New Books by Xanya Sofra Ph.D

  1. Checkmate by Protean Invisible Enemy. COVID-19. The Danger Within
    Q: What is the Importance of Fitness?        
    A: During exercise, or its alternative that was introduced by a series of clinical trials, the body uses fat as an energy source to build muscle. As previously reported, adipose tissue displays an abundance of ACE2 receptors. COVID-19 Spike protein binds and fuses with the ACE2, releasing its viral contents into the cells. Fat is to COVID-19 what a flower field is to the bees. However, the more sparce the ACE2 receptors are, the less the opportunities COVID-19 will have to enter into the cells and commandeer our molecular machineries to duplicate itself.  ACE2 receptors expression is very limited in the muscle, according to research in human tissues [20]. The premise should be now clarified: The greater the number of ACE2 receptors as it is in the adipose tissue, the more the chances of COVID-19 spreading and overwhelming the body. The diminished ACE2 expression in muscle tissues, reduces the COVID-19 chances to proliferate, and gives the immune system more time to assemble its defences.  In a war, the size of the armed forces attacking, and the time of gathering recourses to defend and counterattack is crucial.  Similarly, the COVID-19 rate of transmissibility within the human body will depend on the number of COVID-19 receptors the virus can seize.  There are many in the fat, and a relatively low number in the muscles.  This does not mean that muscular individuals cannot contract COVID-19.  Anyone can be prey to this savvy new virus.  It is not whether or not we can be infected, but the speed of duplication and the magnitude of the viral contagion in our cellular networks that determine the difference between mild and severe symptomatology, or between life and death.


  1. 2.     Q: What are the COVID-19 key vulnerability factors?          
    A: Several factors that undermine health contribute to increased COVID-19 vulnerability, some of which are listed below.     
    1. Elevated low density lipoprotein (LDL)     
    2. Upraised very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)    
    3. Inadequate levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL)      
    4. Testosterone below the normal range         
    5. Escalated Cortisol        
    6. Reduced thyroid function and compromised metabolism.  Low T3.   
    7. Excess Visceral Adipose Tissue       
    8. Excess overall fat and obesity          
    9. Sedentary lifestyles      
    10. Absence of Fitness via either regular physical exercise or its effortless       alternative
    11. Growth Factor below the normal range    
    12. Elevated Bilirubin       
    13. Abnormal levels of Creatinine       
    14. Upraised C reactive protein (CRP) 
    16. Elevated proinflammatory Interleukins     
    17. Upheaved tumour necrosis factor   
    18. Heightened numbers of leucocytes, or white blood cells that are involved in both the adaptive and the immune system response to invading microorganisms.
    19. Hyperleptinemia        
    20. A disturbance in the balance of appetite hormone leptin and ghrelin resulting in hunger that inevitably leads to weight gain    
    21. Hyperglycaemia.         
    22. Insulin Resistance      
    23. Low BMR        
    25. High BMI        
    26. Old Age 

27. Hormonal Imbalance 
28. Being a Male    
29. Fatty Liver       
30. Increased lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells designed to recognize antigens that is primarily involved in the adaptive immune response. Lymphocytes indicate the presence of an infection or inflammation.
31. Pre-existing medical disorders, some of which are: Asthma, Diabetes, Cardiovascular illness, Hypertension, chronic respiratory disease, chronic liver disease, immunosuppressed conditions, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, cancer, organ transplant, asplenia, stroke or other neurological conditions [21]
32. Increased oxidative stress. Toxicity. Environmental pollution, smoking. 
33. Psychological Stress    
34. Crowded places          
35. Coughing, sneezing, talking, socially interacting without a facial covering.

  1. 3.     Q: What are the advantages of exercising?         
     Individuals with medical disorders have demonstrated the highest COVID-19 susceptibility rate. Exercise is the golden rule most frequently recommended by most medical professionals as part of empowering immunity [22, 23, 24, 25].  There is a large body of research specifically postulating that exercise:
    1. Uses fat as an energy source to build muscle        
    2. It decreases low density lipoprotein [26, 27]        
    3. It reduces inflammation [28]   
    4. It is necessary to treat hyperlipidemia and obesity [29, 30]      
    5. It decreases hyperglycaemia [31, 32, 33]    
    6. It enhances the growth hormone response (HGH).  HGH is not only involved in muscle building but bone integrity, collagen regulation and increased fat metabolism [34]       
    7. Animal studies have postulated that exercise influences lymphocyte function. 
    7. It decreases visceral fat that can be deleterious to vital organs 
    8. It reduces the incidence of fatty liver         
    9. It reduces overall fat     
    10. After 9 days of repeated physical activity fat oxidation was increased to an additional 24% within one hour, the equivalent to 4.5 kilograms of burned fat. [35].


  1. 4.    Q: Are there any adverse effects related to exercise?     
    Exercise has many advantages. There are, however, some disadvantages.  
    1. In the above study [36], training was reported to upregulate the gene expression of the fatty acid translocase (FAT/CD36) that mediates fatty acid effects on insulin secretion, but it also enhanced the constitutive expression of PR gene 1, (CPR1) that is a suppressor of pathogen signalling.       
    Prolonged exercise decreases leptin concentrations by 32% and increases free fatty acids as expected by the understanding that free fatty acids act as an energy replenishment mechanism after energy expenditure [37].  However, leptin reduction will reinforce increased food consumption after exercise, undermining the weight loss benefits.       
    3. Excessive exercise  is  perceived  by the body as a form of stress and stimulates the release ofcortisol that may cause tissue breakdown with over training leading to stress eating behaviours that are bound to compromise the benefits of exercise [38]. 
    4. Cortisol is involved in the conversion of protein to glucose potentially predisposing olderindividuals to type II diabetes [39].      
    5. Strenuous exercise, necessary to reduce visceral adipose tissue, is associated with a negative relationship between cortisol and testosterone. In other words, cortisol increases with a reciprocal decrease of testosterone.  High cortisol may precipitate weight gain, a higher susceptibility to infections, puffy or flushed face, mood swings, anxiety, acne and other skin disorders and a higher risk for bone fractures and osteoporosis.  Low testosterone will induce weight gain, fatigue, depression, joint pain, muscle weakness, respiratory problems and compromised sexual drive.  Therefore, both of these complementary hormonal fluctuations are in the wrong directionleading to hormonal imbalance that may ultimately offset the benefits obtained during exercise [40, ].   
    6. Importantly, during overtraining, which is often necessary for visceral fat reduction muscle-derived IL-6 is released into the circulation in high amounts resulting in increased inflammation [41].           

  2. 5.     Q: Is there an alternative to exercise?       
    A: A number of clinical studies have indicated that there is an alternative to exercise, a technology discovered in London University by the co-inventor of the first pacemaker, Gerald Pollock. This effortless exercise technique appears to solve the inverse negative cortisol / testosterone problem by demonstrating an increase in testosterone and a decrease of cortisol, but without any of these two variables falling outside the normal range. In short, cortisol appears to descend towards the bottom of the normal range in subjects with high cortisol, yet remain stable in individuals whose cortisol was already closer to the lower end of this dimension.  In contrast, testosterone appeared to climb towards the peak of the normal range in subjects with low testosterone or remain unchanged in those who already manifested high testosterone levels.  Other observed benefits following a course of treatments that varied from 12 to 20 treatments depending on the research project were as follows:     
    1. Growth Hormone ascended towards the peak of the normal range.      
    2. T3 was also elevated toward the top of the normal range.        
    3. There was a significant decrease in inflammation as indicated by the C reactive protein (CRP).         
    4. The very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) was significantly reduced.          
    5. The very high density lipoprotein (HDL) was significantly increased.         
    6. Triglycerides indicated a decline, returning into normalcy.      
    7. Creatine dropped down to be within the normal range.   
    8. Bilirubin was significantly reduced to be within normalcy.      
    9. Both fasting and postprandial glucose in diabetic patients descended to either prediabetic levels or within normalcy. 
    10Both fasting and postprandial insulin in prediabetic patients descended to either prediabetic levels or within normalcy. 
    11. There was a significant decrease in visceral fat. 
    12. Subcutaneous fat was also significantly reduced.         
    13. A significant decrease in BMI was demonstrated.        
    14. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) was optimally elevated.       
    15. There was a significant increase in skeletal muscle mass.      
    16. Leptin and Ghrelin returned to optimal levels.    
    17. Subjects reported normal appetite without cravings.     
    18. There was a substantial weight loss in kgs and upper abdomen, waist and  lower abdomen reduction in cm.        
    19. No adverse reactions or side effects were observed or reported by any of the subjects.

Q: Can a healthy lifestyle, exercise or its alternative prevent COVID-19 infection? 
A: Fitness and optimal lifestyle choices are the shield of health.  But we are still at war with COVID-19.  In a war casualties can happen at any time.  The survival of the fittest is the golden rule that applies here.  But that alone is not enough.  We need sophisticated defences like the vaccines, and effective pharmaceuticals to combat this cunning multifaceted virus. Everyone exposed to the virus will contract it.  But what determines the severity of symptomatology or the chance of fatality is what comes next.  Fitness and hormonal balance enhance our health status along with our immunity. Vaccines trigger the production of immune defences, the weapons we can use to prohibit or restrict viral entry or survive its deleterious consequences.  Hence the importance of taking all precautions possible against this inconspicuous invisible enemy that is always a step ahead