Can Natural Polyphenols Play a Role in Reducing the Risks Associated with Covid-19?
As we are all to aware, SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) first emerged in late 2019 and rapidly spread all over the world. The hallmarks of the infection are a hyper-activation of the immune system that results in a severe systemic inflammatory response named cytokine storm which can lead to acute respiratory distress.
In addition to conventional therapeutics, there is intense interest in the possible role of bioactive phytochemicals, particularly dietary polyphenols as potential anti-inflammatory agents.
The health-promoting activities of plant polyphenols have been widely ascertained by numerous scientific publications. Studies on plant extracts and phytochemicals showed that polyphenols can play an anti-inflammatory action in the prevention and the progression of chronic diseases. (1-5)
Cytokine storm is a condition in which the host immune response goes into overdrive, causing an uncontrollable release of cytokines.
The released cytokines cause inflammation, fever, fatigue, malaise, respiratory distress. Multiple cytokines, such as IFN-gamma, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, Il -12 and IL-18 have been identified. The continual production of these cytokines sets off a feedback loop that results in the overactivation of immune cells, especially T cells, macrophages, dendritic and endothelial cells. The result is a self-amplifying hyperinflammatory condition known as cytokine storm. (6)
Polyphenols and Cytokine Modulation
Polyphenols act on macrophages by inhibiting some of the key regulators of the inflammatory response such as TNF-α, IL-1-β, and IL-6. A diet abundant in fruits rich in anthocyanins (such as red berry fruits) is related to lower serum levels of IL-6, IL-12, and C reactive protein and therefore, to decreased inflammation. (7-10)
Even though there are no current clinical trials testing the effect of plant polyphenols on Covid-19, research published in the journal Molecules. 2020 Dec. titled: Can Natural Polyphenols Help in Reducing Cytokine Storm in COVID-19 Patients? concluded that “bioactive phytochemicals, such as polyphenols may become promising tools for the treatment of COVID-19 in reducing the hyperactivation of cytokines such as TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8. Such nutrients with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may prevent or attenuate the inflammatory and vascular manifestations associated with COVID-19.” (11)
As previously outlined, products such as TyrianCore® which utilizes Aronia – the highest polyphenol-containing berry in the world could be considered as a safe and effective means to reduce the symptoms associated with Covid-19.
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