COVID-19 mortality and NAD+ deficiency – what is the link?
A new hypothesis from South African medical researchers suggests that a deficiency of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) may be the primary factor in the risk of death from COVID-19.
Older patients and those with several conditions linked to oxidative stress are more likely to die from COVID-19.
NAD+ levels are reduced in older people, and also in those who suffer from conditions noted for oxidative stress such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension. NAD+ is vital for cellular metabolism, so further depletion of NAD+ levels as a result of COVID-19 could lead to the disease progressing to the hyperinflammatory stage that can cause death.
The new research looks at the role of a protein known as SIRT1, which controls and modifies the inflammatory response and plays a role in defending against viral infections. A lack of NAD+ limits the production of SIRT1 and therefore reduces the body’s immune response against the virus.
The researchers conclude that nutritional support with NAD+ precursors and SIRT1 – both in advance of infection and as a treatment for infected patients – could minimise the severity of COVID-19.
There is more research to be done, but if the hypothesis is proven it could have broad ramifications for the treatment of COVID-19, especially in the third world.
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