The importance of balancing your immune system to prevent inflammatory over-reactions has never been more evident than it is with COVID-19.
As researchers continue to study the novel virus, one thing is clear: A person’s immune response to the virus can result in a hyper inflammatory state that damages the cardiovascular system, lungs and other vital organs…with life-threatening consequences.
It’s all driven by an overactive immune response that unleashes what’s called a “cytokine storm” on cells, tissues and organs. It’s this storm that ends up taking lives.
We now know that one of the most essential strategies for treating COVID-19 is regulating and balancing the immune system to prevent the deadly cytokine storm—while providing substantial support to key organs and systems.
One way to do this is by controlling a protein at the headwaters of the cytokine storm: Galectin-3 (Gal-3). Blocking Gal-3 is becoming known as an essential strategy in treating numerous pro-inflammatory conditions, from heart disease and cancer, to infections and sepsis—because of the driving role of Gal-3 in fueling out-of-control inflammation, fibrosis (hardening of tissues), immune dysregulation, and cellular dysfunction.
Galectin-3 is well established as a key driver of the cytokine storm, and research shows that by inhibiting Gal-3 with proven blockers which I’ll discuss in a moment, we can prevent the cytokine storm and its resulting damage to tissues and organs.
But now, researchers have found that this isn’t the ONLY reason to use proven Gal-3 blockers against COVID.
A groundbreaking new study just published in Peer J shows that in addition to halting the cytokine storm, Gal-3 blockers may also be able to block the virus itself, preventing it from gaining a foothold in the body.
Galectin-3 Blockade: One-Two Punch
This new research paper highlights the multiple roles of Gal-3 inhibitors against COVID-19.
In addition to Gal-3 blockade to prevent deadly cytokine storms, the researchers found that the binding structure of the Gal-3 molecule that allows it to wreak havoc throughout the body, is nearly identical to the “spike protein” on SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19.
This viral spike protein is what allows the virus to attach to and infect healthy cells. The researchers propose that the same agents used to block Gal-3 could also be used to block SARS-CoV-2 viral replication, by binding its spike protein and preventing it from entering—and infecting—healthy cells.
Galectin-3: The Pilot Light for Runaway Inflammation
As an upstream “alarm protein”, Gal-3 is at the headwaters of the inflammatory cascade. This means that when activated—by illness, injury, toxins, stress or other factors—Gal-3 then triggers the release of numerous other cytokines that drive the inflammatory immune response.
According to the growing body of research , some of the primary cytokines that are released by Gal-3 include:
• C-reactive protein (CRP)
• Chemokine ligand 6 (CXC-6; also known as granulocyte chemotactic protein 2)
• Interferon γ-induced protein 10
• Interleukin-1β (IL-1β)
• Interleukin-10 (IL-10)
• Matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9)
• Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)
When left unchecked, these cytokines can fuel uncontrolled inflammation and damage to vital organs and systems—like the lungs, kidneys and cardiovascular system. But when we control unhealthy Gal-3, we can stop the runaway inflammation and restore a healthy immune response.
Modified Citrus Pectin: Most-Researched Galectin-3 Blocker
The most-researched Gal-3 blocker available today, and one that I rely on extensively in my practice, is the original and clinically researched form of modified citrus pectin (MCP). In addition to controlling Gal-3, this MCP is also shown to reduce expression of the downstream inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-1β, IL-18, and TNF-α.
Blocking Gal-3 is becoming a primary strategy in preventing and controlling cytokine storms—in addition to cancer and inflammatory, fibrosis-related conditions like heart disease and kidney failure.
With the new findings highlighting the structural similarities between Gal-3 and SARS-CoV-2, Gal-3 blockade may be one of the most important strategies to keep your immune system balanced and resilient.
By controlling Gal-3, MCP demonstrates a diverse array of benefits for protecting and promoting optimal health. We see these benefits in the fast-growing body of published research. But most importantly, we see them in real life examples from patients and wellness enthusiasts who continue to demonstrate the remarkable outcomes that can be achieved when you control your master alarm protein—and switch your cells from reactive survival mode, to thriving health and vitality.
1. Caniglia JL, Guda MR, Asuthkar S, Tsung AJ, Velpula KK. A potential role for Galectin-3 inhibitors in the treatment of COVID-19. PeerJ. 2020;8:e9392. Published 2020 Jun 15. doi:10.7717/peerj.9392
2. Laura Díaz-Alvarez and Enrique Ortega. The Many Roles of Galectin-3, a Multifaceted Molecule, in Innate Immune Responses against Pathogens. Mediators of Inflammation. 2017(8):1-10.
3. Xu, G. R., Zhang, C., Yang H. X., Sun J. H., Zhang Y., Yao T. T., Li Y., Ruan L., An R., Li A. Y. (2020) Modified citrus pectin ameliorates myocardial fibrosis and inflammation via suppressing galectin-3 and TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB signaling pathway. Biomed Pharmacother Mar 11; 126:110071. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110071.