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Oct 11

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  • The intriguing reason you feel ill after a single glass Sunday December 27th, 2020

    • Dr Rubaiyat Haque says some lack the enzyme involved in metabolism of alcohol
    • This then leads to a significant build-up of toxic substance called acetaldehyde 
    • It causes a whole host of nasty symptoms including a red, flushed face and neck

    I’ll admit it: I have a drinking problem. But mainly only with white wine, not red. And always with bubbles.

    No, it’s not an addiction – far from it.

    I’ll illustrate this with an instantly regrettable decision I made on morning: I had half a glass of champagne, and by lunchtime, the familiar burn in my temples had sent in.

    I was grumpy, angry and off my food. Painkillers didn’t help, and the dreadful feeling has only just lifted this morning. And I’m not alone.

    Friends report itchy, red eyes after one glass of wine, or a cocktail, while others suffer blotchy skin, or even muscle aches.

    Meanwhile my fiance, Mark, enjoyed half a bottle of Christmas bubbly and two gin and tonics and remained headache-free.

    In fact, booze rarely even makes him tipsy. So what’s going on – am I allergic to alcohol? I asked Dr Rubaiyat Haque, who runs a specialist allergy service at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London.

    ‘An allergy to alcohol doesn’t really exist,’ says Dr Haque. ‘Allergies are the immune system over-reacting to a harmless substance – leading to hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure and even collapse.

    ‘But alcohol molecules are too tiny for the immune system to recognise and trigger an allergic response.’

    Intolerances, on the other hand, could be at play. They are not triggered by an immune response but are usually to do with problems with the digestive system or liver.

    Dr Haque explains that some people lack an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase in the liver, which is involved in the metabolism of alcohol.

    This leads to a build-up of a toxic substance called acetaldehyde, which causes a host of nasty symptoms including a red, flushed face and neck, and occasionally a rapid heart rate, headache or nausea.

    However, it’s unlikely this will affect me as it most common in those of south east Asian descent.

    Roughly one in three Chinese, Japanese and Korean people will suffer this so-called ‘Asian-flush’ reaction, but very few of Caucasian heritage do.

    For many people, alcohol itself is not the issue – wine is.

    BOOZE CAN MAKE FOOD ALLERGIES WORSE

    People with allergies to peanuts or eggs should limit alcohol intake over the festive season, according to allergy experts, as reactions can become much more severe after drinking.

    Studies show that those who don’t usually suffer severe allergic reactions can experience more severe symptoms – like rashes, wheezing and the throat closing up when drinking booze.

    Although alcohol suppresses the body’s ability to fight infection, it also triggers an increase in the release of histamine – the chemical produced by the immune system that floods the body during an allergic reaction.

    A slight increase for people without allergies causes blood vessels to dilate, or open, causing a flushed face or red nose.

    But in those who suffer allergies, the symptoms are dramatically exacerbated.

    It’s not just food allergies that are worsened by alcohol – studies show that more than a third of those with allergy-driven asthma wheeze, cough experience more breathlessness after a few glasses of wine.

    An intolerance to the preservatives found in wine, called sulphites, is not uncommon, causing a host of symptoms such as wheezing, itchy eyes and flushed skin, in about one in 100 people.

    Sulphites are chemicals used to extend shelf life in various foods, most often in processed meat, ready meals and dried fruit.

    Incidentally, I’ve never noticed the reaction I have to wine happening if I eat dried apricots.

    ‘The key here is quantity,’ says Dr Haque. ‘Sulphite levels are typically very high in wines.’

    A typical dry white contains up to twice the sulphites (100mg per litre) of an average red.

    And dessert wines have even more sulphites. If you opt for organic wine, with say 50mg per litre, reactions are less likely.

    Studies show that around seven per cent of adults suffer some intolerance to wine – interestingly, the majority of them are women.

    And they can develop at any point in life, according to Dr Haque.

    ‘But it could well be many other things in wine that spark symptoms – grape proteins or compounds found in plant skins called tannins, enzymes added to help fermentation, or additives. Some people are allergic to the small amount of yeast in wine.’

    At his London clinic, Dr Haque often asks patients to undergo a skin test to work out if they have an allergy. This involves placing a drop of the drink on the forearm, placing a pinprick through it and waiting 15 minutes to see if there’s a reaction.

    ‘If a red weal – or hives – appears, it suggests an allergy,’ says Dr Haque. ‘Then it is a case of figuring out which ingredient in the drink provokes the reaction.’

    If no allergy is found, and a sulphite intolerance is suspected, the patient might take a sulphite challenge test.

    This means taking capsules with different amounts of sulphites and monitoring patients for symptoms.

    But the test isn’t foolproof – it works on only about five per cent of people with sulphite-related symptoms.

    ‘The best test to find out if you’re sulphite intolerant is to drink organic wine, or very low sulphite wine, and see what happens,’ says Dr Haque.

    Otherwise, an individual’s ability to handle their drink may be at play, too.

    Body size has a role to play, as the bigger you are, the more liver enzymes there are to break down the alcohol, moving it quickly out of the body, explains Dr Haque. But it’s also possible to increase the amount of enzymes in the liver.

    As we drink more over the years, the liver produces more enzymes to cope with the quantity of alcohol – so feeling intoxicated becomes more difficult.

    As for those who can carry on drinking until the bitter end of the night, a protein produced by the liver involved in regulating our appetite might be partly responsible. Studies have shown that those with high levels of this protein – called FGF21 – have an increased appetite for alcohol.

    Research also shows that by reducing the amount of this protein in the body, individuals are less likely to desire drink.

    Scientists aren’t sure why differences in the protein occurs, but it is thought to be related to differences in the reward-seeking pathways in the brain.

    So, with New Year’s Eve around the corner – even in a small way due to the pandemic – all is not lost, and I could have a glass of something. But does organic wine count as essential shopping?

    For the sake of my sanity, let’s just say it does.

    Source: Daily Mail

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  • Quack cure or Covid hope? Six things you can buy in the shops that scientists believe could protect against severe coronavirus infection Friday December 25th, 2020

    • Various studies have looked at the role of different foods in preventing severe Covid-19 infection
    • These include seaweed and grapefruit-based nasal sprays, dark chocolate, tuna and kefir  
    • MailOnline looks at pieces of research which claim items that can be bought in a supermarket or shop can help fight the pandemic 

    A vaccine is being rolled out and potential treatments are being trialled to see if they can cure Covid, but for the foreseeable future, coronavirus will remain a menace to society.

    As a result, scientists are still searching for ways in which members of the general public can reduce their risk of infection and prevent severe symptoms if they do get infected.

    One avenue being explored by academics is the role of food science and nutrition, with scientific trials and studies finding various supermarket items may be able to help in the fight against coronavirus.

    Theories abound over the protective role of common supplements such as omega-3, vitamin D and melatonin, but other food items may also help.

    MailOnline looks at six items which can be bought in your local supermarket that have been found, by various teams of experts, to be beneficial in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

    All claim the items should be considered for future clinical trials due to potential health benefits, but Dr Sarah Berry, reader in nutritional sciences at King’s College London, tells MailOnline the best way to use food to maximise protection from Covid-19 is to follow a traditional, healthy, and varied diet.

    ‘The way we need to be thinking about our food is in terms of dietary patterns instead of a “magic bullet”,’ she says.

    1. Tuna

    Institution: Bohai University, China

    Tuna, fresh or from a tin, is a hugely popular food eaten around the world and, in 2019, Britons spent more than £400 million on the fish.

    It has been long hailed as a good source of vitamin B12, being high in omega-3, and has a high protein content, but it has yet to be considered for its role in fighting coronavirus.

    A scientific paper published in the journal Food Chemistry in October looked at proteins derived from tuna and if they play a role in preventing coronavirus infection.

    Researchers looked at peptides — which are made from the same building blocks as proteins but are smaller in size — derived from tuna.

    They used computer systems to model how 142 peptides that are created when tuna is digested by the body react with two key aspects of a coronavirus infection — the enzyme Mpro and receptor ACE2.

    ACE2 is known as the coronavirus’s gateway into human cells and is targeted by the spike protein that protrudes  from the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19. It tricks the receptor into letting it inside the cell and from here the pathogen goes on to multiply and spread, leading to disease.

    Mpro is a lesser-known player which researchers have also been targeting. Its full name is ‘main protease’ and it is an enzyme created by the coronavirus which is crucial in allowing the virus to replicate.

    The digital recreations of interactions between the 142 tuna-based peptides and both Mpro and ACE2 reveal one, called E-M, can interfere with the virus’s normal processes.

    The peptide interacts with 13 different amino acids on Mpro and makes strong bonds with two of them which the researchers say ‘may play important roles in inhibiting the activity of Mpro’.

    By stopping Mpro from working properly, the virus cannot replicate properly and therefore is unable to spread from cell to cell.

    The researchers also believe E-M binds to ten locations on ACE2, of which eight are thought to be critical to how the receptor binds to the spike protein of the coronavirus.

    ‘These results indicated that peptide E-M may be considered as potential inhibitor for SARS-CoV-2,’ the researchers say in their paper.

    Hannah Whittaker, a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association (BDA) told MailOnline: ‘The research shows that a protein within tuna (EM) binds to a receptor and could potentially block SARS-CoV-2 attachment.

    ‘People may feel that eating more tuna will stop them getting COVID, however this is likely incorrect and excessive tuna intake can also have a negative effect on health due to high mercury content.’

    2. Dark chocolate and grapes

    Institute: North Carolina State University

    Flavanols are a group of chemical compounds found in many different food products, including green tea, muscadine grapes, dark chocolate, blueberries and wine.

    They have been linked with various health benefits, including improved blood circulation in the legs of over-60s and improved mental agility.

    Researchers from the US wanted to see if a sub-group, known as flavan-3-ols, could boost a person’s immune system to help fight coronavirus, and focused on the aforementioned Mpro enzyme.

    ‘Mpro in SARS-CoV-2 is required for the virus to replicate and assemble itself,’ said study author Professor De-Yu Xie. ‘If we can inhibit or deactivate this protease, the virus will die.’

    The study, published in December in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science, found the flavan-3-ols can bind to Mpro, preventing its function and therefore hindering its ability to replicate and spread.

    ‘Green tea has five tested chemical compounds that bind to different sites in the pocket on Mpro, essentially overwhelming it to inhibit its function,’ Xie said.

    ‘Muscadine grapes contain these inhibitory chemicals in their skins and seeds.’

    Writing in their study, the researchers say that considering there is no effective medicine yet for Covid-19, ‘these data recommend that these nutraceutical compounds and extracts of green tea, grape, and cacao can be utilised to interfere the devastation of SARS-Cov-2’.

    3. Kefir

    Institution:  Alexandria University, Egypt and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    Kefir is a yoghurt-like liquid made from fermented milk and grains and is a good source of protein and calcium.

    It has previously been associated with easing IBS symptoms as well as improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

    Researchers submitted a study in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy which is set to be published in January 2021 stating kefir has various antiviral properties which allow it to fight coronavirus infection.

    ‘With respect to human health, kefir has antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory potential,’ the researchers write.

    The academics reviewed research on kefir and analysed its probiotic properties, its track record of antiviral action against infections such as dengue fever, zika and hepatiti C, and how it may interact with the coronavirus.

    One of the most dangerous aspects of Covid-19 is that in some people with severe disease the immune system can go haywire and overproduce molecules called cytokines.

    This can lead to a phenomenon called ‘cytokine storm’ which causes severe inflammation and can be fatal if left unchecked.

    In the study, the researchers say ‘kefir can act as an anti-inflammatory agent… hence, kefir might be a significant inhibitor of the ‘cytokine storm’ that contributes to COVID-19.’

    It does this by inhibiting the production of known cytokines, called IL-6, IL-1, TNF-α, and interferon-γ, which are believed to be responsible for the overreaction.

    ‘A proposed initial solution to protect patients from the cytokine storm is blockade of IL-6 function or administration of a compound to suppress inflammation,’ the researchers write.

    ‘Kefir can inhibit the activity of proinflammatory cytokines. Using kefir (and its byproducts) as an inhibitor of expression of proinflammatory cytokines in COVID-19 patients could be a viable policy.’

    ‘Based on all studies undertaken on kefir and its probiotic microbes, kefir may act as a protective agent against viral infections.’

    Dr Berry told MailOnline it is plausible kefir could be beneficial, based on its long track-record as a probiotic.

    ‘We know probiotics can act on the microbiome and can modulate our immune response and we know it can reduce our inflammatory response,’ she says.

    4. Grapefruit seed extract

    Institute: Nova Southeastern University, Florida and Aventura Pulmonary Institute, Miami

    Xlear is a nasal spray that has been around for several years, and its main purpose is to clear out the nose. It is made with grapefruit seed extract and xylitol, a short carbon-based molecule.

    However, new research published online to pre-print server biorXiv, reveals it may have antiviral properties.

    Scientists conducted two experiments and found the grapefruit seed extract at a concentration of just 0.2 per cent was able to reduce the amount of SARS-CoV-2 below detectable levels.

    On December 8, Xlear announced it was filing for a pre-emergency use authorization (Pre-EUA) request with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a bid to get Xlear Nasal Spray listed as a hygiene tool to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

    The filing is based on the benefits of Xlear in clearing out the nose and potentially any virus, but it also comes on the back of a study which finds it has antiviral and virucidal properties.

    ‘The exact mechanism on how both Xylitol and grapefruit seed extract work is not completely understood, but based on our studies and visualization experiments seems to prevent the entrance of the virus in the cell, and at the same time, is virucidal,’ Dr Marcos Sanchez-Gonzalez, co-author of the research, told MailOnline.

    He says a case series published by the group suggests using Xlear as part of the medical treatment can lead to Covid-19 patients testing negative in just four days.

    Larger clinical trials are already underway to see if the spray, which can be bought for £10 online, can reduce the spread of the virus as well as improving recovery.

    Dr Sanchez-Gonzalez adds: ‘We encourage people to use Xlear even if they are not infected, but as shown by our case series it can be used concurrently with the medical treatment.

    ‘Besides some discomfort immediately after spraying into the nose no adverse reactions or safety issues were reported by the patients.’

    DreamLab project uses phones to power coronavirus research

    Experts at Imperial College London partnered with Vodafone on the ‘DreamLab’ project where people can use their smartphone to power mathematical equations through the night to aid ongoing research.

    Dubbed Corona-AI it is looking at the potential of ‘hyperfoods’ to combat the virus after it has infected a person.

    So far, early indicators from the study say a host of foods may be of used, including berries, oranges, broccoli and garlic.

    This study is ongoing and needs members of the public to use their phones to crunch the vast amount of data needed to progress the study, and researchers say the findings will not be revealed until December 2021.

    5. Tinned food preservative

    Institute: Visva-Bharati University, India

    Nisin is a natural food preservative made by a bacteria and found in many canned goods. It is also known by the ‘E number’ E234 and is a long chain peptide of carbon atoms which is home to 34 different amino acids.

    It was first identified in fermented milk and is now globally used as a natural and safe food preservative in a variety of products such as processed cheese, dairy desserts, milk, fermented beverages, meat and canned foods.

    Indian academics looked at if nisin acts as an antiviral against the coronavirus and have had their work peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in the January 2021 edition of the journal Virology.

    It shows, for the first time, that the peptide can block the ACE2 receptor, thereby preventing SARS-CoV-2 from binding to it and infecting cells.

    Eight different variants of nisin were investigated and four (nisin H, Z, U and A) have a stronger affinity for the ACE2 receptor than the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

    Ms Whittaker told MailOnline: ‘The authors found that nisin H acted as a potential competitor of [the receptor binding domain of the virus’s spike protein] to access the hACE2 receptor, therefore stopping COVID binding and entering cells.’

    ‘The study unravels for the first time that a globally used food preservative, nisin has the potential to bind to ACE2,’ the scientists write in the study.

    Computer models were used to assess the binding of the peptides to ACE2, in a similar process to the study which found the tuna-derived protein E-M can inhibit coronavirus replication.

    ‘Nisin being a low molecular weight peptide and readily bioavailable in the system, its binding to hACE2 is expected to over-rule the interaction possibility of the RBD of spike of SARS-CoV-2 and could essentially exclude the virus entry to the host cell,’ they write.

    ‘The present work will create greater interest among researchers to develop a new nisin-based treatment strategy for COVID-19, either through oral or nasal applications.’

    6. Seaweed

    Institute: Swansea university

    Carrageenan is a form of edible seaweed that is red in colour and was used to treat respiratory ailments in 19th century Ireland.

    A patented version of the plant is also the main ingredient in a nasal spray which costs £5.99 for 20ml and is only available at Boots.

    The so-called Dual Defence formulation is made by the Austrian firm Marinomed, and Boots is the only British company licensed to sell it.

    Researchers at Swansea University have started human trials following successful lab studies of the over-the-counter remedy which found it can prevent infection and reduce the severity of symptoms if people do catch Covid-19.

    Dubbed ICE-COVID, the trial is now ongoing with 480 frontline NHS workers in the Welsh city involved with the project and results are expected to be released in May 2021.

    Dr Zita Jessop, co-lead of the study at Swansea University, said: ‘Previous studies highlighted the effectiveness of iota-carrageenan-based nasal sprays against coronaviruses, indicating promise against SARS-Cov-2.

    ‘If the results of this randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial are positive as we expect, this has the potential to add an extra prevention strategy in the fight against COVID-19.’

    For the Boots spray, the seaweed is sourced from Zanzibar and the Philippines and the Dual Defence formulation is made by the Austrian firm Marinomed.

    No ‘silver bullet’

    Dr Berry told MailOnline that, while these foods might convey some benefit, the best way to stay healthy is to eat a well balanced diet.

    ‘We don’t eat single foods or nutrients, we consume mixed foods that create a dietary pattern. This is what is going to impact our overall health,’ she said.

    ‘We know there are certain food groups associated with an inflammatory response or poorer immune function but there’s no single food that will confer protection or inhibit inflammation.

    ‘Foods such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds — as well as reducing processed foods that we know will inhibit immune responses such as processed meat — are good.

    ‘Combining good foods and reducing bad foods is the approach we should take opposed to focusing on a certain food. It is important to encourage a diverse diet.’

    Source: Daily Mail

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  • Phytochemicals Quercetin, Puerarin and Kaempferol Found Predominantly In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Can Inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Infection Wednesday November 25th, 2020

    Phytochemicals-Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Scientist from the Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute & Hospital -China, the Central South University,Hunan-China and the HuaZhong Agricultural University,Wuhan-China have in a new silico computational molecular docking study found that the phytochemicals quercetin, puerarin and kaempferol frequently found in most relevant Traditional Chinese Medicines to treat  respiratory diseases and viral infections could inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

    COVID-19 that is fast wreaking havoc around the world and claiming thousands of lives each day has raised an urgent need for therapeutics to contain the ever growing deadly pandemic.
     
    To date however no effective treatment has been found for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here the study team puerarin, quercetin and kaempferol as potential compounds with binding activity to ACE2 by using Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology Database and Analysis Platform (TCMSP).
     
    Detailed molecular docking analysis showed that puerarin and quercetin exhibit good binding affinity to ACE2, which was validated by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) assay.
     
    In addition, SPR-based competition assay revealed that puerarin and quercetin could significantly affect the binding of viral S-protein to ACE2 receptor.
     
    Importantly, quercetin could also bind to the RBD domain of S-protein, suggesting not only a receptor blocking, but also a virus neutralizing effect of quercetin on SARS-CoV-2.
     
    The study results from network pharmacology and bioinformatics analysis support a view that quercetin is involved in host immunomodulation, which further renders it a promising candidate against COVID-19. Moreover, given that puerarin is already an existing food supplement, results from this study not only provide insight into its action mechanism, but also propose a prompt application of it on COVID-19 patients for assessing its clinical feasibility.
     
    The study results were published in the peer reviewed Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2001037020304773?via%3Dihub
     
    In the study, of the three compounds, quercetin showed the highest binding affinity to both the ACE2 receptor and the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and could thus provide a dual synergistic effect.  
     
    Thailand Medical News had already done a feature article on the merits of using quercetin as an adjuvant to treat COVID-19 since August this year.
    https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-supplements-for-covid-19-quercetin-emerging-as-an-adjuvant-for-covid-19-treatments
     
    The SARS-CoV-2, the causative pathogen of the COVID-19 pandemic, infects human hosts by binding with the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor on their cells, notably the epithelium lining the respiratory tract. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the coronavirus spike protein binds to ACE2 followed by membrane fusion to the host cell, thus allowing the virus to infiltrate the cell and commence replication.
     
    TCM or Traditional Chinese medicine, widely used for many diseases, showed therapeutic effects during the 2003 SARS-CoV epidemic. The RBD of the SARS-CoV-2 has significant structural homology with SARS-CoV. Although the use of Chinese herbs with modern medicine has shown benefits in COVID-19 patients, several components are present in the herbs and have complex interactions, making it challenging to uncover the molecular mechanisms responsible for its therapeutic effects.
     
    Numerous computational studies have helped predict active compounds in the medicinal herbs with the potential to accelerate traditional medicine-based drug discovery.
     
    The study team from China used computational analysis to discover potential molecule candidates against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Utilizing the Traditional Chinese Medicine Pharmacology database, they screened for molecules that could target ACE2.
     
    The study team identified the compound puerarin that could target ACE2. Subsequently they screened for Chinese herbs that have this compound in the database and found five. Furthermore, since it is thought that compounds in the same herbal medicine have synergistic properties, they expanded their search to include all the compounds in the five herbs to arrive at 41 compounds.
     
    However upon analyzing which compounds were present in the maximum number of herbs, they found puerarin was present in all the five herbs, and quercetin and kaempferol were present in three herbs.
     
    The study team then predicted potential drug targets of the selected compounds using the database, leading to 240 possible targets. Upon further analysis, they selected puerarin, quercetin, and kaempferol for further study.
     
    The team next performed molecular docking analysis to determine potential binding sites and binding affinity to ACE2. All the three compounds could bind on the same region of ACE2, which is located some distance from the binding position of SARS-CoV-2. It is likely the compounds are causing changes in conformations rather than competing with the spike protein to bind to ACE2. Quercetin had the highest binding affinity, forming both strong and weak hydrogen bonds.
     
    The researchers also experimentally determined the binding of the three compounds to ACE2 using surface plasmon resonance. Similar to the theoretical analysis, they found quercetin had higher binding affinity to ACE2 than puerarin. They also observed that puerarin affected the binding of spike protein to ACE2, and quercetin almost completely disrupted the spike protein binding to ACE2. Molecular docking analysis showed that quercetin has high binding affinity to the spike protein. Using pathway enrichment analysis for the COVID-19-related genes, they found quercetin affected the immune-modulation and viral infection activities.
     
    Interestingly, all the three compounds tested were found in the herb Radix Bupleuri confirming that compounds in a single herb have synergistic pharmacological properties. The herb is popular in China and has been used to treat flu, inflammation, malaria, and hepatitis B.

    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/7597596/
     
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13880209.2016.1262433
     
    https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-2003-42797
     
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/08923973.2010.527985
     
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02993971
     
    A recent study showed that Radix Bupleuri was among the 26 selected Chinese herbal medicines or CHMs with great potential to directly inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection, and was advised to use at the early course of infection by senior TCM practitioners. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095496420300157
     
    The phytochemical Puerarin has been approved for use in China for decades and could be an ideal drug repurposed for its antiviral properties. Although its binding affinity is lower than quercetin, it has a safe dose limit of about 0.5 gram, so it could be used at a high dose to achieve a suitable antiviral effect. It also has beneficial effects on fever, cardiovascular disease, and neurological dysfunction. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.5083
     
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1875536414600649
     
    Puerarin can be co-administrated as a adjuvant to help improve the symptoms and prognosis of COVID-19 patients. In this context, the “old drug new use” of puerarin on COVID-19 can minimize the translational gap between drug development and clinical outcomes, providing an optimal outlet for timely developing effective therapeutics against the emerging pandemics.
     
    The phytochemical Quercetin showed a higher binding affinity to both ACE2 and the RBD of the spike protein. The dual binding effect of quercetin could therefore be synergistic and provide a strong antiviral effect against SARS-CoV-2.
     
    Notably, according to the recently resolved cryo-EM structure of full-length ACE2-RBD-B0AT1 complex, the interaction between ACE2 and the virus is to a great extend dependent on the residues Tyr453 and Gln474 of RBD, which are only several residues away from the quercetin binding pocket on RBD. These results support the view that the conformational change of these RBD residues upon the binding of quercetin plays an important role in the disrupted binding of S-protein to ACE2. Thus, quercetin impairs the interaction between S-protein and ACE2 through simultaneous binding with both of them, and this dual-targeting approach may generate a synergistic disruptive effect, and therefore result in a better anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2180-5
     
    Furthermore, since analysis suggested that quercetin could affect immunomodulation, and because studies have shown patients with severe COVID-19 disease tend to experience cytokine storms, quercetin could help alleviate symptoms in such cases.
     
    These are among more emerging studies that show the potential to use herbs and phytochemicals to treat COVID-19.
     
    Thailand Medical News has been working on such initiatives since February this year staring with a focus on the licorice root initially and subsequently into a variety of herbs and phytochemicals. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/new-therapeutic-teas-
     
    Despite making a headway into herbal research to treat COVID-19 and even Long COVID, we are unfortunately unable to secure help or funding to further our studies and production as we based in a ‘garbage country’ where greed, nepotism, egoism and corruption is at play along with sheer ignorance and stupidity. Also we do not get any support from any of our readers etc. To date we only received help for our herbal project from a single generous and kind local individual.
     
    Let’s hope that the COVID-19 exists for a long time with waves of increasing destruction and intensity with more people getting infected and dying, then perhaps people would wake up and start supporting herb related causes.
     
    For more on Phytochemicals-Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.

    Read Also: https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/must-read-china-s-secret-to-controlling-the-covid-19-outbreak-is-traditional-chinese-medicine-concoctions-used-alone-or-in-conjunction-with-antiviral-

    https://www.thailandmedical.news/articles/covid-19-herbs

    https://www.thailandmedical.news/articles/covid-19-supplements

    Source: Thailand Medical News

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