Vitamin B6 helps strengthen the immune system against COVID-19

According to a study recently published in Frontiers in Nutrition, Vitamin B6 plays a potential role in helping to prevent "cytokine storm" syndrome in patients with COVID-19.

Vitamin B6 helps strengthen the immune system against COVID-19
Vitamin B6 helps strengthen the immune system against COVID-19

The study reiterates that the SARS-CoV-2 virus and influenza virus are among the viruses that can cause severe lung damage and death from acute respiratory distress syndrome worldwide. Viral infection causes a "cytokine storm", the immune system is overstimulated, and highly biologically active cytokines appear in large quantities in the blood leading to pulmonary capillary endothelial cell inflammation, leukocyte infiltration. neutrophils and increases oxidative stress.

In the latest findings, scientists found that vitamin B6 has the ability to reduce the risk of "cytokine storms" by improving immune function and reducing inflammation. On the one hand, this vitamin helps fight chronic health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), by reducing inflammation, carbonyl irritation and oxidative stress. On the other hand, vitamin B6 deficiency will weaken the immune system, thereby increasing the risk of viral infections, as well as increasing the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Study leader, Associate Professor Thanutchaporn Kumrungsee at the School of Integrated Sciences for Life at Hiroshima University (Japan), said that in addition to hand washing, food and nutrition is one of the first "defensive shields". help prevent the risk of contracting COVID-19.

“Food is our first medicine and the kitchen is our first pharmacy,” she stressed. According to Ms. Kumrungsee, recently, many scientists have published documents related to the role of diet and nutrients in the prevention of COVID-19. However, very few studies have focused on the important role of vitamin B6. Meanwhile, the main harm caused by respiratory viruses, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is often related to inflammation and lung damage.

Ms. Kumrungsee added that the extent of "cytokine storms" and thrombosis (blood clots) are directly proportional to the severity of illness in a person with COVID-19. "cytokine storms," ​​or severe inflammation, occur when the immune system overreacts and attacks healthy cells. Thrombosis in COVID-19 patients causes severe damage to organs such as the liver, heart, kidneys, and lungs.

Citing antioxidant supplements such as N-acetylcysteine ​​and carnosine that have been shown to improve lung damage, Kumrungsee and her colleagues emphasize that taking vitamin B6 may have a similar effect when based on antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms to prevent SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The effects of vitamins C, D and minerals such as magnesium and zinc on the immune system have long been analyzed by scientists, but before the above study, there was almost no in-depth research on vitamin B6. . This is an essential nutrient and belongs to the group of water-soluble B vitamins, which means that B6 is not stored in the body. Therefore, the addition of this nutrient comes from the food we consume every day and functional foods. Vitamin B6 is found in many foods such as beef, fish, bananas, whole grains, chickpeas, soybeans, sweet potatoes, nuts, and milk.

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