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COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
#Family Medicine #Hospital Medicine #Internal Medicine
Herbs, immunity and COVID
Coronavirus has shown its devastating effects on mankind over the globe. But, to date, no specific antiviral therapy is available to treat COVID-19 patients. Clinicians, in developed countries, are favoring the use of combination therapy including antiviral agents, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs including hydroxychloroquine.
While exploring the preventive and supportive therapy, several polyphenolic compounds extracted from natural products were identified with varied antiviral mechanisms such as targeting virus host-specific interactions, viral entry, replication, and assembly. Curcumin is one such natural compound that had been widely investigated for its antiviral effects. It is a natural polyphenolic compound extracted from roots of the rhizome plant Curcuma longa (family Zingiberaceae). It showcases a wide range of therapeutic properties including antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and cardio protective properties. Curcumin, the yellow pigment of turmeric, is extensively utilized in our Indian traditional herbal medicines for ages to cure many diseases concerning infection and inflammation. Curcumin has shown antiviral activities against a broad spectrum of viruses including HIV, HSV-2, HPV viruses, Influenza virus, Zikavirus, Hepatitis virus and Adenovirus.
A study demonstrated the dual binding affinity of polyphenolic compounds by binding both the viral S protein and ACE2 to curcumin. The binding of curcumin to receptor-binding domain (RBD) site of viral S protein and also to the viral attachment sites of ACE2 receptor, proves potential inhibitory activity of curcumin, thus antagonizing the entry of SARS-CoV2 viral protein.
Moreover, topical application of curcumin emulsion may effectively prevent the SARS-CoV2 infection in humans, as the viral entry site of ACE2 receptor is predominantly present at the nasal cells, mucosal surface of respiratory tract and eyes.
Further, curcumin has also shown its role in the regulation of RAAS (renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system) components through which it is known to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive effects.
Treatment with curcumin has shown a decline in the proinflammatory effects induced by the Angiotensin II-AT1R axis leading to a significant decrease in the level of proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-6 and reactive oxygen species.
Furthermore, Nutritional supplements of curcumin with vitamin C and zinc have shown promising outcomes in boosting the natural immunity and protective defence against CoV infections in many hospitalized patients in the Indian setting. Additionally, the pharmacological formulation of curcumin in nanoemulsion systems has proved increased solubility and bioavailability and with enhanced antihypertensive effect.
Henceforth, the application of curcumin as a preventive measure in the inhibition of transmission of SARS-COV2 infection among humans is transparent. So it is reasonable to use curcumin as supportive therapy in the treatment of COVID19 disease in any clinical setting to bypass the lethal effects of SARS-CoV-2.