Coronavirus: Regular exercise 'may protect against deadly complication', study finds
Posted: Wed, 22 Apr 2020 00:43
Researchers say their findings 'strongly support' the possibility that exercise can prevent, or at least reduce, acute respiratory distress syndrome - a deadly complication of coronavirus
With the UK now in its fourth week of lockdown, many bored Brits have turned to exercise to keep themselves entertained.
Now, a new study indicates that regular exercise may actually reduce your risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) - a deadly complication of coronavirus.
Researchers from the University of Virginia say their findings 'strongly support' the possibility that exercise can prevent, or at least reduce, the severity of ARDS.
As it stands, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to 42% of patients hospitalised for COVID-19 will develop ARDS.
Dr Zhen Yan, who led the study, said: "All you hear now is either social distancing or ventilator, as if all we can do is either avoiding exposure or relying on a ventilator to survive if we get infected.
"The flip side of the story is that approximately 80% of confirmed COVID-19 patients have mild symptoms with no need of respiratory support. The question is why.
"Our findings about an endogenous antioxidant enzyme provide important clues and have intrigued us to develop a novel therapeutic for ARDS caused by COVID-19."
In the study, the researchers reviewed existing studies on an antioxidant known as extracellular superoxide dismutase (EcSOD).
This antioxidant has been shown to protect our tissues and help prevent disease - and its production is enhanced by exercise.
The study found that a decrease in EcSOD is seen in several diseases, including acute lung disease, heart disease and kidney failure.
Based on the findings, the researchers are urging people to find ways to exercise, even when on lockdown.
Dr Yan added: "We cannot live in isolation forever. Regular exercise has far more health benefits than we know. The protection against this severe respiratory disease condition is just one of the many examples."
Source of Article: The Mirror