One of the biggest secrets of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is why in most (about 80%) it causes only moderate symptoms and in others it ends in death. In many cases, the biggest damage is caused not by the virus itself, but by the immune system panicked by the presence of the virus. Can this knowledge contribute to finding a cure for COVID-19? It turns out that most probably yes.
However, to understand what causes mortality from a new coronavirus, we will explain to you what cytokines are.
Called "cytokines" comes from the Greek "cyto" or "cells" and "kinos" or "movement".
Cytokines are tiny protein molecules that are produced by different cells in your body. Many of them form the immune system itself. This is where a coordinated attack on the infection and inflammation to fight the infection take place.
In many of the most sick patients with COVID-19, blood is even flooded with cytokines. Scientists believe this is evidence of a so-called cytokine storm.
It consists in the fact that the body is "afraid" that it cannot cope with the virus, so it begins to produce huge amounts of antibodies that attack their own cells and tissues, instead of "just" fighting the virus. It's like flooding a house to put out a fire and drowning.
The phenomenon of cytokine storm was known after the bird flu epidemic, where the cytokine storm was blamed for the high mortality rate. According to a 2020 study, 81% of deaths caused by death were caused by the cytokine storm.
Cytokine storm occurs in autoimmune diseases such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis and multiple sclerosis, and pancreatitis. It can also happen during cancer treatments and infections such as flu.
In addition to COVID-19, it has been reported for diseases caused by other coronaviruses, such as SARS or MERS.
A cytokine storm may explain why some people react severely to coronaviruses, while others experience only moderate symptoms. This can also explain why young people are less affected by the disease.
This is because their immune system is less developed and based more on primary than secondary immunity. However, adults, the elderly and all those who are at risk may be helped by unsaturated fatty acids, which are the most popular representatives are Omega-3 (EPA and DHA).
Inflammation is necessary for you to remain healthy after an injury or illness. However, inflammation can also get out of hand and lead to injury from within when antibodies attack different parts of the body.
An example of uncontrolled inflammation is Hashimoto's disease. During it, the antibodies literally eat the thyroid gland, the hormone-producing body that is at neck level.
Essential fatty acids can be used to regulate inflammation. For other diseases, changes in the body can be permanent or even fatal, such as multiple sclerosis or COVID-19, where cytokines 'eat' your lungs.
However, there is such a thing as a phase of reduction of inflammation. Once scientists considered it to be a spontaneous process that occurs after the end of e.g. flu. However, it is now known that this is a comprehensive, active and highly regulated program.
His task is to terminate the inflammatory response after the threat has been neutralized. This is a kind of "withdrawal of troops" after the war with the enemy is over. The emissaries of peace are so-called "pro-resolving mediators", in short SPM, which the body obtains from unsaturated acids Omega-3 (EPA and DHA) and Omega-6 .
SPMs are able to regulate the level of cytokines so that they fight the enemy while not causing damage. For this reason, SPM are effective in lung diseases such as asthma and Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD).
How does this relate to the coronavirus?
As shown in a study from March 27, 2020, unsaturated Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids act as an antiviral drug in the human body. In turn, a deficiency of unsaturated fatty acids, mainly EPA and DHA, may increase susceptibility to viral diseases, which include SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2, i.e. the new COVID-19 coronavirus.
It follows that oral or intravenous administration of unsaturated Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids can increase immunity to COVID-19 and improve prognosis once infection occurs.
While scientists from around the world are uniting in their efforts to find a cure for coronavirus, it appears that it may already exist from the beginning of humanity. Unsaturated fatty acids, which include GLA (Omega-6) and Omega-3 (EPA and DHA) should appear on your table as a prevention of COVID-19 and as a way to speed up recovery if you are already sick.
Unfortunately, nowadays it is hard to find good sources of unsaturated acids, containing sufficiently high doses that can significantly improve health. Healthy eating habits and a properly balanced diet are necessary. You can take advantage of turbocharging in the form of supplements and protect yourself and your family.