Recent compelling evidence showed the presence of thick adipose tissue aggravates the COVID-19 conditions. Scientists discovered that the fat cells acted as reservoirs and contributed to the increased viral load (SARS-Cov-2). Thus, the release of the fat cells into the blood boosts the inflammation due to the virus’s presence.
Marilia Cerqueira Leite Seelaender and his team in Brazil investigated a similar theory. The corresponding author reported, “ the expansion of these adipose tissue endangers the body immune system and spreads the inflammation in the entire body, especially the brain.”
The team collected the specimen from autopsies of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 affected people. The study outcomes revealed that fat cell membranes are rich in ACE-2, which enables the virus to enter and reproduces in the cell. Thus, Marilia proved that the adipocytes (fat cells) act as a breeding harbor for these species.
Further investigation revealed that during the infection period, the fat cells release the virus inform of exosomes (vesicles) with cytokines, which interact with different tissue to elicit the protective response. The team reported, “ with cachexia (muscle wasting), the number of vesicles excreted into the bloodstream rose with time.” Hence, the authors suggested, “obesity ensued hypoxemia in the adipose tissue, which acted as another contributing factor to COVID 19.”
Seelander recently published an article in the Journal Advances in Nutrition, emphasizing the importance of nutrition among the COVID 19 patient. The author reported, “ nourishment is essential for boosting the immune cells, especially T lymphocytes during the recovery. However, the recovery is slow in obese people due to alteration in leptin sensitivity, a hormone which regulates T lymphocytes.”
Nevertheless, the lean fat mass ratio’s importance should not be ignored as low muscle mass aggravates the chronic and acute reactions with increasing age. Thus, the Sir Radcliffes Nobel winner team is currently exploring the correlation between the SARS-COV-2 and adipose tissue-associated hypoxia to understand the prevalence of the virus in the population.