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Potent Antiviral Activity of Vitamin B12 against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, and Human Coronavirus 229E

Moatasim et al., Microorganisms, doi:10.3390/microorganisms11112777
Nov 2023  
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In Vitro and In Silico analysis finding that methylcobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, and cyanocobalamin forms of vitamin B12 showed broad-spectrum inhibition against SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, and HCoV-229E. Methylcobalamin had the highest activity against SARS-CoV-2, hydroxocobalamin against MERS-CoV, and cyanocobalamin against HCoV-229E. Vitamin B9 also reduced viral RNA levels of all three coronaviruses in infected cells. In silico analyses predict that vitamin B12 and B9 bind and interfere with viral proteins and receptors. The results suggest that vitamin B12, especially methylcobalamin, and vitamin B9 may have potential benefits for COVID-19 patients. Positive results were also found for other B vitamins and vitamins A, C, D, and K, with varying IC50 and SI.
10 preclinical studies support the efficacy of vitamin C for COVID-19:
Vitamin C plays a key role in the immune system, supporting the production and function of leukocytes, or white blood cells, which defend against infection and disease, including the production of lymphocytes, which make antibodies, and enhancing phagocytosis, the process by which immune system cells ingest and destroy viruses and infected cells. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Preclinical research shows that vitamin C inhibits SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro Malla, Đukić, reduces ACE2 levels in a dose-dependent manner, and inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection Zuo. Intracellular levels of vitamin C decline during COVID-19 hospitalization Boerenkamp, suggesting ongoing utilization and depletion of vitamin C. Threonic acid, a metabolite of vitamin C, is lower in mild and severe cases Albóniga, consistent with increased need for and metabolization of vitamin C with moderate infection, but more limited ability to produce threonic acid in severe infection due to depletion or existing lower levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C has been identified by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as having sufficient evidence for a causal relationship between intake and optimal immune system function EFSA, Galmés, Galmés (B), Symptomatic COVID-19 is associated with a lower frequency of natural killer (NK) cells Graydon, and vitamin C has been shown to improve NK cell numbers and functioning Vojdani.
This study includes vitamin B12, vitamin B9, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D.
Moatasim et al., 15 Nov 2023, peer-reviewed, 13 authors.
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In Vitro studies are an important part of preclinical research, however results may be very different in vivo.
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Potent Antiviral Activity of Vitamin B12 against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, and Human Coronavirus 229E
Yassmin Moatasim, Omnia Kutkat, Ahmed M Osman, Mokhtar R Gomaa, Faten Okda, Mohamed El Sayes, Mina Nabil Kamel, Mohamed Gaballah, Ahmed Mostafa, Rabeh El-Shesheny, Ghazi Kayali, Mohamed A Ali, Ahmed Kandeil
Microorganisms, doi:10.3390/microorganisms11112777
Repurposing vitamins as antiviral supporting agents is a rapid approach used to control emerging viral infections. Although there is considerable evidence supporting the use of vitamin supplementation in viral infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the specific role of each vitamin in defending against coronaviruses remains unclear. Antiviral activities of available vitamins on the infectivity and replication of human coronaviruses, namely, SARS-CoV-2, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E), were investigated using in silico and in vitro studies. We identified potential broad-spectrum inhibitor effects of Hydroxocobalamin and Methylcobalamin against the three tested CoVs. Cyanocobalamin could selectively affect SARS-CoV-2 but not MERS-CoV and HCoV-229E. Methylcobalamin showed significantly higher inhibition values on SARS-CoV-2 compared with Hydroxocobalamin and Cyanocobalamin, while Hydroxocobalamin showed the highest potent antiviral activity against MERS-CoV and Cyanocobalamin against HCoV-229E. Furthermore, in silico studies were performed for these promising vitamins to investigate their interaction with SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, and HCoV-229E viral-specific cell receptors (ACE2, DPP4, and hAPN protein, respectively) and viral proteins (S-RBD, 3CL pro, RdRp), suggesting that Hydroxocobalamin, Methylcobalamin, and Cyanocobalamin may have significant binding affinity to these proteins. These results show that Methylcobalamin may have potential benefits for coronavirus-infected patients.
Supplementary Materials: The following supporting information can be downloaded at: https: //, Figure S1 : antiviral activities of B-Com against SARS-CoV-2, and MERS-CoV by plaque reduction assay; Table S1 : Binding energies (as Docking and Glide scores) of the tested vitamins against RBD and spike proteins correlated with the three coronaviruses; Table S2 : Binding energies (as Docking and Glide scores) of the tested vitamins against 3C-like protease (3CLpro) or main protease correlated with the three coronaviruses; Table S3 : Binding energies (as Docking and Glide scores) of the tested vitamins against RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp)correlated with the three coronaviruses; Tables S4: Binding energies (as Docking and Glide scores) of the tested vitamins against human cell receptors correlated with the three coronaviruses. Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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