With more than a year of coronavirus, spreading around the world, lack of vaccines in many countries, new COVID-19 variants coming along, and morbidity & mortality constantly changing, learning of a substance that can stop all of those, is definitely good news. We’re more than tired and exhausted of lockdowns and restrictions, so the only question we ask is: could it be the big solution? Is this for real?
And the answer is YES. This is it, and it’s proved to both cure and prevent COVID-19. Fake news is not welcomed here and it’s about time to take a breath of fresh air. But let me share some history first. .
The colourless gas was found in 1988 by Dr. Louis Ignarro, who won a Nobel Prize in 1998 for his amazing discovery of the nitric oxide and its positive health impacts. Back then, it was successfully used on newborn babies, suffering from heart defects and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), as on adults.
Labelled as a ‘molecule of the year’ in 1992, it’s not to be confused with nitrous oxide, so-called ‘laughing gas’. It was previously used in the treatment of another coronavirus – SARS-COV-1, in his outbreak in 2003, which shows wide similarities with present SARS-COV-2.
Besides safely decreasing the inflammation and the destruction in the lungs of oxygen-starving patients with severe forms of pneumonia, inhaled nitric oxide appears to stop the blood from clotting and dilate the arteries. As for the suspicions of possible link between AstraZeneca vaccine and brain clots’ side effects after getting it, this might also be an advantage.
Actually, nitric oxide (NO) is a naturally produced both antiviral and antibacterial compound that functions as a hormone in multiple organs of the human body. It acts like a vasodilator by making the blood to better oxygenate and improving the gas exchange in lungs. It activates the protein kinase G (PKG), which activates myosin phosphatase to release calcium ion stores from the smooth muscle cells, relaxing them.
As a healthy person is considered to be with a 400 mmHg arterial oxygen partial pressure ratio, patients with a lower level must receive extra oxygen through a nasal cannula or mask. What the lipophilic molecule of inhaled NO does, is to spread across the pulmonary membranes of the infected cells, causing to boost the blood-oxygen saturation level. The goal is to cut down the number of patients that need a ventilator to breathe, as they’re already in a short supply in many countries.
Since last year, multiple researches with inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) on COVID-19 patients suffering from severe pneumonia, have been made and so far results seem to be quite promising.
International study overseen by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) already took place in Massachusetts, Alabama, Louisiana, Sweden and Austria. They’ve been testing on patients with mild to moderate cases of the coronavirus through a CPAP breathing machine of iNO for 20-30 minutes twice a day for two weeks. They also reviewed a second trial on health workers, exposed to coronavirus patients on a daily basis, using a high dose of iNO for 10 to 15 minutes at the start and end of every shift.
Uppsala University, Sweden and Karolinska Institute based their study on a discovery that took effect in 2003 SARS. They used NO released from S-Nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) and its effect grew stronger, as they raised the dose.
Another study by clinicians at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and used iNO in 35 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia that were on ventilation and were failing to respond to the standard treatment. Oxygen levels improved, which led to increasing ventilatory efficiency at 24 hours and for up to five days.
And if that’s not enough proof, a great success was achieved by MGH, as iNO was used on 6 pregnant women hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19 . As they received 39 high-dose iNO delivered by mask for 30 to 60 minutes twice a day, a reduction in their respiratory rate and improved oxygenation was observed, and 5 of them tested PCR-negative 22 days after the treatment.
While vaccine deliveries are being negotiated and hospitals are struggling with COVID-19 patients in need of immediate oxygenation, iNO is the best treatment to be found during the pandemic outbreak. It’s safe, it shows no side effects and its benefits have been proved through the years. But most importantly, nitric oxide saves lives and it’s only a matter of time that it’s included as a most-commonly used and available everywhere substance.
MVS Pharma GmbH is an innovative pharmaceutical start-up company, which researches in the area of reducing viruses and bacteria with plant based aerosols. Their special formula ensures the purity and the stability of the used ingredients during storage.
Liliya Ganeva is an article writer, who explores all the actual, up-to-date COVID-19 information, and the possibilities for producing aerosols made out of plants against respiratory viruses and bacteria.