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Review: Prospective Use of Omega-3s in Preventing COVID-19 Infections

What emerging research is suggesting about the value of fish oil

New research looked at the affects of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) on the ability of the SARS-CoV-2 to infect humans.

It is well known that the spike protein on the coronavirus is what is responsible for binding to the ACE2 receptor in the lungs, causing disease. Researchers have noticed that the spike protein is like a hook, and that hook can either be in an open or closed conformation. The open conformation allows the spike protein to attach to the ACE2 receptor while the closed conformation cannot. These researchers noticed that linoleic acid, an omega-6 PUFA, could stabilize the spike protein in a closed conformation, therefore, preventing binding!

Since Linoleic acid and other omega-6 fatty acids are inflammatory, it is best to avoid them in the diet. Therefore, researchers used a computer model to see if omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory, could do that same thing. What they found was

like linoleic acid, omega-3 PUFA could also bind to the closed conformation of spike protein and therefore, could help reduce COVID-19 complications by reducing viral entrance to cells, in addition to their known anti-inflammatory effects.

Despite this just being a computer model, the justification for fish oil is overwhelming. The researchers continued

Although several risk factors could explain why some countries have lower incidence and fatality rates than others, environmental factors such as diet should be considered. It has been described that countries with high polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake have a lower number of COVID-19 victims and a higher rate of recovery from the disease.

There are three things that really stand out with the coronavirus: rapid viral replication, cytokine storm, and pulmonary thrombosis (tiny blood clots). The cytokine storm produces a large amount of inflammation which which can be very damaging but also mitigated with fish oil consumption. Although the research is mixed, fish oil has been suggested to be a mild blood thinner. This would also be affective against the tiny blood clots in the lungs.

Omega-3 fatty acids can come from a few different sources: organic, grass fed meat, wild caught fish, and marine plants. The most abundant source comes from wild caught fish such as salmon and the least potent source is from marine plants such as algae. Vegetarians and vegans often get their omega-3 supplementation from algae. This source of omega-3 is in the form of ALA. ALA needs to be converted to EPA and DHA in the body to have the most affect. Unfortunately, ALA is poorly converted to EPA and DHA by humans.

For the best quality fish oil supplements, click here, and then click on Fullscript. Search for ProOmega 2000 by Nordic Naturals. Research suggests that 4g per day is most beneficial for optimal health. Whether the computer model holds up in clinical trials, the use of supplemental fish oil for Covid-19 and overall health is imperative.

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