flavonoids in dark chocolate, green tea and grapes inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19

Wouldn’t it be great if dark chocolate was as bad for COVID as it is delicious for you?

For viruses to do their dirty work, they have to penetrate into your cells. Once inside, they hijack the cell and use its operations to replicate themselves. If they can’t get into the cell, they are rendered impotent.

An important discovery about the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is that it replicates by using our ACE2 receptors as its entrance door. New research is suggesting the hope that the flavonoids in dark chocolate, green tea and grapes could lock the door.

In a laboratory study, researchers found that several flavonoid commonly found in plant foods dock with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and prevent it from attaching to the cells and propagating. They used lab studies and computer simulations to test these flavonoids against the main protease (Mpro) that the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to replicate and assemble itself. The plant flavonoids seem to inhibit the COVID-19 protease.

Computer simulations of docking found that several of the flavonoids found in foods like dark chocolate, green tea and muscadine grapes could bind to Mpro and inhibit its activity.

Next, they looked at whether extracts from these foods could inhibit the Mpro activity of SARS-Cov-2. So, they extracted flavonoids from the three plant foods and discovered that all three extracts inhibited Mpro activity.

The dark chocolate extract was effective, and the green tea extract was actually twice as effective.

These results are based on computer modelling and lab studies and have not yet been studied in humans. They also use extracts and not the actual whole foods. So, the researchers suggest that extracts of green tea, cacao and grape can be used to fight COVID.

They also propose that based on the extracts ability to inhibit the virus in vitro, “increased consumption of these common products can enhance preventing against SARS-Cov-2 and improving the COVID-19.”

So, you can take the extracts and it you can incorporate the foods into your diet. So, enjoy that big piece of dark chocolate. And, since green tea is even stronger, have a nice cup of tea with your chocolate!


Front Plant Sci 30 November 2020:doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.601316


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