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Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572667


Pre-existing comorbidities such as obesity or metabolic diseases can adversely affect the clinical outcome of COVID-19. Chronic metabolic disorders are globally on the rise and often a consequence of an unhealthy diet, referred to as a Western Diet. For the first time in the Syrian hamster model, we demonstrate the detrimental impact of a continuous high-fat high-sugar diet on COVID-19 outcome. We observed increased weight loss and lung pathology, such as exudate, vasculitis, hemorrhage, fibrin, and edema, delayed viral clearance and functional lung recovery, and prolonged viral shedding. This was accompanied by an altered, but not significantly different, systemic IL-10 and IL-6 profile, as well as a dysregulated serum lipid response dominated by polyunsaturated fatty acid-containing phosphatidylethanolamine, partially recapitulating cytokine and lipid responses associated with severe human COVID-19. Our data support the hamster model for testing restrictive or targeted diets and immunomodulatory therapies to mediate the adverse effects of metabolic disease on COVID-19.

COVID-19 , Diet, High-Fat/adverse effects , Dietary Carbohydrates/adverse effects , Lipid Metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Cytokines/blood , Disease Models, Animal , Edema , Fibrin , Hemorrhage , Humans , Interleukin-10 , Interleukin-6 , Lipidomics , Lipids/blood , Liver/pathology , Lung/pathology , Male , Mesocricetus , Obesity , SARS-CoV-2 , Sugars , Vasculitis/pathology , Virus Shedding
Med Hypotheses ; 148: 110502, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065480


We present a hypothesis for increased sugar consumption and a lack of physical exercise as possible determinants of COVID-19 disease severity by impaired glucose metabolism, concurring into a syndemic. National data demonstrate that increased sugar consumption, a high daily caloric intake, and low levels of daily physical activity are independently associated with COVID-19 mortality. Further, genetic factors such as variations in the androgen receptor may compound the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle and increase the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms in some patients. A diet high in sugar in combination with a low level of physical activity may increase blood glucose levels and impair glucose metabolism. Recent data show that patients admitted to the hospital with high levels of fasting blood glucose are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms. Moreover, elevated glucose levels resulted in increased SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in vitro. We believe that healthier habits of diet and exercise, by improving glucose homeostasis could modulate the individual risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Syndemic , Blood Glucose/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Diet , Dietary Carbohydrates/administration & dosage , Dietary Carbohydrates/adverse effects , Energy Intake , Exercise , Healthy Lifestyle , Humans , Life Style , Models, Biological , Risk Factors