PUFA is part of spike protein, PUFA restriction may treat COVID-19

A pair of studies forwarded by one of my readers. The first one discovered that a PUFA – linoleic acid – is part of the structure of the spike protein. The latter is perhaps the most pathogenic portion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and likely responsible for causing most of the symptoms now known as COVID-19. While we did know that the spike protein affects the angiotensin system and thus can cause acute increase in inflammation, the presence of the inflammatory linoleic acid inside the spike protein suggests that the spike protein has direct inflammatory effects itself, which the study authors are not shy to directly state. In addition, it suggests the spike protein has estrogenic effects as well, which has already been reported by various observational studies with COVID-19 patients. The second study demonstrates that the severity of COVID-19 in patients correlates with the levels of two (2) PUFA metabolites, and as such, dietary PUFA restriction (and/or inhbition of lipolysis) may be therapeutic for COVID-19. All in all, it looks like there is no disease, infectious or otherwise, where PUFA does not rear its ugly head.

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abd3255

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200924/Linoleic-acid-binds-SARS-CoV-2-spike-protein.aspx

“…To arrive at the findings of the study, the researchers, headed by Professor Imre Berger, and Professor Christiane Schaffitzel, utilized a powerful imaging technique, dubbed as the electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM), to study and explore the characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein at the atomic level. They produced the virus spike proteins in the laboratory to study them and determine their structure. Powered by the Oracle high-performing cloud computing, the team has created a three-dimensional stricture of the virus spike protein, which allowed them to observe the structure and identify its molecular composition. Upon the analysis of the molecular structure of the spike protein, the team has found something interesting. They revealed the presence of a small molecule, called linoleic acid (LA), which was discovered in a customized pocket within the spike protein.”

“…The human body cannot produce linoleic acid, and it is found mainly in food. Intriguingly, LA plays a significant role in inflammation and immune modulation, which are key elements of the COVID-19 infection. Aside from that, these fatty acids are also essential to maintain cell membranes in the lungs to promote ventilation….”We were truly puzzled by our discovery and its implications. So here we have LA, a molecule which is at the center of those functions that go haywire in COVID-19 patients, with terrible consequences. And the virus that is causing all this chaos, according to our data, grabs and holds on to exactly this molecule – basically disarming much of the body’s defenses,” Professor Berger said.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2021.663869/full

“…It is clear that the two regioisomeric linoleic acid diols (DiHOMES) had highly elevated concentrations in these COVID-19 positive patients, as did their precursor epoxides (EpOMEs; Table 2). Previous studies show that high levels of the epoxide and diol metabolites of linoleic acid are mitochondrial toxins, stimulate vascular permeability and that injection of either metabolite into mice leads to pulmonary edema and inflammation reminiscent of ARDS (Greene and Hammock, 1999Zheng et al., 2001).”

“…The high abundance of linoleate as a substrate, coupled with the increased biosynthesis of anti-inflammatory EpFA during severe coronavirus infections and the induction of sEH in an inflammatory state (Kodani and Hammock, 2015) may explain the increased rate of synthesis and concentration of leukotoxin diols observed in COVID-19 patients in our study. This finding raises the possibility that amelioration of COVID-19 symptoms may be achieved in part by reduction of omega-6-rich diet, …”