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Chitosan and Covid-19

Chitosan and Covid-19

To say SARS-CoV-2, commonly known as Covid-19, took the world by storm would be an understatement. 

 

Cities were locked down, stocks plummeted, unemployment rates skyrocketed, people started panic buying, and there was a general level of uneasiness being with crowds, especially those who were coughing or had watery eyes. 


Researchers know much more about the virus today and how to protect ourselves from it. 


A particular point of interest are certain substances that not just treat Covid-19 infections, but also help prevent the disease in the first place. One of these is Chitosan, the main ingredient in our GoBeDo Immune Boosting Gum.


What is Chitosan?

Chitosan is primarily sourced from shellfish or fungi in the form of chitin. Through an enzymatic reaction, chitin is converted to Chitosan, the concentrated form used in supplements.


Chitosan has antimicrobial properties and is widely used to develop antimicrobial films for food packaging. 

Chitosan Therapeutic Applications


Cholesterol-lowering

Antioxidants have been known to help improve cholesterol management. The best example of an antioxidant that helps with cholesterol is epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, the active compound in green tea. 


Like green tea, chitosan is also known to possess high antioxidant activity. In a review in 2018, experts cite how taking chitosan reduced total cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol. [1]


Antiviral activity

Chitosan has been reported to possess antiviral properties. 


A 2021 review revealed chitosan’s potential in mitigating viral infections by improving the sensitivity of immune cells, which then results in a more efficient immune response. The researchers also suggest chitosan has strong potential in becoming an anti-influenza agent, based on animal studies on immunity and chitosan supplementation. [2]


Vaccine adjuvant

Vaccine adjuvants are ingredients added to some vaccines that can improve the host’s immune response to the vaccine. Essentially, vaccine adjuvants amplify the effects of vaccines, inducing a stronger immune response and protecting the host better. 


Several studies suggest chitosan can act as a safe vaccine adjuvant, protecting the host against viruses while improving the intended effects of the vaccine, especially influenza vaccines. [2]


Chitosan has been used as an adjuvant for vaccine delivery because it has well-known biosafety, biocompatibility and mucosal adsorption‐promoting properties…


Chitosan and how it prevents Covid-19 replication

One of the most prominent findings in the last year is how Chitosan might just help prevent the spread of Covid-19. How does chitosan work against Covid-19?


Chitosan prevents Covid-19 from binding with ACE-2 protein


Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or simply ACE-2, is a protein found on the surface of many cells. It is present in various tissues, including those found in our lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, liver, and heart.


What does the ACE-2 protein do?


ACE-2 regulates blood pressure, wound healing, and inflammation and is directly counterbalancing another protein called angiotensin or ANG II. 


ANG II increases blood pressure and inflammation, leading to damaged blood vessel linings and other types of tissue injury. While these processes do have their place, ACE-2 makes sure ANG II doesn’t go overboard and harm the body.


What is ACE-2’s role in Covid-19 infections?


The alveoli are the part of the body responsible forprocessingthe air we breathe. If you’re breathing normally, you have healthy alveoli.


When you get infected with SARS-Cov-2, the alveoli are the first to be affected, which then causes difficulty in breathing. How does this happen? The answer is an unchecked ANG II.  


ANG II can cause inflammation and cell death in the alveoli, but ACE-2 mitigates these harmful effects. The problem is, ACE-2 is the exact thing the virus attacks upon entering our system. 


The virus binds to ACE-2 much like a key inserted into a lock. This makes the ACE-2 protein a receptor or doorway that causes Covid-19. When the SARS-Cov-2 virus binds to ACE-2, it prevents the protein from regulating ANG II, which then results in tissue and organ damage (such as the lungs and heart) if left untreated. 


Chitosan and SARS-Cov-2 don’t like each other because the former actively prevents the latter from binding with ACE-2. Chitosan does this by inducing a dual blocking mechanism, which can work to reduce the risks of the virus from becoming a full-blown infection. [3]


The illustration below shows how the process works:

  • Chitosan binds to what we call the receptor-binding domain, or RBD. It is essentially what the virus uses to bind with ACE-2. 
  • Chitosan acts as a wall or a “virus clog,” preventing the SARS-Cov-2 from binding with ACE-2 and therefore preventing Covid-19.

How does GoBeDo Immune Boosting Gum work against Covid-19?


We at GoBeDo follow the science closely, especially research on Covid-19. When we found out chitosan can act as a barrier against SARS-Cov-2, that’s when the idea of GoBeDo Immune Boosting Gum came to light.


There are numerous reports of healthcare workers getting infected and falling ill to Covid-19 despite safety protocols. Because of their work environment, they are at a much higher risk than someone who isn’t always in contact with infected patients. This is where GoBeDo Immune Boosting Gum comes in.


GoBeDo Immune Boosting Gumadds an extra layer of protection against viruses by simply staying in your mouth for a long period. This is important because the virus can enter through the mouth. By chewing GoBeDo Immune Boosting Gum, you are effectively meeting the virus where it enters and neutralizing it immediately.

 

You might be thinking, “Why not just take chitosan supplements?”

Supplementation is indeed helpful in many ways, but the problem is you don’t exactly keep capsules or powders in your mouth the whole day since we ingest supplements immediately. Much like regular chewing gum, GoBeDo Immune Boosting Gum stays in our mouth and provides protection at the very entry point that SARS-Cov-2 uses. 

Because of how GoBeDo Immune Boosting Gum works, it’s the perfect complementary product for those in high risk situations such as on the train or at a busy shopping centre. Professionals such as nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff. It’s also for those who regularly work with strangers (such as flight attendants or hotel staff) and would like an extra layer of protection against Covid-19. 

Summary

Researchers have tirelessly worked over the last year, finding ways to not just treat Covid-19, but prevent it from happening in the first place, and at the forefront is chitosan. Chitosan can help provide a barrier against Covid-19 and is the very reason why we added it to GoBeDo Immune Boosting Gum. 

GoBeDo Immune Boosting Gum is a tasty and fun way to add an extra layer of protection against viruses. 



References:


  1. Huang H, Zou Y, Chi H, Liao D. Lipid-Modifying Effects of Chitosan Supplementation in Humans: A Pooled Analysis with Trial Sequential Analysis. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Apr;62(8):e1700842. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201700842. Epub 2018 Mar 15. PMID: 29451712.
  2. Jaber N, Al-Remawi M, Al-Akayleh F, Al-Muhtaseb N, Al-Adham ISI, Collier PJ. A review of the antiviral activity of Chitosan, including patented applications and its potential use against COVID-19 [published online ahead of print, 2021 Jul 4]. J Appl Microbiol. 2021;10.1111/jam.15202. doi:10.1111/jam.15202
  3. Safarzadeh M, Sadeghi S, Azizi M, Rastegari-Pouyani M, Pouriran R, Haji Molla Hoseini M. Chitin and chitosan as tools to combat COVID-19: A triple approach. Int J Biol Macromol. 2021;183:235-244. doi:10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.04.157



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