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.”


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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