My daughter sent me an article from NPR that talks about CoVid19 and endothelial health. The title of the article is “Clots, Strokes And Rashes. Is COVID-19 A Disease Of The Blood Vessels?”
As more and more research is being done on the CoVid19 virus, one of the areas of focus has been the lining of the vascular system.
This lining is call the endothelium.
It’s only one-cell thick. But it actually regulates most of your cardiovascular health.
To give you an idea how large this tissue is, there is approximately 60,000 miles to the average vascular system. This includes all your arteries, veins, and capillaries. Lining all of this is the endothelium. If you took it out and laid the endothelium on the ground it would cover the surface area of a football field.
That’s a lot of surface volume.
Dr. William Li, who is a vascular biologist and the founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation, compared the endothelium to a freshly resurfaced ice skating rink before a hockey game. Smooth ice that allows the players and puck to glide smoothly.
However, the CoVid19 virus has an effect on the enthelium. In Dr. Li words,
“When the virus damages the inside of the blood vessel and shreds the lining, that’s like the ice after a hockey game. You wind up with a situation that is really untenable for blood flow.”
Dr. Li and his researchers came to this conclusion when they compared the lung tissues of people who died from CoVid19 to those who died from influenza. CoVid19 patients had nine times as many tiny blood clots when compared to influenza patients. And the endothelial lining of the blood vessels of the lungs were severely injured.
A normally functioning endothelium helps to:
Control Blood Pressure
Prevent Blood Clots
Regulated Oxidative Stress
Works with the Immune System to Fend Off Pathogens
And Facilitates Blood Clotting When Injury Occurs
It is the first and last benefits that seem to be in play when the CoVid19 virus takes over. While the precise mechanism is not know, the reaction of the endothelium is: high blood pressure and blood clotting even though no injury is present.
According to Dr. Gaetano Santulli, a cardiologist and researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City,
“The common denominator in all of these CoVid19 patients is endothelial dysfunction. It’s like the virus knows where to go and knows how to attack these cells.”
This process leads to vascular inflammation that goes unchecked. As this inflammation spreads it causes more and more of the endothelial cells to be effected. This condition is called endothelialitis and the result is blood clot formation throughout the body.
This then starves cell of needed oxygen and promotes even more inflammation.
This increased blood clotting is also confirmed in blood tests.
For you to properly stop from bleeding to death, the endothelium produces what is called the Von Willebrand factor, which is a critical protein needed for proper blood clotting.
Blood tests of CoVid19 patients have shown an increase in this protein. And for those who are critically ill, according to Alfred Lee, a hematologist at the Yale Cancer Center, “they are through the roof.”
This increased potential for blood clotting has lead to the use of aspirin and other blood thinners to help offset this.
It also may explain why patients with cardiovascular risk factors like coronary heart disease and diabetes are at greater risk since their endothelium is already damaged and inflamed.
And this new information also helps to support why Nitric Oxide Therapy is so important to your vascular health. Nitric Oxide Therapy is all about nourishing the lining of your vascular system to help it optimize its production of a molecule called nitric oxide.
The 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three American researchers who discovered how the enzymes of the endothelium convert the amino acid L-arginine into nitric oxide, the master signaling molecule of your cardiovascular system.
Nitric oxide has three key roles that help to offset the CoVid19 damage:
Nitric oxide relaxes the smooth muscle of the vascular wall to dilate the blood vessel for improved blood flow. This helps to maintain normal blood pressure.
Nitric oxide keeps blood platelet cells from sticking together to reduce the risk for blood clots.
Nitric oxide helps to initiate repair mechanisms to heal damage done to the endothelial cells
Nitric oxide therapy has been shown to be very effective in helping to reduce the risk for a wide range of cardiovascular health concerns. Maybe nitric oxide therapy will also be helpful in offsetting the damage done to the endothelium from the CoVid19 virus.
Hopefully, more research in this area will help provide additional answers in this ongoing health concern regarding CoVid19 and endothelial health.
Here are some additional links to information on CoVid19 and endothelial health:
Blessing Lives Through Nitric Oxide Therapy!