The Mouth-Nose Biologically Closed Electric Circuit and Common colds

By George Eby
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Many people want to know why use zinc throat lozenges rather than zinc nasal sprays.  After all the rhinoviruses cause colds that are in the nose, not in the mouth.  The answer has to do with biophysics, and specifically the flow of electrons between the nose and mouth in something called a biologically closed electric circuit. 

The concept of electron activity resulting in movement of metallic ions outside the nervous system in human physiology is well known in biophysics circles, but is quite foreign to nearly all others. The transport of metallic ions long distances through naturally occurring biologically closed electric circuits (BCEC) was described in 1983 in great detail by B. E. W. Nordenström, M.D.1, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, a member of the Nobel Prize Selection Committee for Physiology and Medicine.

My idea to test for a mouth-nose BCEC stemmed from two clinical trials that my team had conducted in 1984. The first one using zinc gluconate lozenges to treat colds worked well, while the second one using zinc gluconate nasal sprays (with non soluble zinc orotate lozenges) failed.  The difference in response really puzzled me.  Quite by accident in 1984 or 1985 I happened to see Dr. Nordenström on television talking about his book on BCECs.  It seemed to me that there must be some kind of circuit between the nose and mouth that would explain those divergent and very unexpected results. 


I used a digital volt-ohm meter to discover a flux of electrons ranging from 60 millivolts to 120 millivolts in different people indicating the presence of a mouth-nose biologically closed electrical circuit, the only BCEC observable externally in humans. All other BCECs are internal and are found only during surgery as was shown by Nordenström.  Any digital voltmeter that is sufficiently accurate to detect the 1 to 2 millivolt fluctuation with the respiratory rhythm will do the job.  Think of a flux of electrons moving from the nose to the mouth and metal ions moving in the opposite direction. If you conceptualize the notion of metal ions moving from the mouth towards the nose, you will also recognize that metallic ions introduced directly into the nasal cavity would be REPELLED, not absorbed due to the directionality of the flux.


This concept may be difficult to understand and an analogy may help.  Consider by way of an analogy a train moving East to West, say from New York to Chicago.  Pretend that the nose is Chicago and the Mouth is New York.  If you get on the train at Chicago, the train will take you out of Chicago.  If you get on at New York, it will take you to Chicago.  Similarly, if ionic zinc (the only type that works) is placed in the nose, it is repelled, not attracted since like charges repel and different ones attract.

Voltages in the mouth-nose BCEC (60 to 120 millivolts) were measurable only with a digital volt-ohm meter, while electrical resistances were readily measurable with either an analog or digital ohm meter. One terminal was placed within the oral cavity while the other terminal was placed within the nasal cavity, with the exact locations being quite irrelevant. Evidence of the mouth-nose BCEC was also obtained simply by reversing the ohmmeter leads in the mouth and nose. Astonishingly different electrical resistance readings -- showing a strong diode-like effect -- were obtained simply by reversing the leads.  Further, I found that:

·        People susceptible to colds usually had mouth-nose resistance values in the 1 to 20 Kohm range, with a differential resistance of about 50% of the higher resistance value.  I also found this range in children and adults that had allergies.

·        People NOT susceptible to colds usually had mouth-nose resistance values in the 100 to 500 Kohm range, with a differential resistance of about 50% of the higher resistance value. 

SPECIAL NOTE: I found that all practicing physicians tested (8 males) had very high resistance values, suggesting a Darwinist selection criterion for physicians.  Physicians with low mouth-nose resistances would suffer from too many colds from their patients and apparently they drop out or take jobs that do not require contact with people ill with respiratory infections.  These major differences suggest that internal nasal electrical resistance and differential resistances are more important indicators of who catches a cold than antibody titer to the same virus.

In treating colds with effective zinc lozenges which release large amounts of ionic zinc, positively charged Zn2+ ions appear to migrate along preferential pathways between the oral and nasal tissues as well as into other non-oral local tissues and venous and lymphatic drainage pathways.  Some fraction of Zn2+ ions migrates the long distance -- aided by Zn2+ ion-induced capillary membrane pore closure -- from the oral cavity into nasal tissues via preferential pathways in BCEC, and some migrates by mechanical transport.

Upon reaching the infected nasal tissues beneath the cilia and mucous, Zn2+ ions provide an antirhinoviral effect, induce interferon production, have an inhibitory effect on ICAM-1 and dry nasal tissues rapidly terminating common colds.  An absolute criterion for any cold cure is inhibition of ICAM-1, and such has been shown to result from properly manufactured zinc acetate lozenges as shown in this article by Prasad et al.

These findings demonstrate passive absorption (mechanical transport, diffusion, filtration, and osmosis) of Zn2+ ions from mouth into the nose to be aided strongly by electrophoresis (the mouth-nose BCEC). Along with the strong repelling effects of nasal mucus and cilia on foreign substances introduced to the nose, the 60 to 120 millivolt differential repels intranasally introduced Zn2+ ions (and other positively charged substances) from mucosal surfaces, explaining inefficacy from nasal sprays or nose drops releasing Zn2+ ions in treating common colds. Higher voltages seem to produce better responses to zinc lozenges.  The voltage in the mouth-nose BCEC may be highest in youth and to decline in aging, suggesting that properly made zinc lozenges would be more effective in younger people.  Additionally, neutrally charged and negatively charged materials introduced into the nasal cavity are directly expelled by action of cilia and mucous, and pass down into the throat.  Very few zinc lozenges release zinc ions as is shown in this review of 52 different zinc lozenges.

1 Nordenström BE. Biologically closed electric circuits. Clinical, experimental and theoretical evidence for an additional circulatory system. Stockholm: Nordic Medical Publications, 1983:112-172.