A study carried out by Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in Minas Gerais state found that vitamin B12 regulates inflammatory processes that, during infections by the Sars-CoV-2 virus, are dysregulated and lead to the worsening 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 defense cells, the leukocytes, in each of the groups.
According to the study, the analyses have shown that patients with COVID -19 registered an altered expression of many genes, even though they had been on corticoid treatment for about 11 days. With the introduction of vitamin B12, the expression of inflammatory and antiviral response genes in the patients approached that of healthy individuals, showing the effectiveness of the vitamin in controlling inflammation.
All data generated by the research have been published in a paper, in a previous print format, pending the review process that precedes the publication of the definitive version.
B12 attenuates a condition known as inflammatory storm, caused by an excessive immune response in the body. B12 acts as a regulator of this event, by increasing the production of the universal donor molecule of a substance called methyl, capable of deactivating genes that favor inflammation, the study reads.
The Fiocruz Minas research shows, in a pioneering way, that it is possible to act in the normalization of this process that, in turn, is fundamental for the regulation of gene activity through drugs, in this case, vitamin B12.
According to Fiocruz, to verify the safety of B12, the research team introduced the treatment with the vitamin in samples of healthy individuals and found that there was no change in the expression levels of the genes evaluated, which shows the safety of the treatment, by certifying the non-toxicity of B12, and proves the efficiency of the vitamin specifically for the regulation of genes with altered expression in COVID-19.
Roney Coimbra, the researcher, and coordinator of the study explained there is no point in taking the vitamin on its own, as a preventive measure, since the research only found the efficiency of B12 for the normalization of inflammatory processes altered by the disease.
The research was conducted in partnership with Hospital Metropolitano Dr. Celio de Castro, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state, where patients have been recruited to provide the samples, as well as the clinical and laboratory data necessary for the analyses. Researchers from the Federal Universities of São Paulo (Unifesp) and Minas Gerais (UFMG) have also participated in the study.
Source: Agência Brasil