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For most, a COVID-19 infection means a week in bed with symptoms ranging from something like the common cold to flu-like.
And once it’s over, life gets back to normal.
However, not everyone is so lucky…
For that unlucky contingent, Long COVID can continue to make their lives difficult on a daily basis.
Long COVID, an issue that’s not only been tied to dangerous micro-clots, but has also been shown to zap the body’s cellular power generators, comes with a host of symptoms — one of the most common being extreme fatigue.
It can even result in problems with blood vessel function that can cause dizziness when standing that’s so extreme it impacts normal activities.
Because of this, researchers across the globe have dedicated themselves to finding a way to improve physical function and reduce the fatigue that’s still plaguing some with Long COVID.
And they just might have succeeded…
Relieving Long COVID fatigue
Research published in the journal, Nutrients, specifically set out to discover if taking two supplements known to improve blood vessel health and function could have the power to improve the lives of those suffering from persistent fatigue due to Long COVID.
Those two supplements? L-arginine and liposomal vitamin C.
L-arginine is known for helping with the production of nitric oxide (NO) in the body. NO is a vasodilator that modulates blood flow and can impact blood pressure.
Liposomal vitamin C protects the endothelial barrier (the lining of the blood vessels) against the inflammation that’s been shown to make Long COVID symptoms more difficult.
To determine how these two supplements fared against Long COVID, the researchers followed 46 participants whose fatigue simply would not go away although they had supposedly recovered from the infection.
While one group of participants was given a placebo, the other received a combination of 1.7 grams of L-arginine plus 500 mg of liposomal vitamin C twice daily for 28 days.
The researchers then compared the results of a walking test for fatigue, as well as handgrip strength and blood vessel function, before and after.
Can you guess which group felt better?
Just 28 days later
You got it — the people who were given L-arginine plus vitamin C improved on both walking performance and muscle strength compared to placebo.
To top it off, endothelial function (a sign of arterial health and better blood flow) was also greater in the supplement group compared to the placebo group.
In fact, after 28 days, 21 participants in the placebo group continued to report persistent fatigue, compared to only two participants in the supplement group.
Talk about a difference!
Based on the results, the researchers concluded that, “A combination of L-arginine and vitamin C may restore physical performance and relieve persistent symptoms in people with long COVID.”
L-arginine is found in most protein-rich foods, including fish, red meat, poultry, soy, whole grains, beans and dairy products, and, of course, supplement form. Liposomal vitamin C is better absorbed than traditional vitamin C because of a delivery system that includes fats.
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Vitamin C protects blood vessel lining – Vanderbilt University Medical Center