JMHSB–Covid Article

Moore, T.O. & Rasayon, N.K.(2021). J Ment Health Soc Behav, 3(1): 133 

Journal of Mental Health and Social Behaviour 

Milieu Relevance of Melanin’s Antiviral Effects and Interventions to the  COVID-19 Pandemic  

T. Owens Moore1, Ph.D., Niyana K. Rasayon, MA2*., Ph.D. 

1Department of Psychology, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA 30314. United States. 

2*Division of Social & Behavioral Sciences, University of The District of Columbia, Washington, DC, 20008. United States. 

Article Details 

Article Type: Review Article 

Received date: 15th January, 2021 

Accepted date: 02nd March, 2021 

Published date: 05th March, 2021 

 *Corresponding Author: Niyana K. Rasayon, MA., Ph.D., Division of Social & Behavioral Sciences, University of The  District of Columbia, Washington, DC, 20008. United States. E-mail: 

Citation: Moore, T.O. & Rasayon, N.K. (2021). Milieu Relevance of Melanin’s Antiviral Effects and Interventions to the  COVID-19 Pandemic. J Ment Health Soc Behav 3(1):133. Copyright: ©2021, This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License  4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are  credited. 


 The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected melanin dominant people, while on the continent of Africa, this novel strain  does not appear to have decimated the population. Contrary to  many scientific expectations, native Africans on the continent are  less impacted compared to the global number of infections in other  regions of the world. Therefore, an analysis of the role of melanin  and milieu should be assessed by healthcare providers who have a  concern for melanin-dominant populations. Questions are raised that  Melanin has antiviral effects and there are additional factors derived  from comorbidity that impact the susceptibility to Severe Acute  Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) embedded in  institutional racism (aka the system of white supremacy-Milieu).  Dietary practices, access to healthcare, lifestyle and genetics can  influence the severity of illnesses associated with contracting this  virulent coronavirus via intense erratic activation of the immune  system among those subjected to a plethora of chronic societal  stressors. In summary, this article will address the effects of this  crisis on people of African descent and suggest alternative treatments  as an intermediary, rather than exclusive reliance on a vaccine as  preventative treatment. The relevance of such discourse is critical  given America’s medical history, which has fostered profound  distrust among her melanin-dominant citizenry. 

Environmental Factors, Marginalization and Access to  Intervention 

 From historical evidence, one could speculate on whether this  pandemic could have been conceived as a potential military tool,  which would suggest that it was man made or a potential biological  weapon [1]. Conversely, what we can accurately report on is the  science behind how Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus  2 (SARS-CoV-2) effects manifest at a cellular level and degrades  one’s ability to maintain adequate delivery of oxygen throughout the  body. SARS-CoV-2 is the novel virus identified as the cause of the  current pandemic, aka the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Upon inquiry several questions are raised. Does milieu, lifestyle  and environment, the marginalization of resources and access to  health care, all functions of structural racism morph into a critical  link regarding Covid-19 diagnosis? Clearly, such factors merit  scrutiny and detailed evaluations as evidenced by melanin-dominant  people’s vulnerability to this pandemic in densely populated areas  with advanced technological resources. These variables were  highlighted in interviews done by the BBC World News host  Stephen John Sackur of HARD Talk. More importantly, they were  

confirmed by South Africa’s Government Advisor Virologist Professor  Barry Schoub. It is noteworthy that his position is comparable to the  lauded position held by the USA’s Chief Epidemiologist Anthony  Fauci, who has again been appointed to lead a team of doctors,  scientists, and public health professional to convince and deliver the  “VACCINES” to the populace throughout the United States.  

 Global reports on the African continent, which is heavily  concentrated with darkly pigmented people (melanin-dominant),  indicates that the level of decimation seems to be less widespread,  unless one is collecting data in regions of South Africa. In retrospect,  early reports had taken the position that only elderly people were  vulnerable [2], which was suggested to be exacerbated by proximity,  immune system resilience and marginal mobility. Today we are  acutely aware that the signature trail of COVID-19 is other than  that. In fact, middle-aged as well as small children can contract the  various illnesses associated with this novel coronavirus. Further, it  appears that this Virus is an opportunistic virulent disease. However,  there are some signature expressive characteristics that need to  be better understood as we attempt to explore solutions for this  swiftly spreading contagion. Whether manufactured or naturally  occurring, this coronavirus has wreaked havoc on world populations,  undermined how humans eulogize their loved ones across cultures,  and destabilized economies. In this scientific analysis of the current  literature and active researchers, we will explore the science behind  why some people are more impacted by the severity of SARS-CoV-2.  With interwoven themes intimately connected to melanin in science  and health, as well as the profound yet summarily muted variable of  one’s milieu – Structural and Environmental racism. Unfortunately,  beneath the rubric of comorbidity- the impact and the effects of  this crisis on people of African descent (interchangeable with the  term melanin dominant humans) is dismissed or nuanced under  cumulative health problems, rather than definitive acknowledgment  of institutional racism, euphemistic narratives embedded in  socioeconomic disparities, comorbidity and marginalized access to  health care are paraded before our eyes and ears in the media. 

 When considering over looked factors, there are some interesting  connections between melanin [3], electronic technology [4], and  the spraying of pollutants in the air [5] that can possibly affect the  intensity of the infections. Also lacking in the media are reports on  the specific mechanisms that are causing the illnesses associated with  contracting SARS-CoV-2. Neither are we updated on findings in  antivirals being developed. For example, Dr. Donald Alcendor, who  is a Molecular Virologist and Associate Professor of Microbiology

J Ment Health Soc Behav JMHSB, an open access journal Volume 3. 2021. 133  

Page 2 of 9 

and Immunology at Meharry Medical College, currently proposed  interventions for the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, he asserts that,  “When the virus gets inside the cell, the protein layer around the  virus somewhat opens up and allows the virus to drift inside the  cytoplasm,” said Dr. Alcendor. “Our reagent will interact with the  virus at that moment so that if you interact at a very early stage, there’s  no down stream viral proteins that are going to be made. So, it will  shut replication down at the earliest stages and there are no viruses  going to be made. We shut the virus down completely.” Furthermore,  we seldom hear reports about the effectiveness of treatments with  agents such as interferon [6, 7]. Instead, we have an inundation of  news stories about a potential vaccine for the entire world to be  inoculated, while aware of the collective mistrust and ambivalence  people of African descent harbor due to past preventative “protocols”  and nefarious acts chronicled in history of medical experimentation  on such populations. Harriet A. Washington the author of Medical  Apartheid and Deadly Monopolies has produced comprehensive  documentation which strongly suggest other treatments and  perspectives may be merited rather than ‘Godly Hope’ tied to a  vaccine.  

 It is quite clear that no one is immune from potentially contracting  this virus. The reason is because everyone possesses the biological  machinery that allows the virus to enter human cells. From the outset,  viruses have neither legs to crawl nor wings to fly. There are ongoing  scientific debates on whether viruses are alive [8], but we do know  that viruses need to hijack your cellular components to replicate and  survive. What COVID-19 has shown us is that viruses can easily  survive if the contagion is in an airborne state, colloidal, aresolic or  in distinct droplets, which has been agreed upon by virologists [9]. 

 Too much of the daily discussion is on waiting for a vaccine that  will be potentially useless against a virus that continues to mutate  [10]. For people of African descent, emphasis should be placed on  treatment, lifestyle change, and a biopsychosocial approach that can  potentially diminish one’s susceptibility to a threatening load of viral  particles. 

 For example, there is a spike protein on SARS-CoV-2 that latches  onto a specific protein receptor called angiotensin converting enzyme  2(ACE2). When the sticky virus and spike latch onto the ACE2 cell,  it is like a burglar finding the key under the doormat. Since this  coronavirus is so sticky and lethal, one might ask if it was purposely  manipulated to target a specific biological system. 

 For people of African descent, there has been a history of  exploitation on many levels [11, 12]. When we refer to science  experiments, there is a large body of research demonstrating how  western medicine and “white” scientists have experimented on black  populations worldwide [13, 14]. Therefore, it is easy to assume the  mortality of the COVID-19 impact has been more severe in melanin 

dominant communities in the United States. Some reports reveal 8  out of 10 COVID-19 related deaths reported in the US have occurred  among adults 65 and older [15]. However, age is only one factor  involved in the contraction of SARS-CoV-2. Although less studied,  blood type might increase susceptibility and genetics may play a role  as well. Some studies have shown, however, that 58% of the immune  system is almost completely determined by nongenetic factors [15].  Therefore, it is lifestyle that becomes important to emphasize, as well  as environment. 

 Among those who were hospitalized with COVID-19, 34% had  diabetes, 42% were obese and 57% had high blood pressure [15]. In  black communities in the US, these health challenges plaguing the  community can be attributed to lifestyle and access to healthcare.  There is a hesitancy to say lifestyle choices because a person may  not have a choice to shop anywhere else but a cheap dollar store.  General Dollar, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are places where  diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular illnesses begin for many poor 

and low-income people. We are speaking of food deserts in which  there are no healthy and live food establishments to choose from  daily. Compound this with the lack of locations to exercise in a safe  park and this increases the manifestation of illnesses.  

 Collectively, these environmental factors amplify the significant  impact of milieu and structural/institutional racism combined with  the daily grind and collective stressors of one trying to navigate a  racist society. 

Global Dysregulation 

 The structure of capitalism has grossly impacted health on a grand  scale. The system of mass consumption, for example, has our physical  bodies out of order, and it has caused our bodies to manifest many  unwanted immune problems. Chronic inflammation, autoimmune  diseases, and food allergies stem from an excessive consumption 

oriented society that is abound with stressful life experiences.  Detrimental levels of cortisol are a typical hormonal response to  one’s efforts to navigate systemic racism. 

 Chronic inflammation are common manifestations associated  with a range of diseases from diabetes, high blood pressure and  obesity. Even a neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s disease  and similar forms of dementiaa reviewed as chronic inflammatory  disorders. In relation to COVID-19, when a viral infection happens  during chronic inflammation, the immune system may either not  be able to mount an appropriate response or it tries to overcome  it leading to a “cytokine storm.” The storm is a massive influx of  immunoresponsive chemicals that are trying to re-establish balance  in the body. 

 The American diet and the mass consumption of processed foods  can set the body up for failure. High fructose corn syrup and sugary  foods can attribute to diabetes. High salt content in fried foods  contribute to hypertension and a host of other cardiovascular issues.  The combination of these poor dietary choices and a sedentary  lifestyle contributes to the high incidence of obesity. Capitalistic  systems are typically wedded to selective material gain or greed,  rather than concerns about a healthy citizenry. The priority is to make  money. As people are trying to make money, their lives become more  stressed while trying to accumulate quantifiable wealth. With the high  stress of social conditions, the body can become dysregulated and  begin to fight itself. In fact, there are nearly 80 distinct autoimmune  diseases, all of which seem to share the common underlying issue  of the body’s immune system attacking itself [16]. Moreover,  autoimmune diseases can attack joints, glands, the digestive system,  and the nervous system. Invariably, combined degradation of the  human body functioning as a system undermine healthy cognitive  functioning. 

 During the hustle of life and the monotonous routines, the stressful  life experiences can cause cells to attack each other. Subsequently,  an overtaxed, weakened, or dysregulated immune system can allow  SARS-CoV-2 to wreak havoc throughout the entire body. 

 In this capitalistic society, processed foods and mass marketing  are the key modes of operation and profit. The addition of artificial  substances in foods and the rates of allergies from items such as nuts,  milk or shellfish can trigger the immune system to overfire [15]. As a  result, one is more vulnerable to compromises in their health. 

 Over years of capitalistic development, our bodies have been  exposed to thousands of chemicals like heavy metals, industrial  pollutants, and pesticides. In some cases, the chemicals can be  immune activating and cause inflammation or immunosuppressive  and make the body susceptible to attack [7]. 

 Overall, this global dysregulation is not only affecting citizens  of the United States, but populations throughout the world who are  trying to emulate the American way of living are now experiencing  many physical abnormalities linked to a poor diet and lifestyle. 

J Ment Health Soc Behav JMHSB, an open access journal Volume 3. 2021. 133  

Page 3 of 9 

For melanin-dominant people living in a capitalistic society, SARS CoV-2 is greatly impacting overall health. A general decrease in  physical exercise, ever increasing levels of microaggressions,  continual stress and advancing age are factors that have laid siege to  our immune system like never before [17]. 

 The COVID-19 pandemic has shown we are not immune to  anything; actually, we are susceptible to everything and what we must  do is build a defense mechanism system and maintain a context for  discussions about vaccines for mass immunization. It is no secret that  a number of melanin dominant people have profound reservations,  regardless of the reported efficacy. By living in a capitalistic system,  you are forced to defend yourself every day against the onslaught of  overt and covert acts that make it unusually difficult to make a decent  living. The cumulative impact of these attacks which occur in many  forms, demand reasonable access to information and resources for  greater preparedness to thrive and survive. 

 It is a matter of fact that any science reported in this article could  change in a matter of weeks. The novel coronavirus has World Health  agencies (i.e., WHO) and reputable science agencies (i.e., CDC)  confused and changing the story on a weekly basis on how to respond  to the pandemic. One could easily surmise, based on “scientific  commentaries” that experts are practicing on people and the lives  of innocent people are profoundly compromised or sacrificed when  poorly researched health advice is continually given. 

Entry Point 

 Like most colds and viruses, the transmission is airborne. The  point of entry into the body could be by the mouth, eyes, and nose.  Therefore, in those places of moisture is where the virus can lurk and  attack the entire body in a stealth like manner. The skin, the hair and  ears are other points of entry into the body, but there is no evidence that  SARS-CoV-2 enters through these non-moist areas. Yet, viral particles  can remain viable until naively being transferred to a moist area later 

Melanin is at the core of this discussion when comparing the effects  of pathogens on ethnicities. Different ethnic groups, for example,  display different levels of the pigment on the external layer of the  body. Genetically speaking, the amount of melanin on the outside  of the body impacts the overall function of melanin internally [18]. 

 As a complex biopolymer, melanin can serve as a double-edged  sword. On the positive side, it protects cells from foreign agents  to keep the body fit. On the negative side, melanin can absorb  and collect toxic material, and this can eventually lead to cellular  damage. Having melanin, however, is a needed sword to fight against  a multitude of illnesses, so the presence of melanin is a biological  advantage [19]. 

 You can have total control over your body as a vessel for life and  good health by understanding what is going into your body. For  example, this lacks practicality for most people, however, it is worth  mentioning. If you grew your own food, there would be no need to  read the label on items. The capitalistic society we live in manipulates  access to what we consume. Many items that are processed for your  consumption are easily made available and marketed, even when  science clarifies how you could be adversely impacted. When you  are eating manufactured items, you have lost control over your life.  You can have some semblance of control by at least reading what is  on the label, that is, assuming the jargon does not require a degree  in chemistry. With so many chemicals, it is difficult to call it food.  People are sicker today and unhealthier than the past because of the  numerous chemical concoctions that are masquerading as food. The 

body is under constant attack from all these chemicals and the long term effect is a weakened defense system. When you get sick, you do  not want to wait for medical treatment that may never come. Taking  control of your health is the first defense to maintain a healthy system.  Table 1 demonstrates food items that can support the immune system,  particularly in today’s climate. [Insert Table 1 here]. 

Vegetables [Kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, collard greens, cauliflower, and cabbage]
Fruits [Watermelon, strawberries, peaches, and citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes,  kiwi, and cantaloupe)]
Quinoa (A gluten-free seed that offers a healthy balance of essential amino acids, and is a good source  of protein for vegan and vegetarians)
White button  mushroom(A friendly source of vitamin D2)
Honey (Used as a natural sweetener that can have anti-bacterial properties and the ability to hinder  cancer cell proliferation)
Adapted from Moore, J.G. and Chilcoat, A. (2020). Purple Mind: Shield of Protection. Institute of Medical  Imaging Procedures.

Table 1. Key Foods that Support the Immune System 

Since ACE2 receptors are the major entry site into biological cells,  we need to understand the diabolical nature of this coronavirus and  how it wreaks havoc on multiple systems. The ACE2 receptor is a  hook for the spike protein on SARS-CoV-2. The receptor or hook is  found throughout the body to affect respiration, blood pressure and  cardiovascular integrity. The nose appears to be a sufficient reservoir  because the olfactory cells lining the upper part of the nose contain  up to 700 times more ACE2 receptors than cells lining the rest of the  nose and windpipe that leads to the lungs [20].  

 In addition to ACE2 receptors, TMPRSS2 receptors are good  hooks for coronaviruses [20]. Both receptors are found in the  eyes, intestines, and noses of humans. By looking at the range of  symptoms and related illnesses linked to SARS-CoV-2 (See Table  2) [Insert Table 2 here], it is the presence of these receptors in these  various body regions that can explain the reason for the wide range  of illnesses. 

Fever Muscle Pain
Lethargy Cough
Sore throat Shortness of breath
Diarrhea Loss of smell/taste

Table 2.Illnesses linked to SARS-CoV-2 Infections

 J Ment Health Soc Behav JMHSB, an open access journal Volume 3. 2021. 133  

Page 4 of 9 

ACE2 Hardware 

 All over the body there exist ACE2 receptors in pigmented areas  that are moist with a connection to blood, oxygen, and air flow. The  ACE2 receptor hardware is important to understand how the body  is constructed to keep a healthy state. Moreover, the antiviral and  antioxidant properties of melanin are found in these moist passage  ways to prevent or sequester the entry of harmful substances.  Therefore, melanated areas of the body can be attractive locations for  viral agents to attach and cause a host of physical ailments. 

 Along with these moist areas, the constant flow of blood through  the body must be maintained and regulated. When people experience  hyper- or hypotension, these effects can have devastating bodily  consequences. Of the many factors controlling blood flow, ACE2  becomes critical to understand in the context of the COVID-19  pandemic. When one speaks of “blood pressure,” it is the arterial  pressure that is usually referred to versus venous pressure. All our organ  systems require blood flow and these intricate mechanisms associated  with blood pressure are adversely impacted by SARS-CoV-2.   The kidneys, for example, have receptors that react to the changes  in blood pressure. As darkly pigmented organs, the kidneys are  especially important to help filter the body from toxins entering from  the blood. Kidney failure can result when there is a lack of water for  a long period of time. During dehydration as well as the exertion of  physical activity, blood pressure is increased to maintain the right  electrolyte balance, and it starts with the kidney filtration system.  

 Acids, bases, and salts are known as electrolytes because when in  water solution, they conduct an electric current. Melanin is a natural  semi-conductor, so it is able to add charge to the body and act like a  battery. Therefore, pigmented cells containing melanin can be highly  reactive to various elements with a charge. Water, electrolytes, and  melanin can be considered the basic elements of life and the body has  developed sophisticated mechanisms to ensure the sustenance of the  human body on a chemical level. Reduction of blood flow through  the kidney, for example, sends messages to the brain to release an  antidiuretic hormone (i.e., vasopressin) to constrict blood vessels to  conserve fluid. In this process, the kidneys release the enzyme called  renin because the afferent arterioles respond to pressure changes.  This generalized constriction of the arterioles causes a compensatory  increase in arterial pressure [21]. 

 The force of the heartbeat changes to affect multiple organ systems,  and the increased blood pressure overcomes the effects of the  vasoconstriction. This is all controlled by chemical factors that can  be disrupted by SARS-CoV-2. Hypertension has a detrimental effect  on the heart because the increased peripheral resistance is a force  against which the heart must forcefully contract. Blood pressure is  raised above normal when the distensibility of the arteries is reduced.  High pressure causes vessels in the head and brain to be overfilled  with blood, and impairment of brain function may occur. On the  other hand, hypotension is when the pressure is below normal, and if  untreated it results in damage to the heart and kidney and increases  the likelihood of strokes. All of which the collective body of medical  literature affirms to be related to systemic racism and poor dietary  practices which are fueled by structural and environmental racism. 

 From the kidneys, the enzyme renin converts angiotensin I into  angiotensin II. Beyond the brain, renin in the blood activates the  plasma globulin known as angiotensinogen to form angiotensin  I [22]. Under the influence of another plasma enzyme, the two  amino acid units are split off from angiotensin I to form angiotensin  II. Angiotensin II is a very potent vasoconstrictor, and it raises  blood pressure. Therefore, an effective pharmacological treatment  for blood pressure can be ACE2 inhibitors (e.g., Captopril and  Lisinopril) for some people. Given the nature of the discussion  in this article, the use of ACE2 inhibitors to treat blood pressure  can make the body more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. One does  not need to do another study or comb the literature to clarify who  are the people disproportionately diagnosed with hypertension. 

Calcium channel blockers like Amlodipine, however, may be  effective, and monotherapy with diuretics have been prescribed  for some high blood pressure patients. Many people are given  “water pills” or diuretics to treat high blood pressure. The diuretics  prescribed are most likely thiazide diuretics to reduce blood  pressure and Chlorthalidone which is a type of water pill. From a  neuroendocrine perspective, the body’s natural antidiuretic hormone  is known as vasopressin. Vasopressin is a neuropeptide that helps  the body to conserve water and the resultant effect is a raising of  blood pressure. Therefore, water pills are counteracting a natural  mechanism that has evolved since the existence of humanity to keep  us properly hydrated. In the process of excessive urination from  water pills, these diuretics help rid the body of salt and water and this  can relieve high blood pressure. 

 Angiotensin II also helps trigger thirst, and when angiotensin II  reaches the brain, it stimulates neurons in the areas adjoining the  third ventricle called the circumventricular organs. Those neurons  send axons to the hypothalamus, where they release angiotensin II as  their neurotransmitter [23].  

 Angiotensin II stimulates the release of aldosterone from the adrenal  cortex. In humans, aldosterone is the only physiologically important  mineralocorticoid, and mineralocorticoids play an important part in  regulating electrolyte metabolism [24]. Its primary function seems  to be to maintain homeostasis of blood sodium concentrations.  For example, aldosterone stimulates renal cells to increase their  reabsorption of sodium ions from tubule urine back into blood.  Because of its primary sodium re-absorbing effect on kidney  tubules, aldosterone tends to produce sodium and water retention but  potassium and hydrogen ion loss. 

 In sum, angiotensin II stimulates the zona glomerulosa of the adrenal  cortex to increase its secretion of aldosterone. It has been noted that  the pineal gland can secrete a hormone that stimulates aldosterone  secretion, and this makes sense because the pineal gland is located  next to and near the circumventricular organs in the third ventricle. 

Any alteration in this processing of sodium levels can influence  energy levels. Therefore, the lethargy associated with contracting  SARS is a very real experience. The mental fog in the normal flu-like  tiredness is due to disrupted homeostasis. 

 Aldosterone is a steroid-shaped compound that looks like the stress  hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is a glucocorticoid, and there has been  an over reliance on glucocorticoids as anti-inflammatory agents.  The challenge now is to develop anti-inflammatory drugs with equal  efficacy to glucocorticoids without the associated side effects [7,25] 

to treat COVID-19 symptoms.  

 The brain and the immune system express many neuropeptides and  cytokines in common, and this has led to the proposition that immuno  neuropeptides may be involved in the etiology of, or response to,  processes which lead to immunological dysfunction [25]. The critical  role played by immuno neuropeptides is the modulation of cytokine  secretion from the lymphocytes in response to glucocorticoids and  catecholamines released into the blood during inflammation or  stress. Since activated T cells and B cell lymphocytes can express  neuropeptides associated with stress reactions and pain relief,  research into this sophisticated system for the control of inflammatory  processes is essential for the development of specific and selective  therapeutic compounds which can be directly targeted to the site of  the inflammation. Characterization of the cytokine profile released  by lymphocytes in response to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis  (HPA) and sympathetic medullary system (SMS) activation may  provide insight into why so many inflammatory autoimmune diseases  are exacerbated by stress [25]. This begs the issue of clarity and  simplicity to help better understand the signature “cytokine storms”  associated with this virus. 

Melanin Reservoir 

 It is very disturbing how there is no clear discussion on the proper  use of blood pressure medicines, diet alterations, or ethno-specific 

J Ment Health Soc Behav JMHSB, an open access journal Volume 3. 2021. 133  

Page 5 of 9 

treatments that could be managed. Table 3 [Insert Table 3 here],  for example, represents nutrients and herbs to support a healthy  immune system. Instead, all we hear is the vaccine is our panacea  of protection. For dark skin melanin-dominant people of African  descent, it is imperative to take full responsibility for knowing that  Western medicine has irrefutable history of not placing the health  of nonwhite people as a priority. Even if someone was compelled to  debate the issue, there is no denying the health disparities we see on  a global level.  

 Discrimination has created major problems in human relations and  only serious and honest discussions can rectify the health disparities.  When you conceptualize that “black” or “dark” is bad and that  melanin is a “waste product,” science will never understand the  mechanisms in which melanin can promote life. For example, any  healing or repair of tissue that occurs in a living organism (i.e., fruit,  animal, or human body) turns brown or dark during the healing or  repair. This is melanin in action to help prevent further damage to the  tissue and to promote healing [26]. 

Folic Acid Vitamin E with Selenium
COENZYME Q10 Vitamin C
Zinc Vitamin D
Astragalus Quercetin
Probiotics Flax Seed Oil with Lignans
Herbs (Capsicum fruit, burdock root, goldenseal root, parsley herb, horehound herb, althea root, bitter  orange fruit and yerba santa herb)
Mushroom Blend containing six organic mushrooms (Reishi, Turkey tail, Chaga, Shiitake, Agaricus/ white button, and Cordyceps)
Adapted from Moore, J.G. and Chilcoat, A. (2020). Purple Mind: Shield of Protection. Institute of  Medical Imaging Procedures.

Table 3.Nutrients and Herbs to Support a Healthy Immune System 

In a related discussion on ethno-specific illnesses, coccidioidomycosis  is one of the most infectious of the fungal diseases, and it is  endemic in the desert valleys of California and the dry dusty areas  of southwestern United States especially in Arizona, New Mexico,  Texas, and part of Mexico [6]. It is most likely that man and animals  are infected by the inhalation of spore bearing dust. This scenario is  no different than the zoonotic diseases like the association of bats  spreading coronaviruses to humans. Melanin may serve as a reservoir  for this coccidioidomycosis infection to take hold. The pulmonary  symptoms may vary in severity, but we have known for decades that  it differentially impacts ethnic groups. Sometimes there is a cavitation  in the lungs, and patients can recover. As a rule, the infection ends  in recovery, but in a small percentage of cases the process spreads  from the lungs to produce the progressive form which can spread  [6]. If it is known that this occurs more frequently in melanin dominant populations, we cannot be naïve to think studies could  not be performed in a lab to concoct illnesses that darkly pigmented  ethnic groups could be more prone to sickness [1, 3, 5]. Beyond the  skin and the bones, it is interesting that this airborne fungal pathogen  can spread like coronaviruses to subcutaneous tissues, meninges,  and internal organs. Melanin is a reservoir in these body parts where  these pathogens can accumulate. 

 Melanin is visible on the external portion of the body, and it is  strategically located internally. Melanocytes are melanin producing  cells originating from the neural crest. This is critical to knowing the  origin because the melanocyte stem cells migrate from the neural crest  to the skin and to mucous membranes. Note, the ACE2 receptors are  found abundantly in moist areas of the body. The active melanocyte  migrates to the stria vascularis of the cochlea, the leptomeninges, in  the substantial nigra and locus coeruleus of the brain, the heart, and  the optic cup of the retina [27]. Comparing these body sites with the  manifestation of the illnesses in Table 2 demonstrates a link between  ACE2, melanin and how viral agents affect the body. Western science  will still report no significant biological role for melanin in these  internal sites because this is the continual downplay of the power of  pigmented cells, which is consistent with marginalizing the role and  relevance of such people in science and history. 

 Even if one decides to ignore the essential role for internal melanin,  one cannot deny its antiviral impact and a location which ACE2  receptors are found in combination with darkly pigmented cells.  

Beyond the nose, oral melanocytes and physiological oral  pigmentation are genetically determined [27]. 

 SARS-CoV-2 easily enters the mouth and nose region and that  is why masks have been critical in the fight against the spread of  the contagion. With melanin near these entry areas in combination  with ACE2 receptors, it becomes a lethal combination for entry.  Once in the body, the virus can wreak havoc on other systems where  the receptors are heavily saturated. As a result of this saturation,  respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological illnesses persist. 

 On the topic of pigmentation, it is worthwhile to note the side effect  from a controversial treatment that was touted as an effective treatment  for COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Initially, HCQ was first  developed as an anti-malarial agent. It has anti-inflammatory and  immune modulating properties [28]. It is toxic and it has been proven  to be controversial in its effectiveness to treat COVID-19. However,  HCQ-induced hyperpigmentation of the skin is a side effect from  this therapy. Typically, HCQ-induced hyperpigmentation presents a  blueish, blue-grey macules/patches most commonly on the shins, but  can also be seen along the arms, forearms, face, oral mucosa, trunk,  nails, and axilla [29]. The hyperpigmentation has nothing to do with  the sun, so there are some biological mechanisms associated with  melanin and HCQ treatment that are poorly understood. 

 Therefore, we cannot overlook the genetic connection related to  viral susceptibility and melanin production. Since HCQ-induced  hyperpigmentation is more common in dark skinned individuals  likely due to greater melanin levels in dark skin, we can associate the  greater risk of disease in melanin-dominant systems. It is not a simple  matter to say Black people in the USA are disadvantaged with poor  health choices. A combination of factors involved, so let us look at  melanin-dominant people on the African continent. 

The African Continent 

 It would be obvious to say melanin-dominant people in Africa  are less impacted by COVID-19 mortality because of melanin, but  we must analyze other factors. Many of the early transmissions in  Africa have been from melanin-recessive travelers returning to  Africa from overseas. For example, white South Africans traveling  from Europe and going to South Africa triggered the spread in  the southern region. Chinese foreigners helping to construct  buildings and railways in Kenya or visiting eastern ports of Africa  could have attributed to the spread of COVID-19 cases in Africa. 

J Ment Health Soc Behav JMHSB, an open access journal Volume 3. 2021. 133  

Page 6 of 9 

Since there is less travel for many native Africans leaving and  returning to their countries, the spread was not as devastating  compared to other countries like Brazil and India, which incidentally  are typically more densely populated. 

 Scientists are baffled as to why COVID-19 has not decimated  countries in Africa. Two very intriguing differences, and potentially  impacting are the use of 5G towers and the release of chemicals  from military planes that are not as prevalent in many regions  of Africa. Therefore, the underdeveloped portions of Africa that  are not exposed to 5G technology or the spraying of chemicals  conceivably have lessened the impact and spread of the airborne  SARS-CoV-2. Conjecture on the science revealing how viruses exist  in the atmosphere and how chemical biological warfare programs  have sprayed harmful agents to kill off populations is documented  [1, 5, 14]. Such scenarios are plausible given the long-term goals  of a sustainable planet and themes embedded in the Global 2000  Report. In addition, the connection with 5G technology relates  to the frequencies emitted from the electromagnetic radiation that  could trigger cells to be targeted for easy entry [4]. Viruses are like  crystals and we know certain frequencies of sound can crack glass.  We can surmise the lack of technology in many regions of Africa  has limited the harmful impact of 5G electromagnetic radiation on  human physiology in this part of the world. 

 Also, the vitamin D story is a factor to consider because one would  not expect low levels of vitamin D in Black Africans. In contrast,  Black Africans living in America have noticeably lower levels of  vitamin D to make the assumption that low vitamin D may attribute  to COVID-19 susceptibility [30]. To highlight this relationship  to melanin, Vigneri reports that researchers at the Trinity College  in Dublin analyzed data from studies in Europe. Interestingly, the  populations of northern countries like Finland and Sweden have  higher levels of vitamin D than southern European areas like Spain  and Italy. The northern region has a lower rate of coronavirus  infection mortality.  

 Time will reveal the impact of COVID-19 on the African continent,  and the mortality rate could change in months after this article is  published. Either way melanin helps to fight disease and African  people on the continent of Africa are not eating the low-quality diets  seen in the USA. And, to reiterate, “Blacks” in America reportedly  82% have low levels of vitamin D. [31]. More quality food that  is natural is better for the body. Access to quality water may be  problematic in rural areas, but overall, the airborne nature of this  coronavirus seems to be not as lethal on the continent of Africa. 

Steroid Hormones 

 A critical treatment that must be delicately managed is the use  of steroids. The physical appearance and presence of steroids in the  human body are valuable for life. As concluded in the last section and  the connection to vitamin D, vitamin D is a steroid hormone. The sun  is a necessity for life, and the steroid produced in the skin from the  sun helps boost the immune system and protect bone density. Studies  have shown that the lower a population’s vitamin D levels, the  higher the number of COVID-19 infections and the greater its rate of  mortality [32]. Since vitamin D can help regulate inflammation and  reduce the risk of cytokine storms, it can lower COVID-19 deaths. 

 The cytokine storms that form the internal regulation of steroids  have been under intense investigation, and the topic is complex  in relation to melanin. Melanin could be viewed as a biopolymer,  neurotransmitter, or hormone. We know it is protective, so it can  protect life in various roles. Although the most common effect is as a  protective sunscreen from ultraviolet radiation, melanin physiology  is much more detailed and pertinent with respect to one’s collective  health and physiological resilience, particularly its relationship with  sunlight and vitamin-D synthesis. 

 Cytokines are proteins released by cells to send messages to other  

cells that a viral invasion is underway. Steroids, which dampen the  entire immune system, are prone to altering one’s cellular environment  to become more vulnerable to other infections. As a result, many  COVID-19 patients may be dying from their immune response to the  virus and not from the virus, rather diffuse inflammatory responses  throughout the body. The immune system’s hyper responsivity can  be severe enough to exacerbate a chain reaction of varying degrees  of inflammation in the lungs, thereby diminishing oxygen turnover  in the alveoli causing loss of ability to expand and constrict to expel  carbon dioxide, which inevitably fosters fluid build- up, pneumonia,  and over time prolonged stress leads to organ failure due to inadequate  oxygen saturation. 

 Typically, during the cytokine storm, interferon is produced by T  cells and natural killer cells. The antiviral properties of interferon gamma display powerful anti-proliferative and immunomodulatory  activities. A 3-dimensional image of interferon-gamma reveals a  crystalline structure [6]. We know viruses have crystalline structures,  so external frequencies could have a significant impact on the  neuroimmunoendocrinology interactions to make a person well or  sick; it depends on the vibratory state of the specific frequency and/ or erratic electromagnetic pulses. 

 Altering the immune response is a tricky proposition. It posits  that the best way to help some patients survive COVID-19 may not  be to fortify the immune system so that it can fight the virus with  greater ferocity, but to subtly suppress the counterattack, so that the  patient avoids self- destruction. The notion is controversial, not least  because differentiating inappropriate immune response from a self 

harming one can be difficult. An added wrinkle is the fact that SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may itself stifle aspects of  the immune response, meaning that additional immune suppression  could make things progressively worse. 

Melanin and Melanocytes 

 When we add melanin to the topic, melanins have the capacity to  sequester metal ions and to bind certain drugs and organic molecules  [19]. Melanin possesses both antioxidant and reactive oxygen  species-dependent cytotoxic properties. SARS-CoV-2 presents as  a very receptive cluster of viral material for melanin to attract and  absorb. 

 Melanin itself can neutralize bacteria derived enzymes and  toxins, and since it has strong binding properties, it can also act  as a physical barrier against microorganisms. Melanocytes can act  as antigen presenting cells, can stimulate T cell proliferation, and  phagocytose microorganisms [27]. This premise strongly suggest  that melanocytes have the capacity to inhibit proliferation of bacterial  and fungal microorganisms, then the capacity to affect coronaviruses  must be considered for more in-depth examination [33]. L dopa,  another intermediate of melanogenesis, has the capacity to inhibit  the production of proinflammatory cytokines by T lymphocytes  and monocytes, thus down regulating immune and inflammatory  responses [34].  

 It is possible that from an evolutionary point of view, the primary role  of melanocytes is not to produce melanin, for melanin does not confer  a selective advantage to the organisms, but that melanin production is  only a secondary specialization so melanocytes must have other more  important functions to perform [35]. Melanocytes in skin, and perhaps  in oral mucosa express genes encoding corticotropin releasing factor  (CRF), proopiomelanocortin (POMC), ACTH, Beta endorphins,  Alpha-MSH and melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R). These elements  of the skin melanocortin system have the capacity to neutralize  external noxious agents, to mediate local antimicrobial and immune  responses, and to mediate local nociception [36, 37]. UV radiation  induces the generation of CRF, POMC and Alpha-MSH by cutaneous  keratinocytes and melanocytes, bringing about an increase in melanin 

J Ment Health Soc Behav JMHSB, an open access journal Volume 3. 2021. 133  

Page 7 of 9 

biosynthesis [38], imparting protection against solar radiation [35].  Similarly, with specific regard to the benefits of darkly pigmented  people interdependence on regular exposure to sunlight in open  environments fortifying healthy immune responses, there appears  to be a direct link to the body’s ability to maintain optimal levels  of vitamin-D. This has been corroborated by [39], which strongly  supports a definitive relationship to the administration of high  doses of Calcifediol or 25-hydroxyvitamin D, a main metabolite  of vitamin-D to significantly reduce the need for ICU treatment of  patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Therefore, it is not biologically  advantageous to be socially isolated indoors and away from the sun,  which has consistently been linked to vitamin-D deficiencies [40].  Confirmation of treatment benefits among hospitalized COVID-19  patients continues to show promise with such supplemental  interventions. 


 The way SARS-CoV-2 has impacted the world is devastating.  Focusing on self-discipline and proper nourishment are needed to  effectively combat this deadly coronavirus. A pigment powered  defense system seems to be critical to survival and diminished  morbidity [3]. Conversely, it also merits acknowledgment that  melanin could possibly mask a double edge sword effect for melanin  dominant individuals, due to being sequestered in their homes with  diminished mobility and minimal exposure to sunlight makes it too  difficult for their bodies to produce optimal levels derived from the  lack of skin exposure to trigger vitamin-D synthesis. Although its  presence is for protection, melanin can accumulate toxic elements  and prompt an immune response that creates a cytotoxic environment.  Searching for a vaccine as a preventative panacea may not be the  most expedient solution for this rare pandemic, given its ability to  mutate strains faster than scientist’s abilities to keep up. Serious  emphasis should be placed on life supporting foods containing  pigments and natural products that can enhance the defense  mechanisms that synergistically regulate the endocrine system to  awaken specific cellular armies in the immune system. For example,  chlorophylls, carotenoids, and anthocyanins all have some degree  of anti-inflammatory effects in humans, particularly the betacyanin  in beets. As mentioned before throughout this narrative the media’s  focus on a vaccine has greatly limited the scope of finding accessible  treatments to battle this one of many more viruses to come. In  fact, there are more viruses on the planet than there are stars in the  sky. Though, to acknowledge this reality can easily be reduced to  academic discourse, the facts loom on the horizon, the lay public  are compelled, and paralyzed awaiting touted to be highly effective  vaccines with a plethora of unmentioned deleterious side effects. Most  of which are occurring on the muted pages of statistically rare adverse  contraindications while financial solvency of colossal corporate  pharmaceutical entities monetary reserves increases exponentially,  while people struggle to discern potential options to develop a  biopsychosocial model to improve and maintain health. Research  has shown that there are many effective therapeutic approaches that  can be complementary to traditional “Western Medicine”, however,  as consumers of healthcare – traditional recipients of the medical  model accepted interventions continue to ration or triage delivery  of treatment to contain devastating health maladies. Invariably, this  dampens the spirit and vigilance to pursue knowledge to empower  people to take control of their health, there by, fostering a learned  helplessness, and the cognitive default to their historical position  of accepting the label of “patient” and simultaneously wait for  epidemiologists and doctors to debate about the efficacy and access  to needed health interventions.  

 In efforts to amplify the benefits of a basic sense of  autonomy and fortifying one’s immune system, natural  elements like zinc are relegated as an anecdotal mentionables.  

While the average Internist or nutritionist knows that a zinc deficiency can result from medications like ACE2 inhibitors and prolonged  poor dietary practices. People on high blood pressure medicines like  ACE2 inhibitors may be more susceptible to entry of SARS-CoV-2  into cells. And, referring to zinc, it is interesting that we need zinc  for a proper sense of taste and smell, which has become part of the  cluster of symptoms linked to a number COVID-19 patients losing  those senses. It is note worthy that the nose is a major entry point  for the virus to travel along the mucosa to tunnel access to olfactory  cells because they have alarge number of ACE2 receptors on their  surface [20]. Further, aldosterone and angiotensin II together change  the properties of taste receptors in the tongue and neurons in the  brain linked to taste in humans [41]. Simply put, studying the factors  that make us vulnerable to coronaviruses should be highlighted,  particularly those that are inherent in one’s external environment –  milieu, which can become a fusion of diffuse stressors and of course  any prescribed medications that may alter a person’s microbiome,  to the degree that they may have nondescript intermittent malaise,  headaches, and gastrointestinal distress [42]. Combined, all of which  could sound an alarm to overly engage one’s immune system and  trigger a random cytokine storm.  

 Drugs related to interferon and interleukin seem to be reasonably  effective. However, the politics of vaccine production and capitalism  present marginal interest in maintaining health [5, 43]. The objective  becomes – making stock holders purchase more shares, usually at the  expense of good health. A health industry wedded to profit margins  incentive is to make more money, which typically suggest, illness is  highly correlated with quarterly revenues. Countries that are more  socialistic have a better response to COVID-19. Cuba, for example,  has been at the forefront of interferon research, however, the US  embargo and the petty world politics manage to ignore effective  treatments like Interferon-alpha26b from other countries [7].  

 Interferons seem to prevent cytokine storms. Take Bats for example,  they carry many forms of coronaviruses without succumbing to the  deadly disease, because bat’s produce unusual amounts of antiviral  cytokines like interferons. As reported by Velasquez-Manoff [7],  mice studies have shown that mice infected with SARS-CoV-2  survived the infection if they quickly generated a strong interferon  response. Animals that failed to produce interferon early, however,  died not because the virus killed them but because they produce  so much interferon later that their over reactive immune systems  fostered their systems to shut down.  

 Even in studies with children, whose immune systems are  immature and developing, there appears to be naturally high levels  of interferons and other cytokines circulating in their bodies. It has  been demonstrated that children also have high levels of an anti 

inflammatory cytokine called interleukin-10. This compound may  play a role in preventing damage from the constant inflammation.  The elevated baseline level of interferon and interleukin-10 maybe  what helps children survive COVID-19. These levels decrease in  adulthood, and adults can have a more difficult time to mount an  interferon response. This deficiency may be related to older people’s  propensity to become more vulnerable to the disease progression  from COVID-19. 

 Companies are creating inhalable interferon beta instead of the  injectable form that has more side effects. In China and Cuba,  antiviral medication plus an inhaled interferon called IFN-alpha2b  has improved outcomes in a subset of patients. In summary, interferon  may help to pre-empt an excessive immune response by helping  to bring a virus under control at the start of an infection, there by  diminishing a person’s viral load, so there is no reason to over react  later. Alternative treatments for COVID-19 are found in Table 4.

J Ment Health Soc Behav JMHSB, an open access journal Volume 3. 2021. 133  

Page 8 of 9 

• Tocilizumab – blocks cytokine interleukin-6 (long-acting)
• Anakinra – blocks cytokine interleukin-1 (short-acting)
• Dexamethasone – steroidal immunosuppressant
• Interferon-Beta – immunomodulator
• Interferon-Alpha2b – immunomodulator
• Interferon-Gamma – immunomodulator
• Leronlimab – anti-inflammatory
• Colchicine – anti-inflammatory
• Ibuprofen – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
Combination therapy is needed to combat cytokine storms. The above list are potential  agents that have been used in experiments to treat COVID-19 patients.

Table 4.Alternative Treatments for COVID-19 

COVID-19 has altered every aspect of life on the planet, and melanin  dominant people in a variety of urban and technologically advanced  environments are disproportionately succumbing to this plague. This  article was written with several objectives in mind, to draw attention  to the role of (environmental factors), resource awareness, vaccine  alternatives, and public health decisions to curtail viral threats. It  is evident, that the medical-pharmaceutical-industrial complex  have limited the choices available to people to choose between  governmental guidance or (informed-knowledge)  

self-reliance, therefore consultation with your health care provider if  you are on prescribed medications is advised. Know your body and  how it feels when you are on medication, because every medication  is not made to assist melanin-dominant biological systems. Be  aware of what may be detrimental or beneficial because synthetic  medicines like many blood pressure medicines may have cumulative  contraindications – deleterious side-effects. Table 5 demonstrates  natural products that enhances the lymphatic system’s responsivity  [Insert Table 5 here]. 

L-Lysine is an essential amino acid (taken as a supplement) required by the body for the manufacture of proteins. It  helps the immune system to manufacture antibodies. It is known to have antiviral health benefits.
Astragalus promotes the production oflymph tissue into active immune cells. It also enhances the body’s production  of immunoglobulin and stimulates macrophages.
Vitamin D may aid to regulate lymphocyte function, macrophages activity and cytokine production to help support  a healthy immune system.
Echinacea is an herbal immunostimulant that can relieve colds and flu symptoms and upper respiratory illnesses. There are three different species of Echinacea used in medicine and homeopathy: E. angustifolia; E. pallida; and E.  purpurea. Even though several species of Echinacea have shown an immune-stimulating effect, E. purpurea has been  the type most used for relief of symptoms of flu, cold and upper respiratory illnesses.
Adapted from Moore, J.G. and Chilcoat, A. (2020). Purple Mind: Shield of Protection. Institute of Medical  Imaging Procedures.

Table 5.Support for Healthy Lymph Glands 

There are alternative approaches to treatment, so do not become  dependent on the wishful desire to have a vaccine to rid us of this  pandemic, which in time may be summarily mentioned as endemic.  The advantages of melanin’s capabilities to fight disease and boost  our defense mechanisms are critical as we see the climate change.  The natural immunomodulators like interferon and interleukin should  be harnessed, and we must support the use of alternative therapies  with compounds that can activate proper immune reactions. Since  interferons are effective, and biological substances like MSH can be  effective as antipyretic agents, we need to look at these as options to  fight disease. In fact, the skin and cells in the lymphatic system can  produce some of the same chemicals in the brain. More research on  these cytokines produced in cells requires further study for humans  to fight the continual onslaught of new viral threats lurking in our  constantly degrading biosphere. 

 The ancient axiom of ‘Know Thyself’ is a fitting ending, because  as humans become more disconnected from the earth and the oceans,  the more likely we are to have viruses and new bacteria to thrive  and reclaim ecosystems that allowed them to flourish millennia  before humans walked on this planet. In closing, the earth is more  than capable of regulating resource allocation if man would cease  type casting himself as the decisive “Father-Mother God” of who  lives and thrives. This remark begs the question of the level of global 

decimation and who are those people being disproportionately  counted among the casualties. And equally important, subsequent  sequelae scientists will euphemistically phase into the medical  literature of some of the unforeseen health maladies destined to  present among the people of color who survive the pandemic. In  simple terms. Western Medicine is still a budding prepubescent  child in the wilderness as she learns the power of complementary  medicine, particularly in her commitment to heal or help Brown and  Black people on the planet. 

Conflict of Interest: Author declares no conflit of interest. References 

1. Paxman, R. and Harris, J. (1982). A Higher Form of Killing.  Noonday Press: New York, NY. 

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, April).  COVIDView: A weekly surveillance summary of U.S. COVID-19  activity. data/covidview/index.html#mortality 

3. Moore, T.O. (2020). Pigment Power: Topics on Melanin in  Science and Health. Zamani Press. 

4. Pall, M.L. (2018). Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health.  Environmental Research, Jul. 164, 405-416 

5. Marrs, J. (2015). Population Control. Morrow: New York, NY.

J Ment Health Soc Behav JMHSB, an open access journal Volume 3. 2021. 133  

Page 9 of 9 

6. Walter, M.R. (1997). Structural biology of cytokines, their  receptors, and signaling complexes: Implications for the  immune and neuroendocrine circuit. In J.E. Blalock (Ed.),  Neuroimmonoendocrinology (3rd Rev. Ed.). Chemical  Immunology, Vol. 69 (pp. 76-98). Karger. 

7. Velasquez-Manoff, M. (2020). How covid sends some bodies to  war with themselves. The New York Times, August 16. https:// storms.html 

8. Villarreal, L.P. (2008). Are viruses alive? Scientific American. alive-2004/ 

9. Oxford, J., Kellam, P. and Collier, L. (2016) Human Virology  5th Edition, Oxford University Press 

10. Anderson, K.G., Rambaut, A., Lipkin, W.I., Holmes, E.C. and  Garry, R.F. (2020). The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2. Nature  Medicine. 

11. Jones, J. (1981). Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.  The Free Press. 

12. Washington, H.A. (2006). Medical Apartheid: The dark history  of medical experimentation on Black Americans from colonial  times to the present. Doubleday. 

13. Carr, F.W. (2003). Germany’s Black Holocaust 1890-1945.  Scholar Technological Institute of Research ( 14. Banks, N.T. (2010). AIDS, Opium, Diamonds and Empire:  The Deadly Virus of International Greed. iUniverse, Inc:  Bloomington, IN. 

15. Carter, C. (2020, September). How to stay healthy this winter.  AARP Bulletin,(pp. 12-16). 

16. Pearsall, P. (1987). Superimmunity: Master your emotions and  improve your health. McGraw Hill Book Company. 

17. Moore, J.G. and Chilcoat, A. (2020). Purple Mind: Shield of  Protection. Institute of Medical Imaging Procedures. 18. Moore, T.O. Moore (2004). The Science of Melanin: The Second  Edition. Zamani Press. 

19. Mackintosh, J.A. (2001). The antimicrobial properties of  melanocytes, melanosomes and melanin and the evolution of black  skin. Journal of Theoretical Biology, July 21, 211(2), 101-113. 

20. Cohn, M. (2020). Cover your nose: John Hopkins research  suggests that’s how coronavirus gains foothold. Baltimore  Sun, August 21, coronavirus-gains-foothold-211900497.html 

21. Grollman, S. (1974). The Human Body: Its Structure and  Physiology (3rd Ed.). Macmillan. 

22. Kalat, J. (2019). Biological Psychology. (pp.300). Cengage. 23. Tanaka, J., Hayashi, Y., Nomura, S., Miyakubo, H., Okumura,  T. & Samaki, K. (2001). Angiotensinergic and noradrenergic  mechanisms in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus  participate in the drinking response induced by activation of the rat  subfornical organ in rats. Behavioral Brain Research, 118, 117-122. 24. Anthony, C.P. and Kolthoff, N.J. (1975). The Textbook of  Anatomy and Physiology (9th Ed.). p.284. The C.V. Mosby  Company. 

25. Jessop, D.S. (2002). Neuropeptides in the immune system:  Functional roles in health and disease.In A.B. Grossman (Ed.),  Neuroendocrine-Immune Interactions. Frontiers of Hormone  Research,Vol 29 (pp. 50-68). Karger. 

26. Wood, J.M., Jimbow, K., Boissy, R.E., Slominski, A., Plonka,  P.M., Slawinski, J., Wortsman J.,& Tosk, J.(1999). What’s the  use of generating melanin? Experimental Dermatology,8, 153- 164. 10.1111/j.1600-0625.1999.tb00365.x. 

27. Feller, L. Masilana, A., Khammissa, R.A.G., Altini, M., Jadwat,  Y. & Lemmer, J. (2014). Melanin: the biophysiology of oral  melanocytes and physiological oral pigmentation. Head and  Face Medicine, 10(8), https://head-face-med.biomedcentral. 


28. Bahloul, E., Jallouli, M., Garbaa, S., Marzouk, S., Masmoudi,  A., Turk, H. & Bahloul. (2017). Hydroxychloroquine-induced  hyperpigmentation systemic diseases: prevalence, clinical  features, and risk factors. Lupus, Oct, 26(12). https://pubmed. 

29. Jallouli, M., Francès, C., Piette, J.C., Huong du, L.T., Moguelet,  P., Factor, C., Zahr, N., Miyara, M., Saadoun, D., Mathian,  A., Haroche, J., De Gennes, C., Leroux, G., Chapelon, C.,  Wechsler, B., Cacoub, P., Amoura, Z., &Costedoat-Chalumeau,  N. (2013).Hydroxychloroquine-induced pigmentation in  patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: a case-control  study. JAMA Dermatology, Aug;149(8):935-40. doi: 10.1001/ jamadermatol.2013.709.PMID: 23824340 

30. Vigneri, S. (2020,August/September). The vitamin D  conundrum. AARP The Magazine, (pp. 18-19). 

31. Cassell, D. K. (2020, October) New Study Found 80% of  COVID-19 Patients Were Vitamin D Deficient.https://www. covid-19-patients-were-vitamin-d-deficient 

32. McCrave, C. (2020). New research suggests vitamin D can  reduce the severity of Covid-19 symptoms. The research-5082423-Apr2020/ 

33. Plonka, P.M. & Grabacka, M. (2006). Melanin synthesis in  microorganisms–biotechnological and medical aspects. Acta  Biochim Pol., 53: 429-443. 

34. Slominski, A., Zbytek, B., Slominski, R. (2009). Inhibitors  of melanogenesis increase toxicity of cyclophosphamide and  lymphocytes against melanoma cells. International Journal of  Cancer Supplement, 124: 1470-1477. 10.1002/ijc.24005. 

35. Plonka, P.M., Passeron, T., Brenner, M., Tobin, D.J., Shibahara,  S., Thomas, A., Slominski, A., Kadekaro, A.L., Hershkovitz, D.,  Peters, E., Nordlund, J.J., Abdel-Malek, Z., Takeda, K., Paus, R.,  Ortonne, J.P., Hearing, V.J., &Schallreuter, K.U. (2009). What  are melanocytes really doing all day long…? Experimental  Dermatology, 18: 799-819. 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2009.00912.x. 

36. Slominski, A., Wortsman, J., Paus, R., Elias, P.M., Tobin, D.J.,  Feingold, K.R. (2008). Skin as an endocrine organ: implications  for its function. Drug Discovery Today,5: 137-144. 10.1016/j. ddmec.2008.04.004. 

37. Peters, A. (2005). The self-similarity of the melanocortin  system. Endocrinology,146: 529-531. 10.1210/en.2004-1475. 

38. Millington, G.W. (2006). Proopiomelanocortin (POMC): the  cutaneous roles of its melanocortin products and receptors.  Clinical and Experimental Dermatology,31: 407-412.  10.1111/j.1365-2230.2006.02128.x. 

39. Castillo, Marta Entrenas, et al. “Effect of Calcifediol Treatment  and best Available Therapy versus best Available Therapy on  Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality Among Patients  Hospitalized for COVID-19: A Pilot Randomized Clinical  study.” The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular  Biology (2020): 105751. 

40. Holick, M.F. (2010)The Vitamin-D Solution, Hudson Street Press 

41. Krause,E.G. and Sakal, R.R. (2007). Richter and sodium appetite.  From adrenalectomy to molecular biology. Appetite, 49, 353-367. 

42. Anderson, J.F., Cryan, and T. Dinan (2019) The Psychobiotic  Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain  Connection, National Geographic Partners, Wash, DC 43. Washington, H.A. (2011). Deadly Monopolies. Anchor Books.

J Ment Health Soc Behav JMHSB, an open access journal Volume 3. 2021. 133