Researchers are constantly looking for ways to weaken and block the action of the coronavirus. And that would certainly prove useful right now. So, it probably won’t surprise you to hear that one of the foods we already count on for its multiple health benefits may be part of the answer to conquering this pandemic.
For nearly a year now, the coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, has ravaged the world. It is a fearsome enemy. And it may still be a while before the vaccine is readily available.
That’s why researchers have not given up searching for any means to cut our risks — and are finding possible answers in the foods we eat…
Green tea: powerful health food
Green tea is loaded with antioxidants. It’s also full of polyphenols, natural anti-inflammatory compounds also found in foods like blueberries and avocados.
The health benefits of green tea are well-researched.
Research has linked green tea compounds with a reduced risk of certain cancers, including breast, prostate and colorectal cancer.
We also know about the anti-aging power of catechins, natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage. Studies have shown that the catechin compounds in green tea can have protective effects on neurons, indicating that they could lower dementia risk.
And as if that weren’t enough, green tea is proven to have beneficial effects on both blood sugar and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels.
Now, research has uncovered a compound in green tea that could hold an answer to blocking the action of the coronavirus.
Chemicals in green tea block the COVID virus from replicating
To understand this amazing discovery, you’ll first need to know about proteases.
Proteases are enzymes that break down proteins. If proteases are inhibited, cells cannot duplicate.
A North Carolina University study has discovered that at least five different chemicals in green tea act to block the “main” protease in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, preventing the virus from replicating.
“Mpro [the main protease] in SARS-CoV-2 is required for the virus to replicate and assemble itself,” says De-Yu Xie, professor of plant and microbial biology at North Carolina State. “If we can inhibit or deactivate this protease, the virus will die.”
Researchers saw these results in both computer simulations and actual lab studies.
Grapes and chocolate work, too
It’s no cure, but still good news! And so is this…
It’s not just green tea that has these virus-blocking compounds.
The same anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals are also found in cacao powder and dark chocolate, and two varieties of muscadine grapes. The researchers saw similar results when the virus was confronted with these foods.
Now that doesn’t mean you should go out and buy a year’s supply of dark chocolate.
But it does mean that we’re progressing toward the day when the coronavirus isn’t such a deadly mystery, and we know enough about how it works to defeat it by means available to all of us.
Green tea compound blocks key SARS-COV2 enzyme — futurity.org
10 Evidence-Based Benefits of Green Tea — Healthline
Green tea and dark chocolate may weaken the SARS-CoV-2 virus — thetakeout.com