The treatment with anti oxidants Nac (N acetylcysteine) or Glutathione is likely beneficial in mitigating some severe Covid 19 symptoms

Is it being shown that the virus is causing extreme oxidative stress ( high reactive oxygen ROS) that results in some of the severe pathology due to the interruption of the RAS system via Ace 2 disregulation. The infected patients that are most severely effected often have comorbidities that have high oxidative stress such as diabetes and weakened oxidative stress capacity defined by Glutathione levels and other anti oxidative molecules. It is very likely that the treatment with either Nac or Glutathione may be very beneficial in preventing these severe symptoms. Nac has been shown to be beneficial in preventing severe flu symptoms and may be even more beneficial with the covid 19 infection.


My first reaction is that these treatments would be like peeing on a forest fire with respect to oxidative stress. In the De Flora (1997) paper they saw an increase in immune response in patients with pre-existing respiratory disease. The treatments improved the health of sick people so they can battle bugs more effectively.

SARS-COV2 causes oxidative stress because it’s killing alveolar and endothelial cells in the lung. In my own brief work with adenovirus I have seen upwards of 85% of the RNA in an infected cell be viral RNA. That’s what’s doing a large part of the damage, I don’t see how Nac or Glutathione can do anything about this.

Another paper states that Nac and glutathione can knock down NFkB signaling, which could be helpful if symptoms are due to a “cytokine storm”. However, I suspect that many steroids would be as good or better.

Of course, I would be overjoyed if my concerns are way off the mark and these drugs do work.


Thanks for your response. Yes The key here is when you pee on the fire! If it’s a raging fire of oxidative stress and cytokine storm its late in the game. But literally oxidative stress leads to a cycle of more oxidative stress. It’s clear that most healthy people with healthy diets and children that have a naturally high oxidative stress capacity are easily able to fight off the virus. I have experience with Nac and its quite interesting with broad effects and I am hearing from other doctors (I am not an md) of its benefits in treAting and preventing this oxidative storm.
The one paper I referenced shows that regular Nac supplementation was useful in preventing some types of severe flu symptoms.

It should also be considered that the oxidative stress at the endothelial cell level is associated with thrombosis and that Nac has been shown to alleviate clotting and patients would likely benefit from Nac preventing clotting. I know of two active studies in the US and others overseas.

Preface all of my comments with “to the best of my knowledge”.

In the case of viral infection, this what is happening. Oxidative stress is the result of viral replication and budding. If you don’t stop viral replication then oxidative stress will happen.

From what I have read, children are less susceptible to to SARS-COV2 because they have low levels of ACE2 on their alveolar cells. This reduces viral infection. It has nothing to do with oxidative stress. For 20 to 50 years old, it probably has much, much more to do with their innate immune response and subsequent adaptive immune response.

This one?

It is the improvement of their immune response that is helping them, according to the authors.

I am sure that the virus in itself causes oxidative stress but this extreme oxidative stress is the result of the virus interfering with the RAS system as subsequent down regulation of the Ace 2 molecule which is involved in converting the Angiotensin II to Angiotensin 1-7. This downregulation leads directly to endothelial cell damage oxidative stress and evntually the release of vwf which is elevated leading to clotting. This rAS System as I am sure you know is well understood and I will send more info on that viral pathway disruption if you like,. We know that elderly populations and these risk populations with high bmi and diabetes as well as vascular disease have elevated oxidative stress and likely lower oxidative stress capacity to fend off this oxidative storm. I unspderstand what you are saying about the innate immune system but the oxidative stress capacity explains why some are so susceptible to severe symptoms while others are not. This is one of the main indicators of severe susceptibility to this virus and likely a point of intervention to significantly improve outcomes.
The one paper showed a case study of immediate benefit with iv Glutathione and there other doctors now treating with Gluathione or nac.

So you are saying that these viral infections only damage cells through oxidative stress and through no other means? Also, what is the mechanism of action for Nac and glutathione, and how would it be effective in these infections?


Just to let you know as you dont know me but you may have figured this out already but I am not that smart and that’s particularly true in this case. I know that you have lots of knowledge in this area. I am hearing this all from some very smart doctors that have put this all together and understand the medicine and the underlying physiogy. I am l the messenger here just trying to save lives (and souls) :slight_smile:

Definitely there is much more damage caused by the virus than just oxidative stress it’s not all oxidative stress but ox stress is the tipping point that makes this a severe disease thats why we see these risk populations that already have ox stress and low ox stress capacity to fight it as the most susceptible.

Sorry there are lot of papers referenced. Basically the Angiotensin 2 molecule is associated with the creation of superoxide molecule and the Ace 2 receptor cleaves the ang 2 into ang 1-7 that is anti inflammatory and an anti oxidant. The loss of Ace 2 protein due to the virus results in more ang 2 increases superoxide and vasoconstriction and inflammation. The cell uses it anti oxidant. System to arrest the superoxide which ultimately is reliant on glutathione. If the glutathione becomes depleted then the system breaks down and oxidative damage occurs. The damaged endothelial cell will lead to the release of vwf which ultimately will lead to clots. The nac taken either orally or iv leads to the production of more glutathione and the nac also initself is an antioxidant capable of reducing thesuperoxides and other free radicals. Nac is also shown to be able to directly inhibit and reduce clotting as it reduces disulfide bonds in the clots. (Note the report of the ROS glutathione ratio where a high ratio was associated with poor outcomes while a lower ratio with better outcomes ) Nac is a well known compound even used as an anti muculotic agent.

I am quite sure that Nac is beneficial to Covid patients in helping preventing the severe outcome. I would have this on hand especially if I or someone I knew comes down with Covid. This is a well recognized supplement used by many for flu and allergy symptoms. The nac or glutathione have little downside but potentially not for people on blood thinners. Btw. Great news about dexamethasone!

This is heart breaking as I am sure it is for anyone else reading this.

Infected Patients with Diabetes especially out of control diabetes are much more susceptible to the disease particularly developing clots. This is very likely mediated by an oxidative stress pathway. I am hearing that doctors are having good success with nitric oxide in addition to nac also to reduce this oxidative stress.

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