The fight against the deadly COVID-19 can become a lot easier by simply regulating and maintaining our blood sugar levels. A recently released study, published in the Journal of Medical Virology, reveals that patients infected with COVID-19 can undermine the severity of their symptoms by controlling their blood glucose levels.

As the medical community continues to understand more about COVID-19, it is apparent that there is an association between the virus and blood sugar levels. More than an average number of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 are diabetic patients, pre-diabetic or suffering from undiagnosed diabetes. These findings have encouraged researchers to put forward the notions that blood sugar is likely to interact with COVID-19.

Research reveals that coronavirus can infect our body cells by getting attached to the surface with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, a receptor more commonly referred to as ACE2. Findings reveal that both ACE2 and COVID-19 require sugar molecules attached to their protein for the process to work adequately. This has led researchers to believe that the virus and the severity of its symptoms are influenced by the concentration of sugar-coated ACE2 receptors and sugar-coated virus present within the lung tissues.

How COVID-19 Impacts People with Diabetes
Image: Scientific American

It is evident that patients suffering for diabetes are much more vulnerable to being diagnosed with COVID-19. Many patients who have been hospitalized not only suffer from diabetes and pre-diabetes, but many also struggle with high blood sugar and are largely unaware of it. A recently conducted study in Wuhan, China also highlighted the same association between blood sugar levels and COVID-19.

One study reveals how high blood sugar levels can increase the concentration of the sugar-coated ACE2 receptors within the lungs of mice diagnosed with diabetes. This indicates that these number of receptors are higher, and there also have higher amounts of sugars attached to them, making it easier for the virus to spread the infection to the cells.

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A moderated and healthy diet, and regular exercise is the ideal strategy to help your body produce more insulin and reduce the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. By lower your blood sugar levels, you can lower the amounts of sugar and ACE2 receptors in your body. In order to achieve this balance, researchers suggest vulnerable patients to consider a high blood sugar test, known as hemoglobin A1c, which will also help determine the risk factors for COVID-19 virus.

For several years, a drug known as hydroxychloroquine has been tested during clinical trials to cut down the number of breast cancer cells within the bone marrow, and to prevent them from reemerging. This is the same drug that has gained immense popularity in the news as an antimalarial medication that has been suggested as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

While there is a lack of conclusive evidence to prove hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness in eliminating the virus, it does bring about the same effects as metformin in reducing blood sugar levels. Early trials reveal that the drug is not effective on COVID-19, however, further trials are being undertaken to gain substantial evidence.

References:

https://www.diabetes.org/coronavirus-covid-19

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-04-blood-sugar-vulnerability-coronavirus.html

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