Better Nutrition|August 2020
Leading physicians and scientists on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic have uncovered a strong link between the virus and cardiovascular disease. This emerging theory explains, in part, why people with pre-existing high blood pressure and diabetes are at greater risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19.
It’s thought that the virus enters the body through the respiratory passages and possibly the eyes. Since the virus attacks the ACE2 enzyme receptor, it then sets into motion a cascade of inflammatory reactions. Ultimately, it is the oxidative stress of this cascade that causes hypercoagulation and blood clots. These blood clots then cause damage everywhere there are small capillary beds: in the brain, lungs, kidneys, toes, and even the blood vessels themselves. The blood vessels and the heart have a thin lining of cells, called endothelial cells, that release a clotting factor called Von Willebrand’s Factor (VWF), which has been shown to be wildly elevated in severe COVID-19 cases. Interestingly, people with blood type O have less VWF.
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