COVID-19: These supplements benefit against various coronavirus Variants

Few dietary supplements have shown promise for the prevention, management and recovery of COVID-19 based on evidence-based Nutraceuticals. One of them is glutathione, a master antioxidant naturally synthesised in the body.

COVID-19: These supplements benefit against various coronavirus Variants

Amidst rising cases of Delta plus variant in India, other variants such as Kappa and Lambda have become a topic of concern after India’s recent encounter with a deadly second wave. Kappa variant was recently reported in India. Lambda variant (scientific name B.1.617.2), though still not reported in India, it is rapidly spreading around the globe. Both Kappa and Lambda variants are a “variant of interest” according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which means that it is identified as a cause for significant community transmission across countries, with rising relative prevalence alongside the increasing number of cases over time. The new variants could emerge as a risk to global public health. 

It’s unclear whether the Lambda variant could cause more breakthrough cases but everyone must act fast to battle this new variant. We need to proactively watch out for this variant and prevent it from causing a third wave in the country.

The majority of the Indian population is unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. Only one dose of the coronavirus vaccine may not be enough to protect against the new variants. Thus, unvaccinated people at risk must focus on self-care including masking, hand hygiene and staying healthy. Boosting immunity is one of the strategies to prevent the risk of severe infection.

Few dietary supplements have shown promise for the prevention, management and recovery of COVID-19 based on evidence-based Nutraceuticals. One of them is glutathione, a master antioxidant naturally synthesised in the body. Glutathione reduces oxidative stress (free radicals) in the body that are toxic and damage cells. Evidence suggests that glutathione levels are low in Covid-19 patients, thus supplementation of glutathione will boost the immune system and thereby immunity.

According to data, glutathione is to expected to improve oxygen saturation, reduce viral load, improve breathing and speed up recovery in COVID-19 patients.

Glutathione helps to combat the oxidative stress (inflammation) generated due to chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes, or infection, old age, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle habits. In such common conditions, glutathione levels are too low to fight illness, thus external supplementation may be required in this vast category of the population.

A high level of oxidative stress in COVID-19 causes inflammation and a cytokine storm in the body. If the inflammation is not treated quickly enough, it can cause organ damage, multi-organ failure, and even death. When infected with the virus, the SARS-Cov-2 virus multiplies rapidly, generating harmful chemicals that harm cells. The cellular antioxidant glutathione decreases the formation of these inflammation-causing compounds. It reduces inflammation and cell damage. Glutathione may also help to lower inflammatory indicators in the blood.

Firstly glutathione inhibits ACE activity. Secondly, it scavenges free radicals and finally, glutathione reduces inflammation by inhibiting the NK-kB pathway. Glutathione also controls the delicate equilibrium between several biomolecules involved in the inflammatory process. Glutathione's antiviral properties may aid in the reduction of viral load in patients infected with Covid-19. This may help to delay disease progression and even avoid severe inflammation. As a result, adequate glutathione levels in the body can help to maintain redox equilibrium, minimise free radicals, increase mitochondrial detoxification, and hence manage immune system activity. Supplementing with glutathione promotes Th1 (a kind of CD4+ cell).

The use of glutathione for the prevention, management, and recovery of Covid-19 patients has been suggested in the literature. Paracetamol is commonly prescribed in Covid-19 to treat fever, one of the most common symptoms. Scientifically, it is known that Paracetamol depletes glutathione levels. Considering the amount of Paracetamol used by a single patient, glutathione levels in Covid-19 patients are significantly reduced. Thus, glutathione supplementation becomes important.

Oral glutathione at a level of 500-1000 mg/day has been shown to reduce oxidative stress. Glutathione supplementation dramatically enhanced NK cells and lymphocytes in the pilot study. With newer variants emerging rapidly, prevention is of utmost importance and glutathione may contribute in preventing severe disease.

Two case reports on the use of oral and intravenous glutathione as part of COVID-19 treatment have been published. Within 1 hour of administration, 2g of oral or IV glutathione alleviated dyspnea (difficulty breathing), according to the findings. For the treatment of coronavirus infection, glutathione may be utilised in addition to standard treatment.

When compared to a regular cold or flu, recovery from COVID-19 is delayed. After surviving moderate-to-severe infection, people are tired and have low energy levels, known as post-Covid phase. Glutathione has been shown to aid in the development of muscle strength and endurance. As a result, glutathione supplementation in post-Covid phase may improve physical strength and speed up recovery.

In a nutshell, glutathione may help in the prevention, management and recovery from coronavirus.

This article is authored by Dr. Anish Desai, Director Strategic Medical Affairs, Adroit Biomed Ltd.

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