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Theaflavin in black tea inhibits COVID-19, increases immunity: Studies

Theaflavin in black tea inhibits COVID-19, increases immunity: Studies

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 05 May 2020, 06:22 am

Kolkata/UNI: As the International Tea Day is nearing, it is now widely discussed whether Tea, the Wellness Drink, as many researchers claim, is potential enough to keep COVID-19 at bay.

The United Nations has already designated May 21 as International Tea Day considering the recommendations of India, though earlier, the day was celebrated on December 15.

This year, when the menace called Corona has already taken innumerable lives throughout the world along with India, the plucking of first flush tea has already witnessed a slow beginning.

In such a circumstance, India, more particularly, the tea sector of India, is gearing for making up the inhibition at the initial and overcoming the threat of slowdown in production as well as buying-selling market, both domestic and international.

Along with the economic issues of tea, this year, the Indian tea forum is venturing to pose a challenge against Covid-19 in this year’s International Tea Day as a potential beverage to inhibit the attack of this deadly virus.

The Tea Board of India has come up with a section in its website which highlights the research-work going on worldwide to study the health benefits of consuming black tea. In one of the research-papers published in ‘Journal of Medical Virology’ by J Lung, Theaflavin has been indicated as a potential ingredient of tea to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, Media & Communication officer of PIB, Kolkata, Srijata Saha Sahoo said.

In the study, RNA dependant RNA Polymerase (RdRp) was selected as target for screening binding efficiency of the compounds as, in Corona virus, it is known to be an important enzyme that catalyses the replication of RNA from RNA templates.

A three dimensional (3d) modelled structure (i.e. protein structure) of RdRp of SARS-CoV-2 (2019 Pandemic) was generated. Docking study revealed Theaflavin as the best compound among the 83 compounds selected for the study. This was  further confirmed by lower binding energy when it docks the catalytic pocket of SARS-CoV-2 RdRp.

The study suggested that Theaflavin could be used as a lead compound for developing a SARS-CoV-2 inhibitor that targets RdRp. Further in-vitro and in-vivo research is required to confirm the inhibitory action and to understand mechanism of that action.

Besides, Emerging research reports have shown that the active tea constituents’ viz. Monomeric Catechins, Theaflavins, Quercetin, Caffeine and Theanine can positively affect the immune system to bolster the body’s natural response.