Green tea compounds can treat Covid, diabetes, ageing: IISER Bhopal

A team of scientists from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal identified biomolecular links between Covid-19, ageing, and diabetes in a review. The review, which was published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, suggested that existing drugs used to treat diabetes, obesity, and ageing could be used to treat Covid-19. For the Covid treatment, similar naturally occurring biomolecules were also investigated in combination.

“There are classes of compounds such as polyphenols found in plant-based food, curcumin (found in turmeric), and resveratrol (found in grapes), have been shown to not only slow down the ageing process, but also possess anti-viral properties,” said Dr. Amjad Husain, Principal Scientist, and CEO of Innovation and Incubation Center for Entrepreneurship (IICE), IISER Bhopal, in a statement.

Other polyphenols identified by the researchers as potentially beneficial for both Covid-19 treatment and comorbidities such as diabetes and ageing include catechins (found in green tea, cocoa, and berries), procyanidins (found in apples, cinnamon, and grape skin), and theaflavin (found in black tea).

Because of the common biochemical pathways associated with these diseases, the researchers also present evidence of some existing potential anti-aging drugs, such as Rapamycin, that can be explored for the Covid-19 treatment. Another example is the drug Metformin, which is typically used to control blood sugar levels.

The review showed that at the molecular level, there are intersecting pathways that are common to diabetes, ageing, and Covid-19. All three conditions are associated with oxidative stress and lowering of the immune response and complications arising from them lead to the onset of numerous other diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, eye diseases, neuropathy (nerve diseases), and nephropathy (kidney problems).

The researchers believe that an ideal therapeutic candidate for Covid-19 should be able to target the pathways that are common to diabetes, ageing and the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Computational studies also revealed that lipids found in cell membranes play an important role in coronavirus infection.

Natural compounds such as polyphenols may affect the virus’s binding to host receptors as well as the molecular interactions required for virus replication and release, halting the infection in its early stages, according to the researchers.

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