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Green tea traces its roots back to China, and it is widely popular across East Asia. It is known to improve blood circulation and reduce cholesterol levels, but a recent study shows that it can do more.
According to a study published in Frontiers in Plant Science Journal, the green tea compounds and other plant-based foods can hinder the replication of SARS-CoV-2. This is the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic that reached a global scale.
How Green Tea Stops the Replication of Mpro
De-Yu Xie, a professor of plant and microbial biology at North Carolina State University, said that Mpro in SARS-CoV-2 is required for the virus to replicate and assemble itself. Furthermore, if the process can be inhibited or deactivated, the virus will die.
Researchers at North Carolina State University discovered that plenty of polyphenols which are found in green tea can stop the function of “main protease” (Mpro) by binding to the enzymes. Replication of SARS-CoV-2 will not be feasible for long without these enzymes.
Xie and Yue Zhu conducted a study using Mpro of SARS-Cov-2 to filter polyphenols from different food sources with plant compounds called flavonoids. Flavonoids are known as antiviral and have anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds are highly present in green tea and have a high chance of inhibiting the virus.
Juices that Block Virus Activity
The study was supported by German researchers who also discovered green tea and other plant-based drinks can kill SARS-CoV-2. In addition to green tea, they have also examined black chokeberry juice, pomegranate juice, and elderberry juice which all block the activity of the virus.
To prove the claim, the beverages were mixed with the viruses. It was then incubated at room temperature. After five minutes, the researchers found that these juices decrease viral activity. The presence of polyphenols such as flavonoids can inactivate the viruses due to the acidity levels of the beverages.
It was revealed that black chokeberry juice inactivated about 97 percent of SARS-CoV-2 after five minutes, while green tea and pomegranate juice inactivated about 80 percent of the virus. Unfortunately, elderberry juice has shown no effect on SARS-CoV-2.
Oral Rinsing Reduces Viral Transmission
Beverages like green tea and blackberry can be used for oral rinsing. It is safer to use compared to other products with chemical ingredients that are harsh for the body.
The results of the study show that oral rinsing can reduce viral transmission via the nose and throat. Transmission often occurs in the nose and throat especially for viruses such as SARS-CoV-2.
Green tea has a soothing and refreshing taste that is loved by many. Aside from its cleansing properties, it proves to be a great way of getting yourself immune against respiratory and viral diseases.