How flavonoids in cannabis, spinach, and other plants affect COVID-19

How flavonoids in cannabis, spinach, and other plants affect COVID-19

COVID-19, a virus, has proven humanities vulnerability. Cultures have been shaken and politicians have had to admit their wrongs and see the situation as a true beast not to be easily tamed. It is high time for people to act simply with their daily habits yet health authorities are timid and cautious when offering any advice. So, is it at all possible that flavonoids in cannabis, spinach, and other plants affect COVID-19?

Personal space, plants, and COVID-19

Beyond vital physical measures, how we take care of our individual selves imposes a great impact. Buddhist monks in Myanmar, one of the last countries to report COVID-19 cases, are employing cannabinoid-rich black peppercorns, as CLN previously reported. Black pepper has an interwoven pharmacology relating to the endocannabinoid system; a great asset to immune function. Unlike certain plant constituents, however, black pepper might not directly ward off coronaviruses.

Flavonoids are natural components of many different plants, including cannabis, often denoting a bittering effect. How can certain natural botanical components, such as these flavonoids affect COVID-19, instead?

Unravelling a virus’s structure

While reasons remain uncertain, countries that are administering experimental treatments do currently host impressively low mortality rates. SARS-CoV2 houses a complex genetic structure that, in part, uses spike, “S” and membrane, “M” proteins to bind to human receptors. Certain countries have been experimenting with the efficiency of HIV medications that inhibit the M-protein binding site in order to treat COVID-19. Keep in mind that their benefit has been questioned by a clinical study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. While this study did report little overall benefit from the use of one particular treatment being administered, the lopinavir-ritonavir combination, it was noted that their trial only contained patients already in serious condition.

If M-protease inhibitors can help healthier individuals, then it may be an idea to look at our staple diets if we wish to achieve a slightly similar benefit on a daily basis. Cannabis can also help in this regard, advice that goes against many warnings, but how flavonoids inhibit COVID-19 has not recieved much attention.

A study funded through The Tahir Professorship Program in Indonesia, but not yet peer-reviewed has noted that Kaempferol, a flavonoid in cannabis, spinach, and other plants, affects COVID-19 rather significantly. According to the study, several flavonoids inhibit the same M-protease as lopinavir with nearly the same affinity.

Flavonoids in cannabis and spinach COVID-19’s binding to human receptors

  • KaempferolCannabis, Spinach, Cabbage, Dill, Olives.
  • QuercetinCannabis, Fennel leaves, onion, dill, oregano, chilli pepper
  • Luteolin-7-glucosideCannabis, Olive, starfruit, chilli pepper, leek
  • Naringenin – Citrus fruit
  • Miscellaneous – Goji berries, turmeric, Curcuma, celery, green tea, ginger, and garlic

Hot ginger tea with honey, after gargling with saltwater, has allegedly been a saviour for a few. Gingerol and zingerol in ginger, or even allicin in freshly crushed garlic, can block COVID-19’s M-protease binding site, albeit less so than other flavonoids. A key to tea, however, is heat, an enemy to many different viruses. It is possible to destroy critical flavonoids by cooking and even smoking them, but not by mixing them with a hot liquid. This can instead be of strong benefit in fighting against this virus.

Foods that contain M-protease inhibiting flavonoids will partially block SARS-CoV2 from binding to the human receptor site (angiotensin-converting enzyme, ACE.) Simply eating your spinach can help you prevent this disease, although in no way will it supplement handwashing and social isolation because it will not outright protect a person from infection. Moreover, a proper diet can reduce the risk of infection, but it will not stop people from carrying and spreading the virus onto others, despite a lack of symptoms.

Protease inhibitors can also act as antinutrients, preventing the breakdown and digestion of other vital dietary proteins. They will always be an important part of our diets, but like everything, they need to be consumed in moderation even in desperate times. In a reflection of antinutrients, spinach is also loaded with iron and sodium, which can be toxic in extremely large quantities.

Flavonoids for immune support

Beyond directly blocking COVID-19, lopinavir’s properties continue to stretch throughout the immune system. Deeper effects bring to question the efficiency of substituting this pharmaceutical with M-protease inhibiting flavonoids, alone. Lopinavir attenuates specific inflammatory factors while simultaneously promoting interleukins. This can help reduce cytokine storm which will lower the mortality rate ever so slightly while also increasing recovery time. Moreover, it will help regulate the human body’s ability to produce antibodies that will code and destroy viral intruders.

Perhaps not miraculously, but natural food products might just mimic broader immune functions facilitated by lopinavir. Quercetin, a flavonoid mentioned earlier, has the potential to stand in as a candidate by activating special PPAR messengers.

A preclinical warning

Other substances in cannabis, spinach, and other plants might support immune functions and even directly affect COVID-19. Despite these hopeful discoveries from within our routine diets, only an accurate dose of any substance will actually allow for a similar benefit as a combined dose of lopinavir and ritonavir. Unfortunately, no plant substance currently carries predictable effects, and no herbal remedy or food has an accurate dose for any ailment, let alone COVID-19.

Social isolation and sanitation practices will be the tools that win the war against this deadly pathogen, next to a herculean amount of testing and surveillance. Yet, we cannot shy away from a healthy diet filled with natural ingredients, such as specific flavonoids that can possibly prevent the spread and mortality rate of this deadly coronavirus. The pinnacle to this advice is simply adjuvant healthy amounts of certain key foods into a balanced diet.

A further warning must be reiterated for the sake of cannabis consumption, especially smoking and vaporizing which can be counterintuitive to viral prevention. Flavonoids do not need to be smoked to affect SARS-CoV2 and will be better steeped in tea, regardless of their origin. Raw cannabis and spinach juiced together might contain flavonoids that will inhibit COVID-19 far more directly than THC or CBD.

In a classic, concluding echo, the science behind coronavirus is still unfolding and methods to ward off infection. Due to lower mortality rate, and increase a person’s chance at survival still requires further research before official recommendations can be granted.

Have you or your friend battled COVID-19 and found a simple remedy to help fight through it? Let us know in the comments and follow us @cannalifenet to discover more attributes to cannabis.

References

Al-Qahtani AA, Lyroni K, Aznaourova M, et al. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike glycoprotein suppresses macrophage responses via DPP4-mediated induction of IRAK-M and PPARγ. Oncotarget. 2017;8(6):9053–9066. DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.14754

Bento AF, Marcon R, Dutra RC, et al. β-Caryophyllene inhibits dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in mice through CB2 receptor activation and PPARγ pathway. Am J Pathol. 2011;178(3):1153–1166. DOI:10.1016/j.ajpath.2010.11.052

Cao B, Wang Y, Wen D, et al. A Trial of Lopinavir-Ritonavir in Adults Hospitalized with Severe Covid-19 [published online ahead of print, 2020 Mar 18]. N Engl J Med. 2020;NEJMoa2001282. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2001282

Khaerunnisa, Siti & Kurniawan, Hendra & Awaluddin, Rizki & Suhartati, Suhartati & Soetjipto, Soetjipto. (2020). Potential Inhibitor of COVID-19 Main Protease (Mpro) From Several Medicinal Plant Compounds by Molecular Docking Study. 10.20944/preprints202003.0226.v1.

Wen CC, Kuo YH, Jan JT, et al. Specific plant terpenoids and lignoids possess potent antiviral activities against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. J Med Chem. 2007;50(17):4087–4095. DOI:10.1021/jm070295s

Youssef DA, El-Fayoumi HM, Mahmoud MF. Beta-caryophyllene alleviates diet-induced neurobehavioral changes in rats: The role of CB2 and PPAR-γ receptors. Biomed Pharmacother. 2019;110:145–154. DOI:10.1016/j.biopha.2018.11.039

Published at Sun, 26 Apr 2020 05:00:00 +0000

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