Our self-healing ability usually allows us, in case of illness, such as a cold or a flu, to eliminate the disease within a foreseeable time. However, the recovery and course of Covid-19 shows many differences between patients. Why does some patients show severe lung damage and a part of the infected patients ends up in intensive care, while in a large part of the patients the disease is mild?
In this blog I will try to give you some insight in how the Corona virus affects the body.
In this column I will try to explain why Covid causes more complications in overweight people and why the elderly and frail are more at risk, while children are less.
One reason for the rapid spread of the virus is that it appears to bind to the ACE2 receptor in lung tissue. Remarkably, the virus does not seem to affect children under the age of 9. In older children, the infection almost always seems to be mild. Elderly people seem to be more vulnerable to the virus and the consequences of infection are more serious.
Lack of melatonin?
An interesting perspective as a hypothesis for why children are virtually unaffected by the virus and the elderly more severely affected could be the difference in melatonin production between these two groups.
Melatonin plays a role in inhibiting an excessive immune response and is thought to prevent more severe respiratory damage that may result from infection with Coronavirus. Melatonin could also reduce the number of ACE2 receptors, according to one hypothesis. Less ACE2 on the cell membrane of particularly the lung tissue means less binding possibilities for the coronavirus and thus less chance that the virus can spread further into the lungs and cause serious damage there. An optimal melatonin production seems to offer protection against the serious consequences of infection with the coronavirus. Compared to adults, young children produce much more melatonin: up to 10 times more. Melatonin production decreases with age. This fact could explain why the immune response against the Coronavirus is many times stronger in older people than in children.
Replenishing the body's own melatonin levels through supplementation could be an option to protect us from the complications of Covid. The use of melatonin supplementation is safe. Dosages between 1-3mg melatonin per day are safe and available without prescription.
What medications are safe in covid-19 infection?
Medications like ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac (NSAIDs) can actually increase the amount of ACE2 on cell membranes. It is therefore not wise to take NSAIDs during a Covid infection. Paracetamol is safe.
Which supplements reduce the risk of infection?
Various studies have shown that the susceptibility, course and outcome of viral infections appear to be related to deficiencies in minerals, vitamins and other essential nutrients. A strong immune system and a good vitamin and mineral status are now more essential than ever. The immune system helps prevent and limit both diseases and infections. It does this by recognising viruses, bacteria and other dangerous foreign substances, which it then eliminates. Studies conclude that taking supplements to compensate for these deficiencies leads to a milder course or that it helps to prevent a viral infection from occurring. There is also a link between deficiencies and age, chronic diseases and lifestyle. For example, it is essential that our blood levels of vitamin D are not deficient. Therefore, make sure you get enough vitamin D supplementation if you don't get enough sun every day.
Resveratrol lowers leptin and the risk of thrombosis
Recently, the dietary supplement resveratrol was in the news extensively. Van der Voort, head of the ICU at the UMCG, claimed in the media that resveratrol could prevent a patient with corona from ending up in the Intensive Care unit. Earlier it emerged that a large proportion of corona patients in the ICU are overweight. The substance leptin, a protein that is produced in abdominal fat, is present in overweight people in increased quantities. But the coronavirus itself would also cause an increase in leptin in the blood. And, although the link has yet to be demonstrated concretely, it is plausible that leptin plays an important role in the disease course of corona. Van der Voort is hopeful that if you take resveratrol from the start of your illness, you can attenuate Covid-19 's disease course somewhat, preventing it from becoming so severe that you have to go to intensive care. However, the evidence for this has yet to be clinically examined and confirmed. It has been known for some time that increased leptin levels can increase the risk of thrombosis. Thrombosis involves clots in the bloodstream. Thrombosis can also eventually lead to embolisms, whereby a blood vessel becomes 'blocked', as it were, and an infarction can occur. An ICU admission is then inevitable. So if resveratrol works, it could potentially help reduce the number of ICU admissions due to the coronavirus.
What is resveratrol? Resveratrol is a nutrient and antioxidant that occurs in very low concentration in various fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cacao, cranberry, blue grapes and so red wine. Given the low concentration, it is easier to take resveratrol via a supplement to reach the recommended dose. Resveratrol can lower the amount of leptin in your blood and restore the balance between two important receptors (ACE-2 and AT2) that play a role in the disease process of corona.
Today, resveratrol is associated with better protection against cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. The power of resveratrol lies in the fact that it mimics the effects of calorie restriction and is useful in overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fatty tissue has many ACE2 receptors. The more adipose tissue there is, the greater the chance that the virus will latch on to such a receptor and the easier it is for it to spread in the body. Adipose tissue produces leptin. Leptin is a hormone that regulates hunger and satiety. As adipose tissue increases, so does leptin levels, which can cause leptin resistance.
High leptin increases susceptibility to infections in obese individuals
Higher leptin levels, at least in obese individuals, increase susceptibility to viral infections. Overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes are at risk for a more severe course of COVID-19 virus. The first choice in resolving leptin resistance is lifestyle modification. Dietary modification, particularly calorie restriction and limiting the amount of fat per meal, as well as increasing exercise, reducing stress, and promoting relaxation, can repair mechanisms such as leptin and insulin resistance. Resveratrol can be used as a supplement for support. Research among ten healthy people showed that 100 mg resveratrol daily can counteract the oxidative and inflammation promoting effects of a meal rich in fat and carbohydrates. This possibly decreases the risk of atherosclerosis and diabetes. Resveratrol can influence the blood coagulation and has a blood thinning effect.
Caution with Resveratrol in combination with blood thinners and surgical procedures
Therefore be very careful in combination with blood thinners. Resveratrol intake should be stopped at least 2 weeks before a surgical procedure. A preventive dosage between 100 and 200 mg is sufficient.
Finally, a drug against the Coronavirus that works for everyone has not been developed to date. However, there are food supplements that may make a positive contribution. We can preventively ensure that our body is more resistant to infection with the coronavirus. Using a healthy lifestyle, supplemented with some substances from nature that give our immune system a boost in the right direction, our body is more resistant to viral infections such as the Corona virus.
Han Siem is one of the few pharmacists who combines the knowledge of complementary and regular medicine. If you take medication and supplements it is very wise to submit your medication and supplements list to him via email from time to time.
He will then indicate what you could take more or less of, in what order, and what is missing. Even better is if you also present him with the results of yourblood test orDNAdrug sensitivity & pharmacogenetics.
Order now the email consultation from Drs. Siem, Pharmacist and owner of the Vitamin Pharmacy.