A group of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bhopal have in a review found out that COVID-19, diabetes, and aging have intersecting pathways at the molecular level. Hence, the treatment for diabetes and aging can be explored for COVID-19 too. In this regard, they have found polyphenols, which are organic compounds found in certain plant-based foods, “which have been shown to not only slow down the aging process but also possess anti-viral properties,” said one of the authors of the paper. Catechins are among the polyphenols that the researchers have identified as a possible treatment option. And this phenolic compound is found in abundance in green tea.
What Did The Study Found Out
The review undertaken by researchers at the IISER was published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. Here are its findings:
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- At the molecular level, there are existing pathways between COVID-19, aging, and diabetes. Notably, the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, attacks the elderly and diabetics more severely.
- All three conditions are linked to oxidative stress and the lowering of the immune response. Complications associated with the three can lead to cardiovascular diseases, eye-related conditions, neuropathy (nerve diseases), and nephropathy (kidney problems).
- According to the researchers, the ideal therapeutic candidate for COVID-19 should be the one that targets the common pathway of the three.
- Polyphenols such as curcumin, which is found in turmeric, and resveratrol, found in grapes, has shown to not only slow down the aging process but also have shown anti-viral properties, Dr Amjad Husain, who is the Principal Scientist and Chief Executive Officer, Innovation and Incubation Center for Entrepreneurship (IICE), IISER Bhopal, said in a statement.
- Some polyphenols that the researchers have identified as useful for COVID-19, diabetes, and aging are catechins, which are found in green tea, cocoa, and berries, procyanidins, which are found in cinnamon, apple, and grape skin and theaflavin, which is there in black tea.
- Not just natural compounds, the researchers have also identified some existing anti-aging drugs that can be explored for treating COVID-19. One such drug is Rapamycin, Also, Metformin, which lowers the blood sugar level, can also be tested for COVID-19, the researchers noted.
Although the utility of green tea for COVID-19 hasn’t been completely established, it is no harm to have a cup or two of it every day. It’s a well-known fact that this beverage brimmed with health benefits. Let us have a look at some of them.
Health Benefits Of Green Tea
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There is a reason people rave about this beverage, which is its amazing health-benefitting properties. Here are some of them:
- As you already know that green tea is rich in a polyphenol called catechin. This compound is an antioxidant, which protects the cells from free radicals, thus preventing premature aging.
- Green tea contains caffeine, a stimulant that makes you alert. Coffee also contains this compound. However, a difference is that coffee contains too much caffeine that can make you jittery. This is not the case with green tea
- It is also believed to boost metabolism, thus helping with weight loss.
- Studies have also shown that green tea might have a role in improving brain health.
- Several studies have also shown this drink lowers the blood sugar level and increases insulin sensitivity, thus helping in preventing diabetes.
- One of the much-touted benefits of green tea is that it relaxes the mind and makes you calm.
Green tea possess several health benefits. If it is proven to work against COVID-19, it will be yet another feather in its cap.
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