A study by Fiocruz (Fundação Oswaldo Cruz) Minas Gerais revealed that vitamin B12 regulates inflammatory processes that, during infection with the Sars-CoV-2 virus, are deregulated and lead to the aggravation of covid-19 .
The research compared blood samples from hospitalized patients with severe and moderate forms of the disease with blood samples from healthy people (volunteers without covid-19), analyzing the expression of all genes by the cells defence, the leukocytes, in each of the groups.
According to the study, analyzes showed that patients with covid-19 had altered expression of many genes, even though they had been on corticosteroid treatment for around 11 days. With the introduction of vitamin B12, the expression of inflammatory genes and the antiviral response of patients approached those of healthy individuals, showing the effectiveness of the vitamin in controlling inflammation.
All data generated by the research has been published in one article, in pre-print format, pending the peer review process that precedes publication of the final version.
According to the study, B12 alleviates a condition known as inflammatory storm, caused by an excessive immune response in the body. B12 acts as a regulator of this event, increasing the production of the universal donor molecule of a substance called methyl, capable of turning off genes that promote inflammation.
Fiocruz Minas’ research shows, in a pioneering way, that it is possible to act in the normalization of this process which, in turn, is fundamental for the regulation of gene activity through drugs, by l occurrence of vitamin B12.
According to Fiocruz, to verify the safety of B12, the research team introduced treatment with the vitamin into samples from healthy individuals and found that there were no changes in expression levels. of the genes evaluated, which shows the safety of the treatment, by attesting to the non-toxicity of B12, and proves the effectiveness of the vitamin specifically for the regulation of genes with altered expression in covid-19.
According to researcher Roney Coimbra, coordinator of the study, there is no point in taking the vitamin alone, as a preventive measure, since research has only found the effectiveness of vitamin B12 for the normalization of inflammatory processes impaired by disease.
The research was carried out in partnership with the Hospital Metropolitano Dr. Célio de Castro, in Belo Horizonte, where patients were recruited to provide the samples, in addition to the clinical and laboratory data necessary for the analyses. The study also benefited from the participation of researchers from Unifep (Federal University of São Paulo) and UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais).
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