Polyphenols can present protecting results in opposition to COVID-19 illness

According to the Center for Systems Science and Technology (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) has more worldwide today, February 22, 2021 infected than 111 million people. The COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 and characterized by cytokine storm, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and systemic inflammation has already claimed over 2.46 million deaths worldwide.

Age is arguably the most critical risk factor for death in COVID-19 patients. The severity of COVID-19 is also linked to several other comorbidities. Although approximately 80% of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive cases have mild or no symptoms, the remaining 20% ​​of patients can develop severe symptoms that may result in death.

Therefore, better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 infection in high-risk inflammation-associated populations is imperative to develop the therapies needed to control or prevent severe COVID-19.

Researchers from the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute (IJC) in Badalona, ​​Spain, the University of Sao Francisco, Bragança Paulista, Brazil, and the Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas (PUCCAMP), Campinas, Brazil, studied the pathogenesis and clinical implications inflammatory diseases to senescence in COVID-19 patients.

In the study published in the journal Integrative Physiology, the researchers found that high intake of polyphenols can have a protective effect on patients with COVID-19 and prevent the disease from progressing.

Cytokine storm

COVID-19 is characterized by a cytokine storm, systemic inflammation, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), all of which lead to potentially fatal complications.

Older adults and people who are obese are more likely to develop an elevated inflammatory status when infected with SARS-CoV-2. These people are at high risk of rapid clinical deterioration.

In addition, these individuals exhibit comorbid disorders and immunosensitivity, which is the gradual deterioration of the immune system with age. It involves the body’s ability to respond to and maintain long-term immune memory acquired through infection or vaccination.

As a result, the elderly and obese can experience a virus-induced cytokine storm, including the expression of molecules that act as virus receptors such as angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (CD26). The cytokine storm can lead to respiratory failure and an increased risk of mortality.

Lung epithelial cells are infected by the interaction of the spike glycoprotein shell (S protein) with the angiotensin I converting enzyme (ACE) -2 receptor, which enables virus replication and triggers mechanisms to combat infection by the host cells, known as great receptors (TLRs) and mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS). Inflammatory cytokines are produced by the core factor kappa-B (NF-kB) and interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) signaling pathways, which recruit more immune cells (dendritic cells and T cells) to the lungs. Recruited immune cells increased cytokine production, leading to a cytokine storm, which is associated with a poorer prognosis for infected patients. The production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the development of low-grade systemic inflammation are also observed during aging and obesity. The expression of components of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system like ACE2 is also altered by aging and obesity, which could explain why elderly and obese patients are affected and top the death statistics from COVID-19. Dietary bioactive substances such as polyphenols can block the production of cytokines by senescent cells (senescence-associated secretory phenotype; SASP) and adipocytes, as well as modify the ACE-1 / ACE-2 ratio, which can potentially lead to beneficial effects in COVID-19.

Polyphenols prevent inflammatory comorbidities

Polyphenols are food components that help prevent inflammatory comorbidities. They are a category of compounds found naturally in foods like herbs, fruits, vegetables, wine, dark chocolate, and tea.

Polyphenols help reduce inflammation, which is responsible for many chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Previous studies have shown that polyphenols can help control blood pressure and keep blood vessels healthy and flexible. In addition to blood sugar and blood pressure, polyphenols can reduce chronic inflammation.

Apples, chocolate, red wine, olive oil, and turmeric are some of the foods and drinks that are high in polyphenols.

The current study shows that by reducing inflammation, polyphenols can help fight COVID-19. Polyphenols can help protect the body from the harmful effects of the disease.

The researchers found that “inflamed patients” or those with chronic inflammation are prone to adverse clinical outcomes when contracted with COVID-19. They emphasize that evidence points to the benefits of polyphenols for senescence and inflammation prevention. Therefore, the compounds can be used to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection and prevent the disease from progressing.

“It is hoped that the clinical trials underway can provide valuable information about this hypothesis and help reduce the suffering and mortality caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the researchers wrote in the article .

“A better knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 infection in high-risk inflammation-related populations is important in developing the therapies needed to control or prevent severe COVID-19,” they added.

COVID-19 worldwide toll

To date, 192 countries and territories have reported cases of COVID-19. Of the more than 111 million cases, over 62.8 million people have recovered.

The United States remains the country with the highest number of cases, with over 28.1 million cases and nearly 500,000 deaths.


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