Viral infections are a dime a dozen, a quandary to laypeople and medical professionals alike. In the recent past, a medley of viral epidemics, such as SARS-Coronavirus [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome], H1N1 influenza, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus [MERS-Cov], and others have bamboozled us. The latest viral storm, coronavirus [Covid-19], a pandemic of the weightiest form, has run amuck across the globe, while mocking at our medical and technological advance and progress.
Viruses are a devious species. They function by completely stealing the pristine balance of our cells and replicate with gay abandon — making their own copies at the drop of a thought, or before you’d even say, “Hey, look, I think I’m feeling unwell.” The resultant effect is infection, followed by inflammation.
That viruses have the aptitude to destroy, impair, and alter the cells in our body is what makes us ill, or unwell. Viruses carry a host of identities. While some have a preponderance, or fond liking, for the respiratory tract, there are others that have a preference elsewhere. When the viral assault is not impactful, our immune system is able to fend off the invader. When the attack is intense, it is a different ballgame — a battle of attrition.
PREVENTION & MANAGEMENT
It is always ideal to visit your doctor and follow their prescription. This is often specific and universal. However, certain viral infections, such as Covid-19, do not have a specific treatment plan. The treatment is primarily symptomatic, albeit certain botanical, or natural researched, supplements, such as curcumin [derived from turmeric], resveratrol and vitamin C, have gained prominence in preventative and therapeutic protocols.
CURCUMIN & VIRAL INFECTIONS
Curcumin has demonstrated a natural repertoire of antiviral activity against a range of viral infections —
- Human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]
- Hepatitis virus
- Influenza A virus
- Herpes virus
- Human papillomavirus
- Respiratory syncytial virus
Curcumin is apparently loaded with a ‘smorgasbord’ of healing effects in viral infections — it eases fever, chills and inflammation. In a molecular modelling study to determine the effect of curcumin on SARS-Cov-2 infection, curcumin showed potential inhibitory effects against the infection. This prompted some clinicians to suggest that it could be used as a useful preventative, or adjuvant, to help people presenting with viral infections.
That curcumin has been used as an efficacious supplement in resolving the classical symptoms of bronchial asthma, congestion of the nose, sinuses, and airways, owing to cough, cold, or inflammation, including shortness of breath, or difficulty in breathing [dyspnoea] — a classical sign of Covid-19 infection — comes like a breath of therapeutic fresh air. Besides, curcumin is a natural immune promoter, not just booster. It thwarts viral copying, or replication — the most perilous consequence of Covid-19 infection. What’s more, curcumin has the capability to subdue myriad inflammatory particles, and, in so doing, stall tissue damage. It not only eases furtive and explicit symptoms, but it also provides perceptible clinical relief, minus side-effects.
Yet, the fact is not as simple as it sounds. Most of the curcumin available have problems vis-à-vis their bioavailability and absorbability. In realistic terms, this only means that a marginal amount of the active constituent could have made its way into systemic circulation. The therapeutic effect is, therefore, minimal, and not profound. This is the downside.
On the upside, certain innovative and novel approaches have made it possible to ensure higher bioavailability of curcumin. UltraSol, a novel, patented and sophisticated molecular dispersion process, augments the bioavailability of curcumin by 46 times when compared to standard curcumin. The curcumin acquired from UltraSol technology exerts far superior and tangible anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and antiviral benefits — the best part is it also tackles the perplexing issue of lack of, or poor, bioavailability and solubility. This, in turn, makes sure that the right dosage of curcumin reaches the systemic circulation and ‘kick-starts’ the preferred clinical action, or advantage.
The précis is apparent. The use of curcumin in respiratory illnesses delivers significant clinical relief in cough, and respiratory distress — the attention-grabbing sign and groundswell for most deaths in advanced cases of Covid-19, around the globe, especially in the elderly with co-morbid illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, and kidney dysfunction.