world. Cortisol levels are up, inflammation is triggered, circadian rhythms are off, eating habits are upset—all making for a swirling storm of physical and mental health concerns beyond having the actual virus. For all of us.
And while it seems the Covid-19 illness doesn’t seem to be affecting youth as much as adults, we may be “leaving the youth out of the equation,” says Mansoor. “But those youth are equally likely to be affected by the emotional discord of seeing mom and dad scared, mom and dad fighting, parents worried, and they may not have the barometers by which to filter all of the stress that's societally going on.”
Turns out there’s a genetic link to how we process trauma. A percentage of our youth have a “profound genomic makeup that significantly predisposes them to a much more anxiety based, much more war-based response to what's going on,” Mansoor says. Adults are not immune, either. I had Mansoor check my own DNA; listen on to what he found.
“We're performing a societal experiment right now,” Mansoor continues. “And we need to be aware of this and we need to be aware of the multitude of effects this is going to have—not just acute viral infection and acute hospitalization. There are broader effects here that we need to speak of.”
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