Curcumin May Help Eliminate Some Viruses

Sep, 2020 - By SMI

Curcumin May Help Eliminate Some Viruses

The research has shown that curcumin can inhibit an alpha-group coronavirus, Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus from infecting healthy cells.

Curcumin is produced by Curcuma longa plants and the principal curcuminoid of turmeric (Curcuma longa). It is sold as a food coloring, food flavoring, cosmetics ingredient, and herbal supplement. According to the new research, a natural compound, curcumin may help eliminate some viruses. The research was published in the General Virology Journal. The research has shown that curcumin can inhibit an alpha-group coronavirus, Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus (a coronavirus which infects pigs) from infecting healthy cells. The compound also kills virus particles with higher doses.

Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus (TGEV) is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus which enters its host cell by binding to the APN receptor. TGEV causes a disease named transmissible gastroenteritis in pigs, which is characterized by severe dehydration, diarrhea, and death. It is highly contagious and is always fatal in pigs aged two weeks and below, therefore poses a threat to the swine industry. Currently, there are no approved vaccines or treatments for alpha-coronaviruses. Though an approved vaccine is available for TGEV, it does not help curb the spread of the virus.

According to the lead author, Dr. Lilan Xie, the reason behind choosing curcumin for this research is that it has fewer side effects. During this research, the researchers treated experimental cells with different concentrations of curcumin to determine curcumin’s antiviral properties. The team discovered that higher concentrations helped reduce the virus particles in the cell culture. According to the n researchers, curcumin affects TGEV in many ways such as by changing the metabolism of cells to inhibit viral entry, by deactivating the virus, and by killing the virus. Moreover, curcumin can help inhibit the replication of certain types of viruses such as the Zika virus, hepatitis B, and dengue virus.

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