An Israeli observational study found that folks taking low-dose daily aspirin, usually to prevent a first heart attack or stroke, were less likely than others to develop COVID-19. And if they did, they healed sooner and had a lower death rate.
People who already had their first heat attack or stroke were excluded from the study.
The research was published in FEBS Journal in Feb 2021.
How could aspirin have an antiviral effect? The researchers report “Host response and clearance of viral infections heavily depend on the expression of type I interferon (IFN), which modulates cell responses and reprograms cells into an “antiviral state” []. RNA viruses, such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, can escape immune system recognition via suppression of type I IFN signaling through an inhibition of STAT family transcription factor phosphorylation []. Another specific mechanism used by RNA viruses to evade host antiviral responses involves upregulation of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels, which leads to an inhibition of type I IFN production and apoptosis in macrophages, thereby causing increased viral replication []. As low-dose aspirin inhibits PGE2 biosynthesis [], this mechanism might enhance antiviral immunity via induction of type I INF [].”
Read the full free report for additional possible antiviral mechanisms.
I didn’t read the entire report. I couldn’t find the average dose of aspirin these subjects were taking. If you find it, please comment below. I’ll assume 81 mg/day for now.
Aspirin can be harmful. Check with your personal physician before starting taking it.
Steve Parker, M.D.