The real cause of death among high-risk COVID-19 patients is not the virus
News about COVID-19 has dominated the headlines all year. And with recent news of the sitting U.S. President and First Lady both testing positive for the virus that causes it, chances are it will not disappear from your news feeds anytime soon.
A lot of that coverage, understandably, is on the physical and emotional toll the illness has taken on so many people not just in the US, but around the world.
But lately, a lot more attention is being given to research into effective treatments, the race for a vaccine, and other scientific developments since the start of the pandemic.
One of the key discoveries recently made by a team of researchers from VCU Massey Cancer Center, is that COVID-19 is more of an acute inflammatory disease and should be treated as such. These researchers also claim that the people who suffer the most severely are actually experiencing a “dysregulation of inflammatory immune responses.”
What does this mean, exactly?
Well, during a normal immune response, your body reacts immediately to the offending pathogen by mounting an inflammatory response, known as an “adaptive immune response.” This beneficial bodily reaction not only keeps the infection from doing too much damage, it also leads your body to produce protective antibodies that may prevent reinfection.
For most people with COVID-19, this is exactly what happens. Once their body successfully fights off the virus, the inflammation has served its purpose so it dissipates and things return to normal.
However, in a small percentage of people, this process goes a little haywire. This “dysregulation” of the inflammatory response is a major reason more vulnerable people have worse outcomes in their fight against COVID-19.
What can lead your body to have a dysregulated immune response?
One major cause is underlying conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or obesity.
Another is age—we often hear that older people are at higher risk than younger folks.
Whether you are a man or a woman has something to do with it too. Men are more susceptible due to an expression of sex-associated genes that play a role in the immune response.
The Real Cause of Death in Susceptible People
This is important information because, according to the researchers, it’s not the virus that can lead to death in these highly susceptible people. It’s the overblown immune response these vulnerable individuals tend to have toward the virus.
The authors of the study suggest that controlling the virus with antiviral medications may not be the best approach for high-risk people.
Instead, they say the use of therapeutics that lessen inflammation without compromising your body’s normal adaptive immune response could be the safest and most effective treatment. In other words, you do not want to get in the way of your body’s normal response to COVID because doing so could disrupt the process that eventually leads to antibodies.
One of the best potential treatments, according to the researchers, is the transfer of plasma from people immune to COVID.
And other anti-inflammatory drugs, including losartan, could be beneficial by reducing inflammation without getting involved in the adaptive immune response.
Together, plasma plus losartan could pack a double punch—reducing hyper-immunity while still allowing the body to fight COVID-19 and develop protective antibodies.
Addressing the Root Cause of Inflammation
If there’s a theme here, it’s this: Lifestyle-related diseases are associated with chronic inflammation, and chronic inflammation puts you at higher risk of severe illness and suffering, especially as it relates to COVID-19.
Of course, there are some risk factors you cannot change.
For example, you cannot turn back the hands of time and be 25 again. But you can control chronic, systemic inflammation that is caused by lifestyle factors such as obesity, inactivity, poor diet, and diseases related to them (diabetes, heart disease, etc.).
Being as healthy as possible, no matter what your age, gives you a leg up when a virus or other pathogen decides to invade.
Additionally, there are several supplements you can take to support your immune system and minimize inflammation.
One of the most effective and well-studied anti-inflammatory supplements is curcumin. The active component in the spice turmeric, curcumin has been shown to decrease inflammation and the related diseases, including arthritis, cancer, heart disease, liver disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.
Newport Natural Health, for example, offers a best-selling curcumin formula that may be right for you. It's a powerful inflammation fighter with Cavacurmin™ which is clinically proven to be up to 40 times stronger than ordinary curcumin. You can learn more about this customer favorite here.
Other excellent anti-inflammatory supplements are those that contain omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, polyphenols such as resveratrol, and ginger.
And of course, it goes without saying: maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise routine are especially important for minimizing inflammation, reducing disease risk, boosting immunity, and keeping you healthy all-around.
With COVID-19 still a very real threat—especially as we enter cold and flu season—make these a priority, starting today!
Take good care.
Manjili RH, et al. COVID-19 as an acute inflammatory disease. J Immunol. 2020 Jul 2;205(1):12-19. Last accessed Sept. 10, 2020.
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Last Updated: October 3, 2020
Originally Published: October 3, 2020