By: Celina Nadelman, M.D., uniquely serves as both a board certified anatomic and clinical pathologist and cytopathologist and a fine needle aspiration (FNA) specialist in Beverly Hills, California. www.drnadelman.com
The world is in a pandemic, the first in this century, and the first in 100 years.
A pandemic is caused by an illness that spans the world.
This pandemic is caused by a corona virus, called SARS-CoV2, similar to the one that caused SARS (sudden acute respiratory syndrome) in 2002 from China. However, SARS was contained and did not affect large populations all over the world. SARS-CoV2 causes the disease, COVID-19.
It has affected all our lives; many people have been infected and many have died from it, and those who have survived may have long lasting health problems.
Much attention has been paid to the pulmonary aspect of the disease, that is, the pneumonia and flu-like symptoms it causes.
However, a lot of bad outcomes from being infected by SARS-CoV2, turn out to be other things, such as strokes (also seen in young people).
All this waiting for a vetted, proven effective vaccine and better treatments, make us feel helpless. What if there was a way to feel empowered, by protecting ourselves (not just through isolation, mask wearing and hand washing) against these bad outcomes?
Taking a closer look into the other aspects of COVID-19, through front line worker experience and autopsies, we find that COVID-19 affects not just the lungs, but also our vessels.
Damage to our vessel lining, the endothelium, can cause havoc in our body. Damage to the endothelium causes it to become dysfunctional, releasing chemicals and mediators such as the “cytokine storm” and clotting.
Our long-standing knowledge of how the endothelium can be damaged, through cardiovascular disease models, can help us understand how SARS-CoV2 causes more damage in the body than just in the lungs. We are seeing that people who get sickest from COVID-19 have high blood pressure and diabetes and tend to be obese. These are all cardiovascular health risks. If we follow this idea, perhaps we can protect ourselves from bad outcomes of COVID-19 infection through known ways to protect our bodies (and our endothelium) by being more heart healthy. It is understandable that you cannot ask people to just lose weight and be more physically active overnight, but you can get protection through supplements that have been well known to protect our cardiovascular system.
The supplements that support endothelial health are Vitamin C (400mg-2g), Vitamin D (600mg-5g), Magnesium (310-400mg), Co Q10 (150-300mg), Flavanoids (as in black tea, purple grapes, & natural cocoa, etc.), Resveratol (<1000mg).
Lipoic Acid, Soy Isoflavones and Vitamin E have varied results. Always consult with your physician before beginning any new regimen or taking new supplements.
As we try to live with the changes brought on by this disease, we are reminded by the phrase by Sir Frances Bacon: “knowledge is power”. By knowing more about the causes and outcomes of COVID-19, we can be better prepared for it, and hopefully, rise out of the pandemic unharmed.