Researchers are still learning about the effects of COVID-19, along with the genetic makeup of the virus that has killed more than 276,000 people in the United States this year.
One of those taking a closer look at its DNA structure is De-Yu Xie. The North Carolina State University professor has studied plant microbiology for decades, but now believes the chemical compounds of certain foods can bind to or block a specific Coronavirus enzyme. What Xie found is Green tea, muscadine grapes, and dark chocolate are most effective against breaking down the virus.
“One of our lab’s focuses is to find nutraceuticals in food or medicinal plants that inhibit either how a virus attaches to human cells or the propagation of a virus in human cells. I know green tea has the richest level and we know their structures and we know that everybody can drink green tea,” Xie told WNCN in Raleigh.
The ongoing research by Xie and his team is focused on how the virus reacts to plants with known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Green Tea was shown to have the best reaction in initial findings. One thing that sticks out to Xie is how COVID-19’s ‘M protein’ keeps the virus intact.
“M pro 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. I am convinced green tea can have those functions to help everybody,” Xie said.
Xie’s research and empirical data are in the early stages, according to WNCN. The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.