Immune nutrients have become more well-known due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a respiratory virus, it can trigger a response known as a cytokine storm, during which the immune system damages respiratory tissues. As scientists are gaining a greater understanding of how respiratory viruses act, we are also rediscovering that several immune nutrients can calm a cytokine storm and support our immune system.
Cytokines are important elements of your immune response. Your system releases them to trigger inflammation to protect you from an infection. A cytokine storm is not a normal response. It is a release of excessive levels of cytokines, which causes hyper inflammation, serious complications, and sometimes death. Cytokine storms have contributed to complications and death in severe cases of COVID-19.
Let’s take a look at cytokine storms in relation to COVID-19 and review the top immune nutrients that may help alleviate a cytokine storm.
How the SARS-CoV-2 virus works
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a novel coronavirus. Coronaviruses come in various strains, but all are in a group of single-stranded RNA viruses. The illness a coronavirus may cause ranges from a common cold to a severe respiratory illness. The world has seen two coronavirus outbreaks: the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002 and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012. Both resulted in serious illnesses and death.
Coronaviruses can be transmitted between animals and humans. MERS transmitted from camels to humans, and SARS was transmitted from civet cats to humans. While controversy surrounds the origin of COVID-19, increasing evidence suggests that the virus was engineered or altered to have greater virulence in the Wuhan, China research laboratory. The hypothesis suggests that the virus got loose and spread to the public.
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