Existing Drugs Used For Diabetes May Be Used To Treat Covid: Study
New research that examined the biomolecular relationships between Covid-19, aging, and diabetes, has suggested that existing drugs used to treat diabetes can potentially be used to treat Covid-19. Additionally, the study found naturally existing biomolecules that can also be explored in combination for Covid treatment.
The study was presented by Dr. Amjad Husain, senior scientist at the Indian Institute of Scientific Education and Research (IISER), based in Bhopal, as well as researchers from the University of Arizona.
Dr Husain said: “With the Covid-19 pandemic lasting for almost two years and continuing to ravage the world, we are slowly starting to understand the virus and how it works.”
It is now known that the effects of the viral infection are severe on the aging population and people with diabetes. Studies are being conducted around the world on the effects of aging and diabetes on the short and long term outcomes of Covid-19 infection.
“There is an urgent need to preselect effective treatments from the existing pool of potential compounds” because the time required to discover a new drug and its approval is longer, said the principal investigator.
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A published review shows that at the molecular level there are cross pathways that are common in diabetes, aging and Covid-19.
All three conditions are associated with oxidative stress and decreased immune response and the complications that result from it lead to the onset of many other diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, eye disease, neuropathy (nervous disease) and nephropathy ( kidney problems).
“Researchers believe that an ideal therapeutic candidate for Covid-19 should be able to target pathways common to diabetes, aging and SARS-CoV-2 infection. There are classes of compounds such as polyphenols found in plant-based foods – curcumin (found in turmeric) and resveratrol (found in grapes) have been shown to not only slow down the aging process but also have antiviral properties, ”said the Dr Husain.
Some other polyphenols that researchers have identified as useful for both the treatment of Covid-19 and co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and aging may include catechins (found in green tea, cocoa, and berries) , procyanidins (found in apples, cinnamon, and grape skin), and theaflavin (found in black tea).
Researchers are also presenting evidence of some existing potential anti-aging drugs such as rapamycin that may be explored for Covid-19 treatment due to the common biochemical pathways associated with these diseases. Another such example is metformin, which is typically used to control blood sugar.
The study also performed computer studies to show that lipids in cell membranes play an important role in coronavirus infectivity.