For the second year in a row, the COVID-19 pandemic continues its offensive, significantly affecting morbidity and mortality, creating a huge burden on public health and the economy. Although vaccines are now available as preventative measures, vaccination does not provide sufficient protection, has many side effects, and there are still no universally effective treatment strategies. All of these have a serious impact on the successful management of a pandemic around the world. Therefore, we continue to focus on strengthening the immune system, ensuring a healthy and wholesome diet, and other available methods of coronavirus prevention. Natural supplements such as probiotics, vitamins C, D, E, Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and others are attracting increasing attention because of their potential benefits for the prevention and control of side effects in people infected with COVID-19.

The official position of the WHO is as follows: there are no recommended drugs for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Also, scientists do not have a single opinion on how to avoid infection. But scientists and doctors agree on one thing – strengthening our immunity is very important, both when possible infected and during recovery.

Unfortunately, modern man, in conditions of stress, poor environment, and lack of a healthy lifestyle has a weakened immune system. With today’s possibility of coronavirus infection COVID – 19 to have a strong immunity is a guarantee of reducing the threat to your life and the lives of your loved ones.

In the narrow sense, immunity – is our main defense against infectious and non-infectious agents and substances: bacteria, viruses, protozoa, helminths, toxins, poisons, and other factors that are foreign to the body. In general, immunity is the body’s ability to maintain normal functioning under the influence of external factors.

It is now well established that the pathogenesis of COVID-19, its severity, and especially death are mediated by the rapid growth of inflammatory cytokines, which leads to a “cytokine storm”. These new results clearly show that an effective anti-inflammatory therapeutic approach (1), enhancing the capacity of our immune system, and strengthening the body as a whole is crucial to reducing morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 infection.

So, we must use every opportunity to strengthen our immunity. As far as there are no special drugs to increase immunity, the state of the immune system depends on lifestyle, nutrition, ecology, and genetics. It is extremely difficult to strengthen immunity in a short time. But it is necessary to begin, and now, it is very reasonable. Using these principles and foundations, you can make a great contribution and create a strong foundation of immunity.

Omega-3 fatty acids to ensure healthy body function

Omega-3 is the collective name for fatty acids. The main omega-3s include alpha-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acids. Briefly, they are called ALA, EPA, and DHA. ALA is found, for example, in flaxseed, EPA, and DHA – only in fish and seafood.

Some people can form the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA themselves from ALA. This is their genetic feature (2). There are especially many such people in India and countries where vegetarianism has historically prevailed (3). 

Omega-3s are needed for the formation of membranes around neurons, the synthesis of eicosanoids – one of the types of molecules through which the cells of the immune system communicate with each other (4).  We also need omega-3s to constrict blood vessels, sperm production, health, and brain development.Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) have been carefully studied for their anti-inflammatory properties (5). EPA and DHA are known precursors of a group of mediators that resolve inflammation (IRM; resolvin, maresin, and protectin) and are involved in resolving acute inflammation. Thanks to various mechanisms, they provide a return to homeostasis in the event of inflammation. Scientists have shown that higher levels of EPA and DHA also reduce the level of arachidonic acid in the membranes, which is the main source of pro-inflammatory substances (prostaglandins and leukotrienes). In addition, it has been shown that EPA / DHA inhibits the activation of pro-inflammatory factor NF-κB, inhibiting the entire intracellular inflammatory cascade (1). Scientists suggest that all these actions together can potentially block the “cytokine storm”, especially in the lungs, preventing severe pneumonia, which is currently a key cause of death from COVID-19 (6; 7; 8; 9).

Clinical research proves the benefits of taking Omega-3 in COVID-19

Between May and July 2020, 175 652 UK subscribers regularly took dietary supplements; 197 068 didn’t (10). Around two-thirds (67%) were women and over half were overweight (BMI of 27). In all, 23 521 people tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and 349 199 tested negative between May and July 2020. Taking probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, or vitamins was associated with a lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection: by 14%, 12%, 13%, and 9%, respectively, after accounting for potentially influential factors, including underlying conditions and usual diet.

In another study, American scientists have found that high levels of Omega-3 in the body are associated with a lower risk of death from COVID-19 (1). At the same time, low omega-3 levels increase the risk of death among patients at times. Thus, scientists have observed 100 patients with COVID-19 who have been hospitalized at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center since March 1, 2020. The patients were divided into 4 groups of exactly 25 people, based on the level of omega-3 in their blood. In the first group with the highest omega-3 levels, only 1 patient died. In groups with lower levels, 13 people died as a result of the disease. The authors emphasized that the relative risk of mortality among patients with lower omega-3 levels was about 4 times higher.Clinical practice has shown that about 10% of patients with COVID-19 develop severe lung damage, the so-called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is often fatal. ARDS is primarily associated with “cytokine storm syndrome”; it appears 7-15 days after the onset of symptoms, leading to systemic inflammation and damage to all organs. Because Omega-3 acids contribute to the formation of inflammation-releasing substances (APMs), they can help to cope with this formidable complication (11). That is, taking omega-3 supplements may be beneficial in preventing infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Premium Asta-Omega 3® – the perfect source of the Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

There is a perfect source of the Omega-3 acids – Premium Asta-Omega 3®, a supplement that has a significant efficacy to deal with inflammation, blood clotting, and to renovate cells. 

Premium Asta-Omega 3® consists of 2750 mg Omega fatty acids, Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E) mixture, natural Astaxanthin from microalgae, Wild Pollock concentrate (Alaska) + Norwegian cod liver oil, and natural lemon aroma. It is a completed and concentrated formula with a high dosage of 2750 mg Omega 3 fatty acids per tablespoon: 1150 mg EPA +1000 mg DHA + 600 mg free fatty acids (e.g. DPA) from 100% Triglycerides. Taking Premium Asta-Omega 3® supplement can help lower the risk of chronic diseases (12) such as: 

A lot of experimental data strongly suggests the involvement of Premium Asta-Omega 3® in the resolution of inflammation in virus diseases and COVID-19. Notably, Omega-3’s may reduce the inflammatory pathway by both reducing production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, as well as by increasing synthesis of SPMs (special proresolving mediators), which helps in inflammation resolving without chronization (13). Also, Premium Asta-Omega 3® strengthens cells of the cardiovascular and nervous systems to lower the risk of complications after COVID-19.

In Premium Asta-Omega 3® there is one more very important component – Astaxanthin, a red-colored xanthophyll carotenoid, that has a strong antioxidant capacity and can scavenge singlet oxygen and free radicals, and thus prevent lipid peroxidation damage, that may harm our cells (14). Owing to its antioxidant ability and cell signal modulating properties, Astaxanthin exhibits a variety of beneficial biological activities and effects. These include anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activity, protection against UV damage, alleviation of metabolic syndrome, cardioprotective effects, anti-diabetic activity, prevention of neuronal damage, anti-aging, and anti-cancer activity, as well as inhibition of cell membrane damage (15). In general, Astaxanthin can exert an inhibitory effect on the development of oxidative stress-associated diseases and mitochondrial dysfunction. 

This way, Astaxanthin has a critical role in fighting COVID-19. First of all, due to its antioxidant capabilities (16). Secondly, Astaxanthin proved its huge anti-inflammatory action, which has significant importance in COVID-19 (17; 18). 

This way, Astaxanthin (19): 

So, Premium Asta-Omega 3®, the unique formula of 2750 mg Omega fatty acids, Vitamin E mixture, and Natural Astaxanthin from microalgae is essential for health and life quality.Premium Asta-Omega 3® has proved efficacy in treating inflammation and protects from viruses (including COVID-19), it lowers the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, inflammations, and arthritis. It is a perfect harmony for the brain, heart, and eyes that has no fishy aftertaste, no reflux, is easy to take, and consists of 100% pure triglycerides without esterified or oxidized oils, is free of heavy metals, toxins, and GMO. The product has approved quality and is suitable for kids and pregnant women.

What else can we do to stay healthy?

Healthy eating and maintaining a balance of the essential nutrients is a very important step, but this step will not strengthen your immunity instantly. A healthy diet is not just a set of foods and supplements. It is advisable not to overeat and eat regularly.

It is important to drink enough water throughout the day. And to reduce stress, humidify the air in the apartment, wet cleaning, and ventilation.

Create a daily routine that evenly distributes the stress on the body throughout the day and will have a positive effect on health and relaxation.

Also, physical activity is necessary for the normal functioning of the immune system. Daily 20-30 minutes of your favorite exercises will be enough. Exercise stimulates blood circulation, helping to remove germs from the lungs and causing an increase in the production of leukocytes – cells of the immune system that fight viruses and other pathogens that enter the body.

Create useful habits. Follow the rules of hygiene, wash your hands more often, keep your distance, cover your mouth when coughing, limit contact with people who have the main symptoms of COVID-19 or any other virus.

And remember, that useful habits will stay with you for life, the coronavirus will pass.

Dr. Oksana Klymenko M.D., PhD, 
SNHS Dip. (Holistic Nutrition), Medical Doctor, Researcher in the fields 
of molecular physiology and pathophysiology, 
molecular biology, genetics, cell biology

References

  1. Asher A et al. “Blood omega-3 fatty acid and death from COVID-19: a pilot study.” MedRxiv, Published online ahead of print on January 8, 2021;
  2. Petra LL Goyens, Mary E Spilker, Peter L Zock, Martijn B Katan, Ronald P Mensink, Conversion of α-linolenic acid in humans is influenced by the absolute amounts of α-linolenic acid and linoleic acid in the diet and not by their ratio, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 84, Issue 1, July 2006, Pages 44–53;
  3. Mathias RA, Pani V, Chilton FH. Genetic Variants in the FADS Gene: Implications for Dietary Recommendations for Fatty Acid Intake. Curr Nutr Rep. 2014;3(2):139-148. doi:10.1007/s13668-014-0079-1;
  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals;
  5. https://nfh.ca/new-study-omega-3-status-linked-to-covid-mortality-by-dr-peter-alphonse-phd-cfs/;
  6. Tan A., et al. Supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid reduces high levels of circulating proinflammatory cytokines in aging adults: a randomized, controlled study. Prostaglandins Leukot. Essent. Fatty Acids. 2018;132:23–29;
  7. AbuMweis S., et al. Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid containing supplements modulate risk factors for cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of randomised placebo-control human clinical trials. J. Hum. Nutr. Diet. 2018;31:67–84;
  8. O’Mahoney L.L., et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids favourably modulate cardiometabolic biomarkers in type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis and meta-regression of randomized controlled trials. Cardiovasc. Diabetol. 2018;17:98;
  9. Li K., et al. Effect of marine-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha: a meta-analysis. PLoS ONE. 2014;9:e88103;
  10. Louca P, Murray B, Klaser K, et alModest effects of dietary supplements during the COVID-19 pandemic: insights from 445 850 users of the COVID-19 Symptom Study appBMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health 2021;4:doi: 10.1136/bmjnph-2021-000250;
  11. Weill P, Plissonneau C, Legrand P, Rioux V, Thibault R. May omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplementation help reduce severe complications in Covid-19 patients? Biochimie. 2020 Dec;179:275-280. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2020.09.003. Epub 2020 Sep 10. PMID: 32920170; PMCID: PMC7481803;
  12. Simopoulos A.P. Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 2002;21:494–505. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2002.10719248;
  13. Serhan, C.N. Pro-resolving lipid mediators are leads for resolution physiology. Nature 2014, 510, 92–101;
  14. Hawkes, J.S.; James, M.J.; Cleland, L.G. Biological activity of prostaglandin E3 with regard to oedema formation in mice. Agents Actions 1992, 35, 85–87;
  15. Moreno, J.J. Differential effects of arachidonic and eicosapentaenoic. Acid-derived eicosanoids on polymorphonuclear transmigration across endothelial cell cultures. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 2009, 331, 1111–1117;
  16. Campoio, T. , Oliveira, F. , & Otton, R. (2011). Oxidative stress in human lymphocytes treated with fatty acid mixture: Role of carotenoid astaxanthin. Toxicology in Vitro, 25(7), 1448–1456;
  17. Choi, S.‐K. , Park, Y.‐S. , Choi, D.‐K. , & Chang, H.‐I. (2008). Effects of astaxanthin on the production of NO and the expression of COX‐2 and iNOS in LPS‐stimulated BV2 microglial cells. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 18(12), 1990–1996;
  18. Fakhri, Sajad et al. “Astaxanthin, COVID-19 and immune response: Focus on oxidative stress, apoptosis and autophagy.” Phytotherapy research: PTR vol. 34,11 (2020): 2790-2792. doi:10.1002/ptr.6797;
  19. Suhn Hyung Kim and Hyeyoung Kim. Inhibitory Effect of Astaxanthin on Oxidative Stress-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1137; doi:10.3390/nu10081137.

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