Smokers are less likely to get Covid-19, and researchers now know why. The reason for the protective effect, however, is highly toxic.
Of all people, smokers are thought to be the best protected against coronavirus infection.
Why? Researchers from Hiroshima found this out.
We explain why you still shouldn’t reach for a cigarette.
Researchers from Hiroshima have solved this Covid-19 mystery. Until now, it has been known from various studies that smokers have a lower risk of developing coronavirus disease. However, it was still unclear why smoking should protect against this disease. Scientists in Japan have found that the ingredients in cigarette smoke are likely to blame. But before you reach for a cigarette – attention – these substances are very toxic.
In particular, these are the so-called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, also known as PAHs. These substances are considered carcinogenic, but according to the researchers, they can serve as a kind of protection against infection. PAHs inhibit the formation of a molecule, which in turn interferes with the formation of ACE-2 receptors. Receptors are the gateway for the entry of coronaviruses into the human body; without them, viruses cannot attach to cells.
Since smokers have fewer of these docking points, they are less likely to get sick, according to a study in Japan. However, if they do get sick, then the risk of developing serious illness is much higher, as is known from various studies.
Researchers now want to develop a drug that acts in the same way as PAHs, but does not harm human cells (pcl). Now the main thing is that the medicine does not turn out to be worse than the disease …