The coronavirus risk in the USA is dropping. Tens of millions are vaccinated. And Americans are venturing back out into the world.
But new research reveals something that could STILL potentially put millions of us at risk of either getting the infection or suffering a far rougher case if we do.
It’s not the usual risk factors we’ve all heard so much about over the past year. It’s something else. And it might be lurking inside your own medicine cabinet right now.
In fact, you might even be swallowing this potential coronavirus accelerant daily to help control blood pressure.
It turns out folks on ACE inhibitor drugs may need to be even more cautious about preventing COVID-19 infections. And that’s especially true if you’re not fully vaccinated yet.
A new mouse study finds ACE inhibitors could potentially give the virus an assist inside the body.
Ace inhibitors could help COVID-19 take hold
Last year, the early reports were alarming.
Researchers said certain meds, including some blood pressure drugs such as ACE inhibitors, seemed to increase the odds of coronavirus infection. And some may have led to worse outcomes in those who became sick.
The mainstream, of course, wrote it all off despite its potentially devastating impact. They said the research was too early and preliminary to take seriously.
But not me. I felt it was worth sharing with you so you’d know about the potential risk and could take extra precautions. Knowing all the facts can’t harm you. But hiding them from you sure could.
And now new research confirms that I made the right decision last year to warn you about ACE inhibitors. Because the new study adds to the evidence that we ought to be taking this risk seriously.
Experiments on mice find these meds can raise levels of a protein called ACE2. And this protein which sits on the outside of a cell may help the coronavirus spread more easily inside the body, experts say.
One drug, lisinopril, raised the number of ACE2 molecules in the lungs, small intestines, brains, and kidneys of the mice. While a second drug, losartan, increased those levels only in the small intestine.
Natural therapies could help you ditch the drugs
Is this rock-solid proof that blood pressure meds such as ACE inhibitors raise your coronavirus risk? Nope, not even close. But is it cause for concern? Absolutely.
To be clear, we still don’t have direct evidence that these drugs can raise the risk of COVID-19 infection in humans or worsen outcomes. But it’s worth being cautious since a report last year reached a similar conclusion.
The new study suggests that another class of BP med, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), likely won’t raise those ACE2 levels. But, of course, those meds come with their own set of side effect concerns.
There are other options besides ACE inhibitors and ARBs out there for folks who perhaps have a borderline case of hypertension. And these proven natural therapies are worth having a chat with your doctor about trying.
One study, for example, found that a compound called lycopene (it’s in tomatoes and watermelon, but in the study was given as a supplement) can shave up to 10 points off your BP, which is better than many drugs.
Some herbs can help too, and I’ve got a list of some of the best for you right here. Plus, don’t forget losing a few pounds, and regular exercise can also help lower your BP too.
Of course, don’t start or stop meds… ACE inhibitors included… on your own. Instead, talk to your doctor first and get him on board with your plan. And if he’s unwilling to help you explore alternatives to the drugs, find a holistic or integrative medicine doc who is.