Endothelial cells, COVID-19, and Vitamin C

Endothelial cells line the blood vessels and like other cells do have ACE2 receptors and may be able to be infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In more severe cases of symptomatic infection the disease progresses beyond respiratory symptoms to include vascular symptoms and increased risk of blood clots and strokes. Some patients had vascular symptoms without having had severe respiratory symptoms. The illness is unlike other respiratory viral infections and may involve infection of the vascular endothelial cells as well.

The vascular symptoms can also be caused by the body’s natural response to infection to move iron from hemoglobin in red blood cells into storage in other cells where it could be less available to a pathogenic microbe. Anemia of chronic infection or chronic inflammation can result from the shift of iron. Too little hemoglobin means too little oxygen carrying capacity in the blood.

For whatever cause, viral entry of vascular endothelial cells or anemia of chronic infection, the good news is that vitamin C and other nutrients help strengthen vascular walls and reduce inflammatory cytokine production, and reduce risk of blood clots,

Vitamin C protects blood vessel lining. The endothelial cells lining blood vessels form a tight barrier, which is weakened (permeabilized) by inflammation. Vitamin C tightens the endothelial barrier and maintains its integrity during inflammation

Vitamin C Protects Blood Vessel Lining, VUMC Reporter, https://news.vumc.org/2015/09/04/vitamin-c-blood-vessel-lining/

Bioflavonoids, and other polyphenols and antioxidants would all still be helpful treatments for reducing oxidative stress, strengthening blood vessels, preventing coagulation, and reducing cytokine storm. See previous post for more information on bioflavonoids which also help reduce blood clotting risk and may act as decongestants if enough is eaten – Bitter taste receptors in the lungs & Hesperidin’s decongestant properties.

Other phytonutrients that may help against SARS-CoV-2 infection are listed in this post: Phytonutrients that may help against SARS-CoV-2.

Foods that may help if intestinal inflammation is also a problem (GI discomfort, diarrhea, a few points about nausea relief) ACE2, Diarrhea, & COVID19 – it gets complicated.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use. It is not intended to provide individual guidance. Please seek a health care provider for individualized health care guidance.

CoV-19 nutrition research announcement by the Dutch firm Nutricia, link

Global research to define nutrition guidelines for recovering COVID-19 patients, 29-May-2020 By Nikki Hancocks, “Dutch nutrition research and innovation firm Nutricia has announced it will support a series of research projects taking place around to world over the following weeks to help define nutrition guidelines to help speed up the recovery of COVID-19 patients.” https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2020/05/29/Global-research-to-define-nutrition-guidelines-for-recovering-COVID-19-patients#

Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use. It is not intended to provide individual guidance. Please seek a health care provider for individualized health care guidance.

Pomegranate peel catechins – inhibition of NET formation

We could show that the flavonoids (−)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin hydrate, and rutin trihydrate as well as vitamin C and the pharmacological substances N-acetyl-L-cysteine and 5-aminosalicylic acid inhibited PMA induced ROS production and NET formation.” (1)

Why care about NET formation? because it may be associated with worse risk of coagulation and blood clots forming in severe COVID-19 illness. Interleuken-6 (IL-6) can increase NET formation by neutraphil white blood cells attempting to ensnare pathogens and IL-6 levels tend to be elevated in mor severe COVID-19 illness.

NET-neutraphil extracellular traps: “Thrombosis [coagulation/blood clotting], sepsis, and thick mucous secretions share neutrophil extracellular traps as a common causal agent. In addition to phagocytosis and degranulation, neutrophils can kill pathogens by extruding neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), a process termed NETosis.” (2)

Rutin is found in citrus peel and other plants. Epicatechin and catechin hydrate are in pomegranate peel or juice possibly (more in the peel). N-acetyl-L-cysteine is available as a supplement also known as NAC, and 5-aminosalicylic acid is a medication. Acetylsalicylic acid is aspirin and it also inhibits NET formation. (search results) Salicylic acid may be in some spices/plant foods. Many spices used in Indian cooking are good sources of salicylic acid. (post: Carrots, Spices, and baby aspirin help prevent cancer)

Reference List

  1. Kirchner T, Hermann E, Möller S, et al. Flavonoids and 5-aminosalicylic acid inhibit the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps. Mediators Inflamm. 2013;2013:710239. doi:10.1155/2013/710239 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3871909/
  2. Yanuck SF, Pizzorno J, Messier H, Fitzgerald KN, Evidence Supporting a Phased Immuno-physiological Approach to COVID-19 From Prevention Through Recovery. athmjournal.com/ https://athmjournal.com/covid19/research/evidence-supporting-a-phased-immuno-physiological-approach-to-covid-19-from-prevention-through-recovery/ *”interventions for one phase may not be appropriate for a different phase. The 4 phases addressed are: Prevention, Infection, Inflammation & Recovery.