Do omega-3 fatty acids keep the coronavirus out?
A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronavirus infection. According to this in vitro study, the polyunsaturated fatty acids in oily fish and flaxseed can prevent the virus from entering cells.
We'll tell you right away that the virus-inhibiting effect of omega-3 fatty acids was discovered by the big bad boy of the supplement industry himself. The researchers are affiliated with US-based Dr. Rath Research Institute. Matthias Rath also personally cooperated in the investigation.
Everyone has an opinion about Rath, so it doesn't add much if we give ours as well. We prefer to stick to the facts. The study on which we base ourselves in this post appeared in the quite classy Scientific Reports.
The researchers brought several dozen fatty acids into contact with the protein spines on the outside of the corona virus. These are the spike proteins with which the virus tries to enter cells.
The researchers discovered that polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA, DHA, linolenic acid and linoleic acid could attach themselves well to that protein [RBD]. These fatty acids stuck to the spike proteins so well that they disabled them 100 percent.
Click on the table below for a larger version.
That could mean that these fatty acids could make it more difficult for the coronavirus to enter and infect cells. To test the likelihood of that theory, the researchers ran a test with modified A549 cells. A549 cells are epithelial cells from the airways in the lungs.
The researchers had provided the cells with an extra piece of genetic material, which caused the cells to emit light when a virus slipped in via the ACE2 receptor. The coronavirus uses this receptor to infect cells.
The researchers exposed the cells for several hours to EPA and ALA, the most promising fatty acids. Then they released a home-made viruslike complex, with the same spike protein as the coronavirus, onto the cells.
The higher the concentration of EPA and ALA, the less light the cells gave.
Of course, this in vitro study does not yet show that supplements or foods with a lot of EPA or ALA really protect against the corona virus. This requires in vivo studies.
Sci Rep. 2021 Mar 4;11(1):5207.
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