Emerging research is pointing towards the damage caused by free radicles which are generated in the body of people having COVID 19 infection. This free radicle generation may be of varying severity which mirrors the clinical severity in acute stages.
These free radicles may remain in the body and may contribute to the delayed illness and effects of the Corona Virus. When we generally refer to ‘Immunity’ in Covid, we refer to the protective effects of antioxidants and free radicle scavengers.
Free Radical Damage
Free radicle damage will occur when their load is high, and the body’s anti-scavenging systems are overloaded. That’s when external help in the form of antioxidants is needed.
There are many studies which talk about the usage of antioxidants in patients suffering from Corona infection as well as usage during recovery. The increased incidence of blood clots, RBC (Red Blood cell) damage etc seen in COVID-19 patients are due to oxidative stress and may respond to antioxidants.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances, that help prevent free radicals from harming healthy cells in the body by neutralising them before they damage our cells, organelles, and DNA.
The term antioxidant covers a wide range of molecules (atoms bound together by chemical bonds) that protect other molecules from a chemical process called Oxidation. Free radicle damage causes cells to malfunction or die. This is why antioxidants are important. They can prevent or reduce this damage.
Effect of Natural Antioxidants in Coronavirus Infections
Since free radicals can be key mediators of damage and disease progression, antioxidants have been suggested as a means of stemming disease duration and severity of COVID-19.
Natural antioxidants are being used for potential therapeutic approaches in the treatment and recovery from COVID-19 and its severe clinical complications. They are being tried either as an alternative therapy or as an adjuvant to conventional therapies for COVID-19 infected patients.
Naturally Occurring Antioxidants
Many natural dietary antioxidants are available in vitamins, herbs, fruits, and vegetables, and specifically made dietary supplements. We can call these in general terms as ‘Immune Boosters’ for Covid and other free radicle generating infectious conditions in the body.
Antioxidants come in many natural forms. These include enzymes, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients etc. It was found from thousands of food samples that some herbs and spices, nuts, some seeds, dark chocolate, vegetables, and green tea contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants.
There are no significant or major food or medicine interactions linked with natural antioxidants, however overdosage is discouraged.
What Are the Natural Anti-Oxidants Gifted by Nature?
Natural anti-oxidants are found in fruits and herbs have no interactions with other drugs, have no significant side effects and are relatively safe.
Foods and herbs containing high quantities of antioxidants are:
- Foods rich in lycopene like grapefruit, watermelon, tomatoes etc.
- Foods rich in lutein like green leafy vegetables, corn etc
- Foods rich in Vitamin A like carrots, milk, sweet potatoes, liver, egg yolk etc
- Foods rich in Vitamin C like oranges, gooseberry, strawberry, kiwi, mangoes etc.
- Foods rich in Vitamin E like vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avacados, whole grains etc
- Foods rich in Selenium like lean meat, sea food and whole grains.
- Foods rich in Zinc like milk, nuts, sea food, lean meat etc
- Herbs like Gingko Biloba
- Anthocyanins found in berries, grapes, brinjal etc.
- Beta-carotene found in carrots, pumpkin, apricots, spinach etc
- Catechins found in tea and red wine.
- Flavonoids found in green tea, apples, onions, citrus fruits etc.
- Isoflavonoids found in tofu, soybeans, peas, milk etc
Enzymes like Catalase, Coenzyme Q-10, Glutathione peroxidase, Methionine reductase and Superoxide dismutase (SOD) also help relieve oxidative stress in the body. Be informed, eat right, live healthy, live happy and disease free.
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- Pawlak K, Borawski J, Naumnik B (2003) Relationship between oxidative stress and extrinsic coagulation pathway in haemodialyzed patients. Thrombosis Research 109: 247-251.
- Wells AM, Haub MD, Fluckey J (2003) Comparisons of vegetarian and beef-containing diets on hematological indexes and iron stores during a period of resistive training in older men. J Am Diet Assoc 103: 594-601.