Cholesterol Meds May Make You More Vulnerable to COVID-19
There is some new research (cited below) on how cholesterol is needed to fight viral infections and that or society of drug induced lowered cholesterol may be a factor in the spread of COVID-19. Simply put you need cholesterol that is why your body makes it. It has many functions not just immune support and the media campaign by the drug companies over the last 35 years to sell their statin drugs has convinced most MD’s and Americans that cholesterol is bad and needs to be lowered. Now we are paying the price for this misinformation and propaganda campaign by the Big Pharma.
Here a some good cursory literature review done by fellow chiropractor, Dr. Stephen Hussey, DC.
In the study ( https://www.jbc.org/content/289/50/35015.short ), researchers found that, “cholesterol-conjugated antibodies bind to lipid raft domains on the membrane, and because of this enrichment, they show increased antiviral potency”. They concluded that, “cholesterol conjugation therefore appears to boost the potency of antiviral antibodies“.
This next study ( https://www.pnas.org/content/106/14/5801.short ) looked at the viral peptide inhibitor C34 and found that, “C34 derivatized with cholesterol (C34-Chol) shows dramatically increased antiviral potency on a panel of primary isolates”. Their results made them conclude that this was “the most potent HIV fusion inhibitor to date”.
In this study, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3234914/) they found that cholesterol conjugated peptides could halt the merging of a viral and cellular membrane. They stated that their results have “broad implications for antiviral development” and that “applicable targets include influenza A and B viruses as well as arenaviruses (Junin), human metapneumoviruses, filoviruses (Ebola), flavivirus, and coronaviruses (severe acute respiratory syndromes)“.
Cholesterol is critical for helping those with the virus beat it. While it is not the case for everyone who gets the virus, there has been a clear connection between people who have some sort of metabolic derangement/insulin resistance (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease) and worse outcomes with the virus. This likely has something to do with the receptor the virus works through (the ACE-2 receptor), but given that people who have these pre-existing conditions are told to not eat saturated fat and cholesterol (which is advice I completely disagree with) and are likely given statins drugs or PCSK9 inhibitors depriving their body of cholesterol, I cannot help but wonder if this dietary advice and pharmacological intervention was their downfall.
Along with all the “physical” distancing (because we should still be social from afar) and other measures people are taking to prevent the spread of this, I would also like to suggest that we help our immune systems by eating cholesterol rich foods and encourage our patients to do so as well.
Stay safe and healthy out there!
Dr. Stephen Hussey MS, DC owner of ResourceYourHealth.com