This is a great academic reference article, but it is long and complicated.
For me, a big take-away point is the observation that severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses contain a protein (N protein) that helps the virus replicate. N protein programs an infected cell to produce an immune hormone (a cytokine) known as IL-6. Another article shows that IL-6 depletes GSH in lung cells. IL-6 has been shown in several articles to predict a more severe progression of Covid-19 symptoms, as we noted, “Multiple studies show that elevated expression of IL-6 can be used to predict the severity of COVID-19.” Needless to say these bits of research were not compiled in a single paper until this article, but it begins to explain why Covid-19 has led to severe illnesses. You can use the bolded words to search either version of the article.
My interest in this area has been present for over a decade, when I was able to get data on the increased benefit of liposomal GSH compared to plain GSH in protecting cells against damage from the H1N1 influenza. It turns out that viruses manipulate GSH to further viral replication. The mechanism varies among different viruses, but the result is the same: loss of GSH in cells facilitates viral replication that can spread to a larger area as Covid-19 does in the lung. A paper relates observations in regard to GSH and influenzas from a group in Italy (2). It surprises me to find there has not been more research in this area from the US.
- Guloyan V, Oganesian B, Baghdasaryan N, Yeh C, Singh M, Guilford F, et al. Glutathione Supplementation as an Adjunctive Therapy in COVID-19. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020;9(10). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32992775
- Checconi P, De Angelis M, Marcocci ME, Fraternale A, Magnani M, Palamara AT, et al. Redox-Modulating Agents in the Treatment of Viral Infections. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(11). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32521619