During the fight against the horrible coronavirus, some of the researchers were trying to find out how some women are prone to COVID-19 symptoms while some women are not. Dr. Graziano Pinna’s research shows that female sex steroids play as a shelter in protecting you against COVID-19. Later then she was fully focused on the differences observed between pregnant women and normal men & women who were affected by this COVID-19.
What Are Sex Steroids?
Sex steroids are also known as gonadocorticoids and gonadal steroids, that interact with the vertebrate steroid hormone receptors. Sex hormones include estrogen, progesterone, and androgens. In addition to reproduction, female sex steroids ratio to testosterone will also help in preventing cardiovascular diseases. The level of sex hormones has a high impact on cognitive function and mood.
How Important Are Sex Steroids in COVID-19 Protection?
The researcher Graziano Pinna believes that female sex steroids play a protective role in COVID -19 protection. He suggests that a pregnant woman who had tested positive for COVID-19 seems to have mild symptoms during her check-up but she developed severe symptoms right after giving birth as her hormone levels were not stable.
The researcher explains that” “Hormones that help sustain the pregnancy, like progesterone, are 100 times more concentrated in a pregnancy’s third trimester. Estradiol, allopregnanolone, and progesterone all have important anti-inflammatory functions and are involved in resetting the immune system.”
She also noticed that “pregnant women became symptomatic, and some were even admitted to the [intensive care unit], after delivering their babies because of the rapid drop in these hormones.” The researchers observed that this is why women are generally better than men.
Estrogen, progesterone, and allopregnanolone are the female reproductive steroids that are produced extensively in the periphery of the adrenal glands and ovaries. These steroids play an important role by providing anti-inflammatory functions and by stimulating antibody production and respiratory epithelial cells.
These cells inhibit the ACE2 receptor, the door to access the coronavirus(SARS-COVID-19) to infect the organism as they may protect you against the COVID-19 infections and symptoms. Progesterone, estradiol, and allopregnanolone concentrations used to increase 100 times during the first three trimesters of pregnancy which remains constant until the end of the delivery and this progression plays an hormone protective role during the pregnancy and postpartum period.
The reproductive hormones in women stimulate the production of antibodies and help in promoting the damaged lung cell repair due to coronavirus. It also helps to fight against the “cytokine storm” which is an immune response, where the body starts to attack its own tissues and cells rather than fighting against the viruses.
He also said that “Progesterone and allopregnanolone can block the incredible overreaction of the inflammatory system, repressing it and avoiding the over-expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines”
Pregnant women who tested positive for COVID-19 seem to have better outcomes than the women who are not pregnant and they are less likely to die from COVID-19 than normal women. But in some cases, pregnant women with SARS CoV-2 tested positive patients, who have mild and no symptoms before delivery, seemed to have a drastic hormonal decrease which ended up in an unplanned Intensive care unit admission.
There are certain nutrient-rich foods to boost sex steroids. For example, soybeans, lentils, and legumes are some foods that can increase the level of estrogens, and also taking the nutrient-rich foods will boost the immunity power that helps to make our body stronger to fight against COVID-19.