In a unique study, researchers have claimed that chemical compounds in foods or beverages like green tea, muscadine grapes, and dark chocolate can bind to and block the function of a particular enzyme, or protease, in the SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.
According to study author De-Yu Xie from the North Carolina State University in the US, it said that Proteases are important to the health and viability of cells and viruses. If proteases are inhibited, cells cannot perform many important functions.
In the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science, the research team performed both computer simulations and lab studies showing how the so-called 'main protease' in the SARS-CoV-2 virus reacted when confronted with several different plant chemical compounds.
Green tea has five tested chemical compounds that bind to different sites in the pocket on Mpro, essentially overwhelming it to inhibit its function.