Vitamin B6 may help prevent COVID-19’s cytokine storms which is the major death factor 維生素B6可能有助於預防COVID-19的細胞因子風暴,這是主要的死亡因素

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News Release 26-Feb-2021 (Note that this news release was modified.)

Vitamin B6, a common nutrient, may help calm cytokine storms and unclog blood clots linked to COVID-19’s lethality. But research on it is lacking. A Hiroshima University professor calls on fellow scientists to study its potential role

Hiroshima University

Research News

Who would have thought that a small basic compound like vitamin B6 in the banana or fish you had this morning may be key to your body’s robust response against COVID-19?

Studies have so far explored the benefits of vitamins D and C and minerals like zinc and magnesium in fortifying immune response against COVID-19. But research on vitamin B6 has been mostly missing. Food scientist Thanutchaporn Kumrungsee hopes their paper published in Frontiers in Nutrition can be the first step in showing vitamin B6’s potential in lowering the odds of patients becoming seriously ill with the coronavirus.

“In addition to washing your hands, food and nutrition are among the first lines of defense against Covid-19 virus infection. Food is our first medicine and kitchen is our first pharmacy,” Kumrungsee, an associate professor at Hiroshima University’s Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Life, said.

“Recently, many scientists have published papers regarding the role of diets and nutrients in the protection against COVID-19. However, very few scientists are paying attention to the important role of vitamin B6,” she added.

In their paper, she and her fellow researchers pointed out growing evidence showing that vitamin B6 exerts a protective effect against chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes by suppressing inflammation, inflammasomes, oxidative stress, and carbonyl stress.

“Coronaviruses and influenza are among the viruses that can cause lethal lung injuries and death from acute respiratory distress syndrome worldwide. Viral infections evoke a ‘cytokine storm,’ leading to lung capillary endothelial cell inflammation, neutrophil infiltration, and increased oxidative stress,” they said.

Kumrungsee explained that thrombosis (blood clotting) and cytokine storm (hyper inflammation) might be closely linked to the graveness of COVID-19. Cytokine storms happen when the immune system dangerously goes into overdrive and starts attacking even the healthy cells. Meanwhile, blood clots linked to COVID-19 can block capillaries, damaging vital organs like the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.

Vitamin B6 is a known anti-thrombosis and anti-inflammation nutrient. Deficiency in this vitamin is also associated with lower immune function and higher susceptibility to viral infections.

“Vitamin B6 has a close relationship with the immune system. Its levels always drop in people under chronic inflammation such as obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases. We can see from the news that obese and diabetic people are at high risk for COVID-19,” Kumrungsee said.

“Thus, our attempt in this paper is to shed light on the possible involvement of vitamin B6 in decreasing the severity of COVID-19.”

The associate professor said she is looking forward to clinical trials that would test their hypothesis.

“It is of great interest to examine if vitamin B6 exerts protection against novel types of virus infection and pneumonia which will be encountered in the future. At present, there is few information regarding the protective role of nutrients against pneumonia and lung diseases,” she said.

“After COVID-19, we should develop the area of nutrition for lung diseases such as pneumonia and lung cancer.”

###About Hiroshima University

Since its foundation in 1949, Hiroshima University has striven to become one of the most prominent and comprehensive universities in Japan for the promotion and development of scholarship and education. Consisting of 12 schools for undergraduate level and 4 graduate schools, ranging from natural sciences to humanities and social sciences, the university has grown into one of the most distinguished comprehensive research universities in Japan. English website: https://www.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/en

Editor’s note:

It is undeniable that a good nutrition status is important for a person to fight infections including covid 19. Early reports indicates that not just vitamin B6, but other B vitamins may help maintain a normal immune system and potentially prevent or reduce the damage caused covid 19 infection. When a person is infected with the covid 19 virus, his immune system responds and generates a cytokine storm which cause damages to some major organs like lungs (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and testes in men.

Hira Shakoor et al. published in Aug 2020 on maturitas.org an excellent editorial on how vitamin B could help fight covid 19 infection. According to the review which is titled “Be well: A potential role for vitamin B in COVID-19”, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 all play a role in fighting covid 19. B vitamins play different roles in fighting covid 19 including in viral binding and invasion, replication, adaptive immunity, cytokine storm and hyper-coagulation.

B vitamins are not as well known as vitamin D and vitamin C for their roles in preventing and reducing the symptoms of covid 19. So if possible, use some vitamin B complex in addition to vitamin D and C. Other minerals such as magnesium, zinc and selenium are also important.

編者註: 不可否認,良好的營養狀況對於抵抗包括covid 19在內的感染很重要。早期報導表明,不僅維生素B6,而且其他B維生素也可能有助於維持正常的免疫系統,並有可能預防或減少對covid 19造成的損害。感染。當一個人感染了covid 19病毒時,他的免疫系統會做出反應並產生細胞因子風暴,這會損害一些主要器官,例如男性的肺部(急性呼吸窘迫綜合徵)和睾丸。

Hira Shakoor等。於2020年8月在maturitas.org上發表了一篇關於維生素B如何幫助抵抗covid 19感染的極好評論。根據標題為“保持健康:維生素B在COVID-19中的潛在作用”的評論,維生素B1,B2,B3,B5,B6,B9和B12都在對抗covid 19中發揮作用。在抗covid 19中的作用,包括病毒結合和侵襲,複製,適應性免疫,細胞因子風暴和高凝作用。

維生素B在預防和減輕covid 19症狀方面的作用不如維生素D和維生素C廣為人知。因此,如果可能,除維生素D和C外還使用一些維生素B複合物。其他礦物質,例如鎂,鋅和硒也很重要。

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