green tea helps fight COVID-19

Sound incredible? But it’s not impossible. Green tea could play its part in helping you to fight COVID.

Though ridiculed at the beginning of the pandemic, several avenues of research now suggest the early possibility that green tea really might help fight COVID. The studies are all in vitro: we still have to wait for a human study on green tea.

But consider the potential promise:

1. Green tea flavonoids inhibits the SARS-CoV-2 virus by blocking the virus’ ability to utilize an enzyme it needs to replicate and assemble itself (Front Plant Sci 2020:doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.601316).

2. SARS-CoV-2 requires viral RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase (RdRp) to replicate. A molecular-docking study that compared theaflavin-3'-gallate, an important flavonoid in green tea, to the RdRp inhibitor drug remdesivir, found that the theaflavin-3'-gallate is more potent (Drug Res (Stuttg) 2021 Sep 13. doi:10.1055/a-1467-5828).

3. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major component in green tea, has the ability to block entry of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by inhibiting the spike’s interaction with receptors and to inhibit virus infection (J Gen Virol 2021 04 ;102(4).

4. EGCG has potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 (J Agric Food Chem 2021 ;69(21):5948-5954).

5. A just published in vitro study that again found green tea and EGCG to be highly effective at inhibiting infection with SARS-CoV-2 went on to show that they also efficiently blocked the alpha and beta variants (as well as the California variant B.1.429). The most potent part of green tea was the EGCG: it blocked the virus from binding to the ACE-2 receptors (Cell Biosci 11, 168 (2021).


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