Specifics of the research paper
Both the SARS CoV-2 and the COVID-19 virus bind to receptor sites in the lower lungs of infected patients. These sites are called angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors. Viral pneumonia and respiratory failure may result in susceptible people after 10-14 days.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are highly recommended medications for patients with cardiovascular diseases. These include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, to name a few. Many of those who develop these diseases are older adults, who are prescribed these medications and take them every day.
Research in experimental models has shown an increase in the number of ACE2 receptors in the cardiopulmonary circulation after intravenous infusions of ACE inhibitors. Patients treated with ACEIs and ARBS will have increased numbers of ACE2 receptors in their lungs for Coronavirus proteins to bind to. Because of this, they may be at increased risk of severe disease outcomes due to SARS-CoV-2 infections (which is the official name for Covid 19). (1)
Why the infection rate is lower in children
The paper goes on to say that two mechanisms may protect children from COVID-19 infections. Children build up antibodies from the multiple childhood illness they contract. The antibodies from multiple upper respiratory tract infections, particularly from the alpha corona viruses that cause the common cold, are cross-protective. Another is fewer ACE2 receptors in their lower respiratory tracts to attract the binding of proteins of beta corona viruses like SARS and Covid19. (1)
Dr O’s recommendation
What I have heard from other M.D.’s is that once you are on a respirator for more than a few days with Covid 19 infections, your chances of survival goes down substantially.
If you, your parents or anyone in your family are on high blood pressure medication (ACEI’s or ARB’s) please talk to your physician about it, and possibly show him/her this research paper. It may be possible to adjust your meds or even take you off for a time by working with your lifestyle/diet to keep your blood pressure manageable.
Full disclosure: I am a dentist and not licensed to give advice on high blood pressure, heart disease or Covid 19 infections, nor do I treat them. I am also not recommending that you go off your medications. For advice on this you should see a qualified medical practitioner.
If you have any questions about this post, or about dentistry in this new landscape of infectious disease, please reach out to us. Our preferred method of communication for questions is email. Please use this email: [email protected]
Above all else, stay safe and healthy. I am going to be writing about things you can do to stay healthy and strengthen your immune system, so stay tuned.
- ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers may increase the risk of severe COVID-19, March 23, 2020, James Diaz MD. MHA. MPH & TM. Dr PH, Professor and Head of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health; Professor of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC), New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Carey O’Rielly DDS has been a practicing dentist for 35 years. He went to USC Dental School and Duke University for his undergraduate degree. He grew up in Laguna Beach and now lives in La Costa with his wife Victoria, who runs his office.
He began his career by owning and operating a network of six offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presently he owns a private holistic practice in North County San Diego’s Encinitas.
Dr. O started looking for solutions to his health challenges that resulted from the stress and environmental toxicity that built up over a ten year period running his dental network. He has dedicated himself to learning about oral systemic problems and how dentistry can affect your health. He has applied what he has learned over the last twenty years to ensure he, his staff and his patients are protected from the chemicals and toxic materials found in most dental offices. He has produced an environmentally friendly office that is also peaceful and calm.
He is an expert on dental materials having looked at hundreds of biocompatibility lab tests over the years. He has identified the most bio-friendly materials to use in his practice and which dental materials can be used to replace metal fillings and crowns, including BPA free and fluoride free ‘white’ fillings. He also uses metal-free Zirconia or ceramic implants and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) grafting materials which come from the patient’s own blood.
Dr. O’Rielly teaches C.E. courses on the systemic effects of gum disease. He is an expert in using phase contrast microscopy for analyzing dental infections, where he shows patients what kind of microbes, i.e. bacteria, amoeba, and yeasts like candida are populating the mouth and affecting the body as a whole.
He has an educational blog and is writing a book on dental health called ‘Hidden Dental Infections: Healing Root Canals and Infected Teeth with the Erbium Laser’ where he discusses dental nutrition, toxic dental materials and the effects of old root canals on inflammation and overall health.