Biologists Report Chemical Compounds in Some Foods May Affect Replication of Coronavirus

Biologists Report Chemical Compounds in Some Foods May Affect Replication of Coronavirus

Story Highlights

  • Plant biologists at North Carolina State University have found that chemical compounds in some foods may affect the ability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to bind to and replicate in human cells.
  • Using both computer simulations and in vitro laboratory testing, the researchers were able to demonstrate that muscadine grape cultivars, green tea, cacao powder and dark chocolate all had properties that appeared to affect the coronavirus.
  • No human trials have been conducted to evaluate the effects of certain foods on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the scientists propose further research into whether certain foods and medicinal plants have a protective effect against COVID-19.

A new study by plant biologists at North Carolina State University in Raleigh has found that chemical compounds in certain foods including muscadine grapes, green tea, cacao powder and dark chocolate can bind to an enzyme, or protease, present in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and interfere with the virus’s ability to replicate and cause COVID-19 symptoms.1

Lamenting the high toll COVID-19 has taken on the world so far, as well as the unknown potential for risks associated with new experimental COVID-19 vaccines, along with lack of viable therapies other than those still in research stages, the NC State researchers set out to evaluate the potential impact of specific nutraceuticals in foods and medicinal plants for preventing or affecting the health outcomes of COVID-19 infections.2

Study Focuses on the “Main Protease” of SARS-CoV-2

As described by De-Yu Xie, PhD, professor of plant and microbial biology at NC State and corresponding author of the study, proteases have critical roles to play in the function of cells and viruses. Impeding their normal behaviors has the effect of preventing a number of important functions such as replication.

Focusing on the ability of certain medicinal plants to either prevent a virus from attaching to a human cell or from propagating within the cell, the researchers used both computer simulations and laboratory studies to look at how the “main protease” (Mpro) in the SARS-CoV-2 virus reacted to specific plant compounds already recognized for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. For SARS-CoV-2, the Mpro protein is an important player in the replication and transcription processes of the virus and so represents a particularly promising target. Xie explained that, “Mpro in SARS-CoV-2 is required for the virus to replicate and assemble itself…If we can inhibit or deactivate this protease, the virus will die.”

Muscadine Grapes, Cacao Powder, Green Tea, Dark Chocolate Appear to Inhibit Functionality of Virus

For the computer simulation phase of trial, the researchers used two different types of software (Dock Prep tool of UCSF-Chimera and AutoDock vina), to perform “docking simulations,” a computer simulation technique used to model the potential interaction between two molecules.3 The computer simulations showed that chemical compounds from two different varieties of muscadine grapes, cacao powder, green tea and dark chocolate all bound to different portions of the Mpro, filling what are essentially “pockets” on the protease and disabling its normal functionality.

In vitro lab studies conducted by doctoral student and first author of the study Yue Zhu confirmed the predicted outcome. All of the test compounds were found to be powerful inhibitors of Mpro function. At100 μg/ml tested, the extracts from both the green tea and the two muscadine grape cultivers completely inhibited the Mpro activity and the extracts of the cacao and dark chocolate reduced the Mpro activity by 40 to 50 percent.4

As Dr. Xie put it, “Plants use these compounds to protect themselves, so it is not surprising that plant leaves and skins contain these beneficial compounds.”5 They concluded by saying, “although these natural extracts have not been tested for the inhibitory efficacy in animals and humans, based on their inhibitory activity in vitro, we propose that an increased consumption of these common products can enhance preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 symptoms.”6

Click here to view References:

1 Xie DY, Kulikowski M. Chemical Compounds in Foods Can Inhibit a Key SARS-CoV-2 Enzyme. North Carolina State University News Nov. 30, 2020.
2 Zhu Y, Xie DY. Docking Characterization and in vitro Inhibitory Activity of Flavan-3-ols and Dimeric Proanthocyanidins Against the Main Protease Activity of SARS-Cov-2. Front Plant Sci Nov. 30, 2020.
3 Molecular Docking Simulation. ResearchGate 2020.
4 See Footnote 2.
5 See Footnote 1.
6 See Footnote 2.

14 Responses to "Biologists Report Chemical Compounds in Some Foods May Affect Replication of Coronavirus"

  1. Nathalie   December 22, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Great report, although a bit short and lacking some details, but nonetheless informative and showing one more time that trusting nature and healthy food are always your best bet to stay healthy. Thanks for preforming that kind of research as it gives hope that some scientists are looking at this in a rational way instead of trying to inject people with who knows what and without knowing fully what the long term consequences will be.

  2. A J Scheidt   December 22, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    Interesting information.

  3. Tom   December 22, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    This is all fancy nonsense. The ‘sars-cov-2’ supposed coronavirus was never found. It was never isolated. It was never proven to exist. All this talk about parts of the ‘structure’ of ‘sars-cov-2’ are nonsense because ‘sars-cov-2’ was never found, much less its parts.

    It was ASSUMED to exist by virologists. It was ASSUMED to be ‘a coronavirus.’ It was ASSUMED to have the ‘spike protein.’ It was ASSUMED to cause a ‘new’ pneumonia called ‘covid-19.’

    It’s so important to understand that all the things spouted about ‘covid-19’ are made-up assumptions by virologists with no proof, and each assumption builds on previous assumptions. Even the ‘coronaviruses’ that ‘sars-cov-2’ was pieced together from in computer programs were never isolated or proven to exist! It is layer upon layer of fraud…

    No more people have died this year on the earth than the past few years. CDC has tried to rig the numbers in certain ways (by, for example, not counting ‘flu’ deaths this year and instead calling them all ‘covd-19.’) But they can’t hide the fact that there aren’t any more deaths than usual overall.

    ‘Flu’ itself is a con and a fraud, since what actually kills people is Pneumonia. People all over the Earth who are in very poor physical condition get pneumonia every year for many, many reasons (bacterial pathogens, air pollution, inflammation, toxic Pharma drugs and vaccines).

    But virologists believe everything ‘must’ be caused by a ‘new virus’ so they invented a new ‘virus’ out of thin air to ‘explain’ the pneumonia that occurred in Wuhan rather than look at the obvious fact of the horrendous air pollution there.

    This whole thing is a con, a scam, a fraud of epic proportions. Now grapes cause ‘the covid?’ Hopefully people will wake up to this absurdity sooner than later… Far too much damage has already been done through hysterical fear of nothing.

    • Antonia   January 12, 2021 at 2:32 am

      You are NUTS!!
      Defend each and every thing you say!
      Man, o man!
      Your thoughts, if believed, and delivered with no proof, will kill people!

  4. Tom   December 22, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    I went off ‘half-cocked’ with my response before fully reading this article (I apologize).

    The article doesn’t say grapes cause ‘covid.’ And the ‘nonsense’ I’m referring to is ‘sars-cov-2,’ not beneficial foods (which are real and promote actual good health).

    • Beth Almeida   August 11, 2021 at 11:37 pm

      I always wondered why they thought a disease was different or a virus new just because it , showed up differently after being around a few years. We are taught that our bodies are the sum of what we feed it. Garbage in, garbage out. So all disease is not new, it reacts to the garbage dumped in the foods we eat. People live like hell and are surprised by sickness.

  5. Kim   December 22, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    I am so pleased to see that good nutrition has popped it’s healthy head up amidst all the chaos and vaccine mania…. I do not believe good health can be achieved by injecting the contents of a syringe into your body…. it takes a lot of time and effort to maintain one’s health… I do hope the media will focus more keeping healthy as another means of preventing COVID-19…

  6. Tom   December 22, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Very good news. How did this escape Big Pharma’s…we hate articles about natural remedies filtering machine? If this is possible for Covid, then these compounds are likely useful in stopping other diseases. I will consult my doctor…lol.

  7. Bonnie   December 22, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    A great excuse to eat more chocolate!

    • Kayla   December 29, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      Just what I was thinking! And the kind of chocolate I like is the really dark stuff, 70-95% cocoa!

  8. Gram   December 22, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Where do I line up for an yummy-gooey shot of dark chocolate? Pun intended!

  9. D. Smith   December 23, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Why would this be true only of the COVID vaxxzine???

  10. Glenn Sattelberg   January 4, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Yea. pPants can do this because they cant move away from danger so they make chemicals to keep some animals or insects from eating them. Now we can eat the plants to keep us happy and healthy.

  11. Joe F.   February 23, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    The “chemical compounds” mentioned in this article can also be called “polyphenols.” I’m surprised the writer didn’t use this word. Otherwise, it’s a great piece.


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