However, recent research has suggested that there may, in fact, be other ways in which we can proactively take care of ourselves. One of these is a supplement named Quercetin, which is known to provide immune support. While this cannot, of course, cure the pandemic, what it could potentially do is give your body a better foundation from which to fight against it.
Here is what we know so far.
For those who have not heard of it before, Quercetin is a pigment that is derived from plants. Belonging to a group known as bioflavonoids, it is found in many of the foods we consume, from onions and berries through to green tea, apples, and even red wine.
As well as occurring naturally in these foodstuffs, Quercetin is also a component in lots of different supplements, including St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo Biloba, and American Elderberry, and that is largely because it offers those who take it increased immune support.
In addition, Quercetin is a powerful anti-oxidant. Having the ability to eradicate free radical molecules, which can cause cellular damage as we age; it can both rid our bodies of unhealthy cells and protect and support old cells at the same time.
What is arguably interesting is that most of us consume it – and thus reap the benefits - without even knowing it, with Quercetin believed to be one of the most common flavonoids in our diets. As a result, the likelihood is that the average individual ingests around 10-100mg of it each and every day.
The IBM modelling study
While all of this sounds interesting, you are most likely wondering what it has to do with the current Coronavirus. The answer lies in a study that was recently conducted by the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Labs, to uncover whether there were any FDA-approved compounds or supplements that might help to prevent Covid-19 from binding with cells.
Coronavirus enters the body through a mechanism known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2) receptor. This allows it to enter our cells, and once there, it replicates to make more viruses. Thus, by preventing this binding from occurring in the first place, Covid-19 is blocked from commandeering our cells and wreaking havoc.
Among the compounds noted on this list was Quercetin, and while this is just one study, a second piece of (yet-to-be reviewed) peer research has already reported the same.
While this evidence is compelling, taken alone, it only carries so much weight. However, there is further research to back up Quercetin’s potential efficacy in reducing your likelihood of contracting Covid-19.
Primarily, that Covid-19 belongs to a family of Coronaviruses, as opposed to existing in isolation. Included among this number is everything from the common cold through to more serious respiratory diseases such as SARS.
This means that while Quercetin has not yet been specifically trialled against Covid-19, it has been tested against other viruses in the same family, including – pertinently – SARS. Indeed, in a 2004 study, it was shown to block SARS from entering cells; a behaviour that further research in 2012 confirmed.
Unfortunately, due to the newness and novelty of Covid-19, what we do not yet have is a completed clinical trial looking into the effects of Quercetin on this coronavirus. However, there is a study currently underway.
A Montreal scientist, named Michel Chretien, was recently granted $1 million to help him begin a clinical trial, and while this was originally started in China, where the virus is now largely under control, it is believed that it may soon be moved to Canada, where an active pandemic is still underway.
Although this trial has not yet had the chance to yield results, its methodology is strong: to have both a control group and a group who are prescribed Quercetin monitored, to see if the latter display a decreased likelihood of contracting Covid-19.
When it comes to battling this new Coronavirus, the difficulty is that we simply have not seen anything of its like before. What this means is that even medical experts are essentially working in the dark, with trial and error the only way to develop a more coherent and effective approach to tackling Covid-19.
While this is the case, the current situation should not be construed in such a way as to make you believe that we stand powerless against the virus. Indeed, there are many methods we can utilise to protect ourselves, from the lockdown measures already in place through to certain supplements that can help to boost our immune function.
On the subject of the latter, Quercetin is just one option to explore, and there are many reasons to hope that, in time, it may provide an effective tool to help decrease our likelihood of contracting this Coronavirus at all.
Want to find out more about the latest information on this Covid-19 and how best to handle it? Then why not take a look through our recent articles? We are always trying to stay up-to-date with any new studies or scientific developments that you might find helpful, and are happy to answer any question or queries you might have.