Targeting phytoprotection in the COVID-19-induced lung damage and associated systemic effects-the evidence-based 3PM proposition to mitigate individual risks

EPMA J. 2021 Aug 3;12(3):325-347. doi: 10.1007/s13167-021-00249-y. eCollection 2021 Sep.


The risks related to the COVID-19 are multi-faceted including but by far not restricted to the following: direct health risks by poorly understood effects of COVID-19 infection, overloaded capacities of healthcare units, restricted and slowed down care of patients with non-communicable disorders such as cancer, neurologic and cardiovascular pathologies, among others; social risks-restricted and broken social contacts, isolation, professional disruption, explosion of aggression in the society, violence in the familial environment; mental risks-loneliness, helplessness, defenceless, depressions; and economic risks-slowed down industrial productivity, broken delivery chains, unemployment, bankrupted SMEs, inflation, decreased capacity of the state to perform socially important programs and to support socio-economically weak subgroups in the population. Directly or indirectly, the above listed risks will get reflected in a healthcare occupation and workload which is a tremendous long-term challenge for the healthcare capacity and robustness. The article does not pretend to provide solutions for all kind of health risks. However, it aims to present the scientific evidence of great clinical utility for primary, secondary, and tertiary care to protect affected individuals in a cost-effective manner. To this end, due to pronounced antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties, naturally occurring plant substances are capable to protect affected individuals against COVID-19-associated life-threatening complications such as lung damage. Furthermore, they can be highly effective, if being applied to secondary and tertiary care of noncommunicable diseases under pandemic condition. Thus, the stratification of patients evaluating specific health conditions such as sleep quality, periodontitis, smoking, chronic inflammation and diseases, metabolic disorders and obesity, vascular dysfunction, and cancers would enable effective managemenet of COVID-19-associated complications in primary, secondary, and tertiary care in the context of predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine (3PM).

Keywords: ARDS; Anti-inflammation, Antibacterial; Antiviral, COVID-19; Cancer, Chronic diseases; Coumarins; Cytokine storm; Disease management; Flavonoids; Health economy; Health policy; Immunity; Inflammation; Lung damage; Phenolic acids; Phenolic compounds; Phytochemicals; Predictive preventive personalized medicine (3PM/PPPM); Risk assessment; Signaling pathways; Stilbenoids; Therapy efficacy.

Publication types

  • Review