Dark chocolate and green tea, compounds that block coronavirus enzyme
The enzyme whose function is blocked is the ‘main protease’ (Mpro) inSARS-CoV-2. The virus requires this enzyme in order to replicate. If MPro is blocked or deactivated, the virus cannot survive.
- Certain foods and beverages such as green tea, dark chocolate and muscadine grapes — a grapevine species native to parts of the United States — contain chemical compounds that can block the function of a key enzyme in the novel coronavirus, a new study has found.
- The enzyme whose function is blocked is the ‘main protease’ (Mpro) in SARS-CoV-2.
- The virus requires this enzyme in order to replicate.
- If MPro is blocked or deactivated, the virus cannot survive.
- Two varieties of muscadine grapes, cacao powder and dark chocolate, these chemical compounds were already known for their potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- When tested against Mpro, the chemicals were able to bind to different portions of the enzyme.
- Once this binding took place, the protease lost its important function.
- The chemical compounds in green tea and muscadine grapes were found to be very successful at inhibiting Mpro’s function.
- In green tea, there were five tested chemical compounds binding to different sites in the pocket on Mpro, and essentially overwhelming it to inhibit its function.
- Muscadine grapes contain these inhibitory chemicals in their skins and seeds.
- Chemical compounds in cacao powder and dark chocolate reduced Mpro activity by about half, the researchers reported.