Working Paper Hypothesis Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Could Protein Malnutrition of Rapid Onset Explain the Atypical Symptoms of COVID-19 and Consequential Malfunctioning of the Body? A Hypothesis.

Version 1 : Received: 20 September 2020 / Approved: 22 September 2020 / Online: 22 September 2020 (08:32:14 CEST)

How to cite: Green, M. Could Protein Malnutrition of Rapid Onset Explain the Atypical Symptoms of COVID-19 and Consequential Malfunctioning of the Body? A Hypothesis.. Preprints 2020, 2020090511 Green, M. Could Protein Malnutrition of Rapid Onset Explain the Atypical Symptoms of COVID-19 and Consequential Malfunctioning of the Body? A Hypothesis.. Preprints 2020, 2020090511

Abstract

Many of the wide-ranging symptoms of COVID-19 have not been associated previously with a respiratory illness. A similarity between these atypical symptoms and the symptoms of malnutrition was observed. To investigate, a comparison of COVID-19 symptomatology with recognised states of malnutrition showed a significant relationship that was further explored in a review of the literature. This hypothesis links the atypical symptoms to the effects of increasing protein malnutrition. The rapid appearance of malnutrition symptoms at the beginning of the COVID-19 infection is concurrent with the rapid cell proliferation of the immune system. Although previous work has, in general, assumed that the body is capable of providing for the needs of the immune system during infection, heightened immune activity from the commencement of COVID-19 could require an early increase in energy yielding sources. Should insufficient availability of protein resources occur, this could quickly lead to malnutrition. Any continuing insufficiency, during the active phase of the virus, might result in widespread depletions in the tissues and the consequential malfunctioning of many organs. A new appraisal of the immune system requirements needed to counteract the impact of the novel virus, COVID-19, could show the potential benefit for earlier protein intervention in the disease process. This hypothesis could also have relevance for other life situations where a rapid cell proliferation might occur.

Subject Areas

malnutrition; COVID-19; protein; immune system; SARS-CoV-2; cell proliferation; starvation

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