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COVID-19 & iron


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#1 CarlSagan

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Posted 11 March 2022 - 10:11 AM

Alongside cytokines another marker of severe covid cases is elevated ferritin (iron stores).





"Subsequently, inflammation limits this metal’s availability for erythropoiesis, thus causing anemia, termed as anemia of inflammation (AI) [7]. AI is highly prevalent in patients with infections since the underlying immune-mediated iron restriction is considered as an important host defense mechanism to limit microbial proliferation and pathogenicity. Indeed, iron is not only essential for multiple cellular processes for eucaryotes but also for microbes including viruses" 


"Of importance, over 80% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 presented with inflammation-driven imbalances of iron homeostasis upon admission, which predicted an adverse clinical course"


 This finding was underlined by CT evaluation 60 days after disease onset, which revealed that in patients with persisting hyperferritinemia pathological CT findings were more frequent and more severe as compared to those with normal ferritin levels. We herein demonstrate that especially severe COVID-19 causes prolonged alterations of iron handling even at a systemic level, as hyperferritinemia and increased expression of hepcidin are still found in a relevant proportion of patients two months after COVID-19 onset


This suggests stopping iron intake & mopping up the increased free iron / ferritin could be key during and for a bit after a bad infection.  test would obviously be needed to confirm if the infection was severe enough for hyperferritinemia to occur & persist after.



"Two hallmarks of severe COVID-19 are hyperinflammation, most typically involving a “cytokine storm” with massive interleukin 6 (IL6) expression, and hyperferritinemia"


 "Predictors of fatality from a recent retrospective, multicentre study of 150 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan, China, included elevated ferritin (mean 1297·6 ng/ml in non-survivors vs 614·0 ng/ml in survivors) and IL-6 , suggesting that mortality might be due to virally driven hyperinflammation."  https://www.thelance...0628-0/fulltext




Covid attacks haemoglobulin to free iron from heme -> increased free iron & ferritin in most covid patients -> increased viral replication & inflammatory cytokines & damage to lungs - 



"Through its iron chelation effect, deferoxamine reduces iron availability in serum and body tissue which could prevent lung injury and fibrosis following COVID-19 infection. An in vitro study showed that deferoxamine decreased the level of viral replication of some RNA viruses, such as HIV-1. Moreover, when it was combined with an antiviral drug, it led to a synergistic effect on reducing the viral replication cycle [8]. This might suggest that deferoxamine could be beneficial in adjunction with anti-viral drugs to treat Covid-19. In addition, deferoxamine decreased the level of IL-6 and endothelial inflammation in vitro, which could reduce the severity of COVID-19 infection as endothelial inflammation is one of the important factors which leads to multi-organ damage and failure [7]. Interestingly, deferoxamine has immunomodulatory effect. It improved the immune response against enteroviral infection in infected mice by inducing upregulation of B cells and increasing the level of neutralising antibody titre [9]. Therefore, deferoxamine could ameliorate the pathogenic effect of COVID-19 caused by viral-induced lymphopenia.


In conclusion, iron chelation drugs, such as deferoxamine, can be used as a supportive treatment to improve the clinical outcome and to reduce the severity of COVID-19 infection. However, multiple randomised control studies are required to test their efficacy and safety."




low saturation (Apo)lactoferrin [not hololactoferrin] might be one way to do this? - its used to help raise iron levels in holo form or when taken alongside iron or iron containing foods, but i've seen anecdotal reports of people using it to decrease iron & ferritin when taking it alone without iron foods or supplements so i wonder if theres anything to this. It's known to be a potent anti-pathogen by mopping up free iron in the gut.    




Furthermore, the naturally occurring iron chelator lactoferrin (Lf) exerts immunomodulatory as well as anti-inflammatory effects and can bind to several receptors used by coronaviruses thereby blocking their entry into host cells. Iron chelators may consequently be of high therapeutic value during the present COVID-19 pandemic.


Lactoferrin & respiratory infections https://clinicalnutr...0307-7/fulltext




curcumin is another iron chelator https://pubmed.ncbi....h.gov/34122090/



after chelating it would be key to have blood levels checked to see where they're at. as swinging too low to the other side when no longer infected can be detrimental i.e iron deficiency without anemia (just low ferritin) associated with fatigue & low iron can downregulate dopamine d2 receptors etc.  lactoferrin at the same time as iron bisglycinate (empty stomach best, or alternatively protein food), is a good way to get them back up if they become too low instead.

Edited by CarlSagan, 11 March 2022 - 10:36 AM.

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#2 pamojja

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Posted 11 March 2022 - 01:35 PM

Interresting. In the last 13 years had a low but consident ferritin of in average 80 ng/ml, despite periodically higher CRP (up to 8 mg/L). Last October had allegdedly Covid, but as symptoms a mere evening with a running nose.

Now in December my ferritin dropped for the first time to 40 ng/ml. I took curcumin since many years, so that's very unlikely the cause. Some lactoferrin I started last fall. Just added 25mg of iron-bisglycinate (5mg of elemental iron).

My CRP was relatively very high at 340ng/ml in 2008 with a myopericarditis only, but also with an astronomical CRP at 96mg/L.

#3 triffid113

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Posted 11 March 2022 - 09:29 PM

Has anyone looked into Covid-19 vs. zinc? Because loss of small/taste is a little-known symptom of low zinc. I had Omicron with no loss of taste / smell so the type of covid might matter. (With all the boosters, Omicron only lasted 3 days for me and 2 days I did not know I had it, just thought I was incredibly tired).

#4 pamojja

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Posted 11 March 2022 - 10:03 PM

Has anyone looked into Covid-19 vs. zinc?

Most have :-) Zinc with an zinc-ionophore (transporting zinc into cells), like hydrocholoquine or quercetine, has been a treatment for many.


Personally have low normal serum and whole blood zinc, despite supplementing about 50 mg/d of zinc since 13 years. However, never lost taste/smell. I also didn't have any covid vaccine, nor real symptoms with covid.

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