People with COVID-19 infections may age much faster

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In a new study from Baylor College of Medicine, researchers found compared to healthy people, patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had strongly increased levels of oxidative stress and oxidant damage, and markedly reduced levels of glutathione.

The results suggest that supplements that reduce oxidative stress and oxidant damage and increase glutathione might be beneficial to COVID-19 patients.

Oxidative stress is a state that occurs when there is an excess of free radicals in the body’s cells.

The body produces free radicals during normal metabolic processes. Oxidative stress can damage cells, proteins, and DNA, which can contribute to aging.

Increased oxidative stress and reduced glutathione levels are associated with ageing, diabetes, HIV infection, neurodegenerative disorders, heart disease obesity and other problems.

In the study, the team worked with 60 participants (25 women, 35 men; age range 21 to 85 years old), who had been admitted to the hospital based on a diagnosis of COVID-19.

The team measured the levels of oxidative stress, oxidant damage and glutathione in the patients’ blood samples and compared them with those from healthy individuals.

The researchers organized the samples in three different groups, according to the age of the COVID-19 patients: the 21- to 40-year-old group, the 41 to 60 and the 61 and above.

The team found that the COVID-19 patients in the 21 to 40 and the 41 to 60 groups had much less glutathione and more oxidative stress than the corresponding age groups without COVID-19.

Healthy people without COVID-19 above the age of 60 years tend to be glutathione-deficient and have elevated oxidative stress.

However, when the 60-plus age group gets COVID-19, their glutathione levels were much lower and oxidative stress was much higher than those of a similar age but without COVID-19.

The team says the finding that younger people with COVID-19 also are glutathione deficient and have elevated oxidative stress and oxidant damage is really surprising.

These defects appear to get progressively worse with increasing age, and the oldest patients with COVID-19 had higher level of defects in these outcomes.

The team also found that supplementing GlyNAC to older people and HIV-patients reversed other abnormalities including inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, insulin resistance, and improved muscle strength, exercise capacity, cognitive decline, gene-damage, and body composition.

Some of these defects also have been reported in patients with COVID-19.

The team suggested whether GlyNAC supplementation could also combat COVID-19 and potentially be valuable in helping the body fight this serious infection needs to be examined in future work.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about major cause of death in COVID-19, and new way to prevent many COVID-19 variants.

For more information about the pandemic, please see recent studies about this new finding may help close door on COVID-19, and results showing this depression drug can help reduce death risk in COVID-19.

The study is published in the journal Antioxidants. One author of the study is Dr. Rajagopal Sekhar.

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