While the world is sheltering in place to see if a vaccine could end the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of researchers suggests that if the scientific community only took studies on certain plant compounds a little further, they could be develop widespread effective treatments to prevent this and future coronaviruses.
These include resveratrol and flavonoids known collectively as polyphenols, which contain awesome flu-fighting elements like quercetin, luteolin, fisetin, and curcumin.
Gaining popularity as an anti-aging supplement, resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that also helps suppress pro-inflammatory compounds like IL-6 and TNF-alpha that are associated with diseases, the latter of which is involved in all diseases known to man.
Currently, resveratrol, a compound present in most plants that is expressed when undergoing stress, is being considered as a potential enhancer of viral infections, including seasonal influenza and COVID-19.
Anti-aging and antiviral
One of the main ways that resveratrol influences longevity is by acting as a mimic of the effects of caloric restriction on sirtuin activation.
A study in nature reports a finding in yeast cells that showed that “resveratrol mimics calorie restriction by stimulating sirtuin-2, increasing DNA stability and extending lifespan by 70%.”
Now that it’s being examined as a possible cofactor in a possible COVID-19 treatment, other ways resveratrol can help extend lifespan can be seen.
Its main antiviral mechanisms inhibit the synthesis of viral proteins, inhibit various transcription and signaling pathways, and inhibit the expressions of genes related to the virus; in other words, it hinders the life of viral cells, since viruses hijack the reproductive and regenerative functions of our own cells for their development. Their own nefarious purposes.
A comprehensive study sought to pair plant phytochemicals like flavonoids with the now FDA-approved hydroxychloroquine as a way to stop the COVID-19 coupling mechanism. Resveratrol was tested as it has been found to inhibit one of COVID’s crown cousins: MERS.
Resveratrol was also found to improve other viruses such as pseudorabies and HIV-1.
the study found resveratrol for moderate success, but with luteolin, kaempferol, and quercetin most successful. All of these are polyphenols or flavonoids found in fruits, but mainly in vegetables, quercetin being one of the most consumed polyphenols in society.
Foods and supplements that provide flavonoids that fight COVID
Unfortunately, resveratrol is difficult to consume with food alone. It has poor oral bioavailability, and despite what your bartender tells you about its presence in red wine, you would die of alcohol intoxication before getting a beneficial amount of resveratrol from drinking.
Actually, what is needed is a supplement, stored in a cold, dark environment and taken with a meal with a moderate amount of fat. Many studies on the beneficial effects of resveratrol have used resveratrol extracted from the Japanese plant, and those looking to follow the science to the letter would seek a supplement of knotweed.
Quercetin, which has been shown to disrupt the docking systems of SARS-CoV-1 and 2, is richer in capers, but also in a variety of vegetables such as coriander leaves, radish and fennel, red onions, and watercress. Kaempferol, found in arugula and kale, is also available in significant amounts in raw or canned capers. Luteolin, with proven antiviral effects on SARS CoV-1, a pandemic in China in 2003, and can be found according to a literature review in carrots, bell peppers, celery, olive oil, peppermint, thyme, rosemary, and oregano.
Edited from an article published in World in general, a news website on nature, science, health, politics and travel.
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