Some Food Chemical Compounds Can Inhibit a Key SARS-CoV-2 Enzyme – Study

Chemical compounds in foods or beverages like green tea, muscadine grapes and dark chocolate can bind to and block the function of a particular enzyme, or protease, in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a new study by plant biologists at North Carolina State University.

Proteases are important to the health and viability of cells and viruses, says De-Yu Xie, professor of plant and microbial biology at NC State and the corresponding author of the study. If proteases are inhibited, cells cannot perform many important functions – like replication, for example.

Green tea has chemical compounds effectively blocked an important SARS-CoV-2 enzyme. Photo courtesy of De-Yu Xie, NC State University.

“One of our lab’s focuses is to find nutraceuticals in food or medicinal plants that inhibit either how a virus attaches to human cells or the propagation of a virus in human cells,” Xie said.

In the study, the NC State researchers performed both computer simulations and lab studies showing how the so-called “main protease” (Mpro) in the SARS-CoV-2 virus reacted when confronted with a number of different plant chemical compounds already known for their potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

“Mpro in SARS-CoV-2 is required for the virus to replicate and assemble itself,” Xie said. “If we can inhibit or deactivate this protease, the virus will die.”

4 Comments

Filed under dark chocolate, food chemical compounds, green tea, raw cacao

4 responses to “Some Food Chemical Compounds Can Inhibit a Key SARS-CoV-2 Enzyme – Study

  1. How interesting, Tony! Green tea and dark chocolate sound like the perfect antidote to this destructive coronavirus. Hope it holds true :). Merry Christmas, happy holidays and every wish for a much better new year! Hope you and yours are well. We’re so far OK here. Fingers crossed, masks on, and staying mainly alone… sigh…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I eat dark chocolate daily. I wonder if the study suggests we run out and start drinking coffee green tea?

    Liked by 1 person

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