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Banaba flavonoid quercetin-7-glycoside protects against virus infection

Banaba flavonoid quercetin-7-glycoside protects against virus infection

Banaba flavonoid quercetin-7-glycoside protects against virus infection
The flavonoid quercentin-7-glucoside, which is found in extracts of the banaba scientific name Lagerstroemia speciosa probably offers protection against viral infections. This is suggested in an in-vitro study published by Korean researchers in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

Producers of banaba supplements and banaba tea in China, Vietnam and the Philippines market these mainly as products that protect against diabetes type 2, but local healers use banaba extracts against infectious diseases too. This use inspired the Koreans to perform their experiments with human HeLa cells. The researchers exposed the cells to human rhinovirus 2, and looked at whether adding quercetin-7-glucoside, a flavonoid found in banaba, prevented the cells from becoming infected by the virus.

The researchers compared the anti-virus effect of quercetin-7-glucoside with that of the virus-inhibiting medicine ribavirin. Ribavirin inhibits the multiplication of viruses in cells.

The Koreans exposed the cells to the human rhinovirus 2 at Time = 0. The figure below shows the percentage of cells not infected two days later when the researchers brought the cells in contact with ribavirin or quercetin-7-glucoside at Time = - 1, or at Time = 0, Time = 1, Time = 2, Time = 3, Time = 4, Time = 5, Time = 6 or Time = 12. The researchers used the anti-virus substances at a concentration of 10 microgram per millilitre.

Banaba flavonoid quercetin-7-glycoside protects against virus infection

In other experiments the researchers treated the viruses with the banaba flavonoid. This did not prevent the cells from being infected by the virus afterwards.

The researchers suspect that quercetin-7-glycoside doesn't interact with the virus, but that it prevents the virus from multiplying in the cells during the first hours after contact.

"Quercetin-7-Glycoside is an attractive anti-human rhinovirus 2 agent", the Koreans conclude in their publication. "Further investigations will focus on the development of topical formulations with higher effectiveness of Quercetin-7-Glycoside."

The study was not paid for by the industry, but by the university where the research leader and immunologist Hwa Jung Choi works.

J Med Food. 2013 Apr; 16(4): 274-9.

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