After acute Sars Cov 2 infection, a new condition is now being observed that scientists have given a name, Long Covid. Even months after recovery, some symptoms may persist that, in some cases, can cause a deterioration in the quality of life. Even if, at present, there is still no universally recognized treatment, it is possible to combat and mitigate Long Covid by resorting to some remedies, such as diet and supplements. Today we are talking about this, on the basis of a very recent review published in the journal Clinics in Geriatric Medicine (Tosato et al, Clin Geriatr Med, 2022).
Long Covid, there is still no real cure
As evidenced by a recent article published in the prestigious journal Nature (Ledford, Nature, 2022), at present the world is still waiting for a cure for Long Covid. Long Covid is a condition that, in more than half of the cases of Covid 19 infection, occurs after healing, even six months later, and can manifest itself with at least 200 different symptoms, from difficulty breathing, to mental confusion, pain, cough and fatigue, just to name a few, which can add up to other health problems, such as those related to aging. The problem is that it is still not fully understood what can cause Long Covid. An important role is certainly played by a large persistent inflammation. But there are also those who argue that small reserves of viruses are present in the body, and therefore, in fact, complete recovery has not been achieved. However, metabolic disorders, malfunctions of the endothelium, which is the lining of blood vessels and the heart, and of intestinal microbiota are also observed as possible causes of Long Covid. Several experiments have been carried out and others are still underway to understand the best action to combat Long Covid. Today, let's talk about nutrients and supplements that can help.
Nutrients against Long Covid
Certainly it is essential to ensure a healthy and varied diet, which includes fruit and vegetables. It is then necessary, to counter the Long Covid, to try to prefer some foods containing some nutrients that have proved useful in this case. For example, foods rich in selenium, such as Brazil nuts, sardines and seafood, can protect the immune system by regulating its activity and strengthening the body, especially against respiratory tract infections. Not only that, selenium helps reduce chronic inflammation. Iron, contained in legumes, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables and dried apricots, can also be useful, since low iron levels are associated with a more severe course in case of respiratory diseases and an increase inflammation. Zinc, found in shellfish, nuts and legumes, modulates the immune system, is antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory. Not only that, zinc improves respiratory function and increases mucociliary clearance, which is the cleaning mechanism of our airways. Magnesium, contained in almonds, bananas, black beans, broccoli, brown rice, flax seeds, spinach, oats, cashews, other nuts and oil seeds, reduces chronic inflammation, as does the bromelain contained in pineapple. Troxerutin, a flavonoid contained in coffee, tea and cereals, is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as capable of protecting good brain function. It is also important to take probiotics, to counteract the action of the new coronavirus in the intestine. The beetroot juice has been shown to reduce circulating pro-inflammatory substances and improve the function of muscles and endothelium and the use of oxygen. Finally, some amino acids can help. For example, arginine, contained in large quantities in pumpkin seeds, soy beans, peanuts, dairy products and legumes, thanks to its by-products, helps regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Supplements against Long Covid
These substances listed can also be taken in the form of supplements, subject to medical supervision. Studies have shown that, in people diagnosed with Long covid, taking a combination of amino acids, magnesium, selenium and iron for 6 weeks has been able to reduce symptoms such as fatigue, loss of muscle strength and inflammation markers. The association between bromelain and troxerutin has also been able to alleviate the symptoms of Long Covid.
Much work still remains to be done. Firstly to understand the causes that lead to Long Covid and then to effectively counteract this condition. Meanwhile, thanks to the intermediate results, we know that we have some foods and supplements on our side that can help counter or at least mitigate the symptoms of Long Covid.