Fenofibrate increases the amount of sulfatide which appears to be beneficial against Covid-19.

Key Messages

This commentary article explores the role of sulfatide in viral infections. Sulfatide is a form of ceramide, a naturally produced waxy lipid which contains a sulfate group.

It is proposed that higher levels of sulfatide might reduce infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus or reduce disease severity in COVID-19 patients, whereas lower levels may have the opposite effect.

Because fenofibrate increases the level of sulfatide in the body, the author suggests it should be investigated as a potential treatment for coronavirus infection.

Medical Hypotheses

Publication Date: July 21, 2020
Peer Reviewed: Yes
Publication Type: Original | Theoretical
DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2020.110127

Fenofibrate increases the amount of sulfatide which seems beneficial against Covid-19

Karsten Buschard


Fenofibrate, which is a PPAR-alfpha agonist, increases the level of sulfatide. In this letter we hypothesize on the background of various findings that this is beneficial against COVID-19. Fenofibrate has been used for decades against hypercholesterolemia and has no serious side effects. Therefore, a trial giving fenofibrate to patients with corona virus infection is recommended.