February 02, 2022 3 min read
Quercetin appears to be able to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication: this is how it was discovered. A naturally occurring molecule found in several foods, quercetin, appears to act as a specific inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2, because it inhibits the activity of an enzyme useful for the development and replication of the New Coronavirus.
A scientific study (www.sciencedirect.com) on the properties of the molecule coordinated by Bruno Rizzuti of the Institute of Nanotechnology of the National Research Council (CNR-Nanotec) in Cosenza and a group of researchers from Zaragoza and Madrid is interesting, not least because of the way in which this substance was identified.
Experimental screening of a small archive of chemical compounds consisting of about 150 molecules showed that quercetin could be considered a rather powerful inhibitor of the 3CLpro enzyme: molecular simulations showed that the substance is able to bind to subunits in the most favourable position to block virus replication.
"Quercetin reduces the enzymatic activity of 3CLpro due to its destabilising effect on the protein," adds Adrian Velazquez-Campoy of the University of Zaragoza, who headed the research group and had already worked on finding protein inhibitor drugs for the SARS virus in 2003. "Obviously we count on a vaccine being found, but drugs will still be needed for people already infected and for those who cannot be vaccinated."
Among the most common flavonoids, it can be isolated from numerous plant species: horse chestnut, calendula, hawthorn, chamomile, St. John's wort and Ginkgo biloba.
Quercetin is also found in abundance in foods such as capers, red onions and radicchio Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, etc.), celery, lettuce, asparagus, tomatoes, berries, pomegranates, grapes, red wine, citrus fruits, green tea.
"known for its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-proliferative properties', adds Rizzuti: 'computer simulations have shown that quercetin binds to the 3CLpro protein, preventing it from performing its replication function correctly'.
Quercetin is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, both direct and indirect. It also has antiplatelet and cardioprotective activity, as well as neuroprotective and neurotrophic action. Because of its characteristics, it is widely used for anti-ageing purposes, alone or in synergy with other molecules such as vitamin C.
Among Quercetin's functions, nutrigenomic functions are crucial due to its ability to modulate gene expression. Various structural changes in DNA, such as methylation or histone modification, have been shown to be associated with different types of tumour. These structural changes can be regulated in an anti-tumour direction by dietary components such as quercetin. Indeed, this molecule has considerable epigenetic potential, both when delivered directly via food and in supplement form.
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Il TIZIANO Rosso IGT 2018: Intense ruby red colour with violet hues. Bouquet of black fruits, vanilla and noble spices. Intense. Strong flavour, great aromatic structure, balsamic.