COVID-19’s mortality rate has less to do with the pathology of the disease itself and more to do with common autoimmune conditions that leave patients particularly susceptible to infection.
The vast majority of deaths caused by SARS-Cov-2 have been linked to underlying illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Positive cases with any one of these diseases tend to endure critical COVID-19 symptoms compared to otherwise healthy individuals.
To lighten the burden placed upon overwhelmed medical faculties experts are urging the uninfected to maintain a healthy lifestyle until COVID-19’s growth curve is successfully subdued.
According to two researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, those who regularly exercise decrease their odds of developing fatal reactions to SARS-Cov-2.
“We cannot live in isolation forever. Regular exercise has far more health benefits than we know. The protection against this severe respiratory disease condition is just one of the many examples.”
‘Extracellular superoxide dismutase, a molecular transducer of health benefits of exercise”
In their new paper, Dr. Zhen Yan and Hannah R.Spaulding identified an antioxidant called extracellular superoxide dismutase (EcSOD) that’s naturally produced by our muscles when we commit to cardiovascular exercise.
In previously conducted studies, EcSOD seemed to improve viral clearance and enable patients to endure prolonged infection.
The longer SARS-Cov-2 replicates its genetic material inside host cells the more likely sufferers will develop acute respiratory syndrome (ARS).
The condition suppresses agents that eliminate debris inside of our lungs.
Forty percent of those that develop ARS do not survive.
EcSOD targets free radicals and protects the body’s tissue from disease and decreases oxidative stress. The antioxidant can be administered to patients who occasion aggressive manifestations of the SARS-Cov-2 pathogen, which could shorten the duration that patients are held in intensive care units as well as the number of confirmed cases that end up there in the first place.
Independent research has shown that gene therapy is a viable way to protect those with metabolic disorders and immune deficiencies.
“The protective effect of endurance exercise is likely mediated by EcSOD in the cartilage tissues. In another study in mice, long-term forced treadmill running improved cartilage histology in the joint in wild type mice,” the authors wrote in the new paper. The facts that EcSOD expression is promoted by endurance exercise in skeletal muscle and can be redistributed to other vital tissues to protect the target tissues against oxidative damage in various pathological processes (Fig. 2) strongly support exercise-induced EcSOD as an effective therapeutic intervention for prevention and treatment of numerous oxidative stress-related diseases.”
Additionally, after administering EcSOD, mice suffering from renal failure began to endure less kidney damage over time.
“We often say that exercise is medicine. EcSOD set a perfect example that we can learn from the biological process of exercise to advance medicine,” Yan concluded.
Although COVID-19 seldomly results in medical intervention, fatal manifestations of the disease are almost always avoidable.
Poor diet and sedentary lifestyles are responsible for the majority of the fatal outcomes documented in the US, Italy and Wuhan, China.
Given the prevalence of diseases caused by poor lifestyle choices, The CDC reports that 20% to 40% of hospitalized COVID-19 cases will lead to ARS.
“All you hear now is either social distancing or ventilator as if all we can do is either avoiding exposure or relying on a ventilator to survive if we get infected,” Yan said in a press statement. “The flip side of the story is that approximately 80% of confirmed COVID-19 patients have mild symptoms with no need of respiratory support.”
Be sure to read the full paper published in the journal Redox Biology.