A new study published by a research team from the Dr. Rath Research Institute has provided important scientific confirmation of the efficacy of vitamin C and other natural compounds in lowering the effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) expression at the cellular, protein, and RNA levels. Present on many cells throughout the human body, ACE2 has attracted much attention recently since it has been reported that it is the cellular entry point for SARS-CoV2. Led by Dr. Aleksandra Niedzwiecki, the research team found that while vitamin C has moderate but consistent lowering effects on ACE2 expression, combining it with other natural compounds further increases its efficacy. The researchers say that to the best of their knowledge their study is the first systematic experimental approach to evaluate natural compounds that work in synergy with vitamin C to impede key mechanisms of coronavirus infection.
Published in the Infectious Diseases: Research and Treatment journal, the goal of the study was to investigate whether modulation of ACE2 cellular expression can be involved in vitamin C-dependent beneficial effects. The researchers applied experimental models of cultured human microvascular endothelial cells and human alveolar epithelial cells to test the effects of vitamin C on ACE2, both alone and in combination with other natural compounds.
The results show that vitamin C itself has moderate but consistent lowering effects on ACE2 expression at the cellular, protein, and RNA levels. Ascorbyl palmitate, a fat-soluble form of vitamin C, was more effective than ascorbic acid, the vitamin’s water-soluble form, in lowering ACE2. Ascorbyl palmitate was also effective at much lower concentrations since it can easily cross cellular membranes and is more stable than ascorbic acid.
Some other natural compounds were similarly effective in lowering ACE2 cellular expression. The highest inhibitory effects were observed for baicalin, a flavonoid, which decreased it by 75 percent, and theaflavin, an antioxidant polyphenol, which decreased it by 50 percent. Significantly, combining these and other compounds with vitamin C further decreased ACE2 expression. The highest impact of vitamin C was observed when combining it with theaflavin, which lowered ACE2 expression by 87 percent. Combining vitamin C with zinc lowered ACE2 expression by 62 percent, while combining it with 10-undecenoic acid, a fatty acid, lowered expression by 53 percent. Vitamin C showed moderate additional benefits in decreasing ACE2 expression when combined with N-acetylcysteine and baicalin.
In addition to providing valuable scientific confirmation of the efficacy of micronutrients in controlling ACE2 expression, the study further validates the importance of considering nutrient interactions when examining potential therapeutic applications of nutrient-based approaches. Moreover, it demonstrates that vitamin C – both alone and in combination with other natural compounds – should be taken into consideration in the development of preventive and therapeutic approaches for controlling the current pandemic.
A non-profit organization, the Dr. Rath Research Institute is willing to license its expertise free-of-charge to governments and public institutions worldwide.
Link to study:
Contact: Dr. Aleksandra Niedzwiecki, Dr. Rath Research Institute