Scientists have made a new “wonder drug” out of bananas that can lead to a new generation of antiviral drugs. They will be able to kill off a wide variety of viruses, including Ebola, HIV, Hepatitis, Sars etc.

The key ingredient of this new “wonder drug” is a protein, called Lectin or BanLec, which is found in bananas.

Since the first discovery of this protein, about five years ago, it was considered a potential treatment against HIV AIDS, but the nasty side effects that this protein caused limited its use.

Now, scientists have achieved to create the new version of BanLec, which minimizes the side effects (it doesn’t cause irritation and inflammation) and it can fight viruses in mice as well.

The new variation also worked in the laboratory – on tissue and blood samples against AIDS, hepatitis C and influenza.

The mechanism of this protein is the preference it has for some sugars that the most deadly viruses are covered with. When the viruses are covered with BanLec, they become harmless and can easily be disposed of by the body’s immune system.

Dr David Markovitz, professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan and co-author of the paper published in the journal Cell, said: “What we’ve done is exciting because there is potential for BanLec to develop into a broad spectrum anti-viral agent – something that is not clinically available to physicians and patients right now. But we also hope that BanLec could become useful in situations such as emergency pandemic response, and military settings, where the precise cause of an infection is unknown but a viral cause is suspected.”

Professor Wendy Barclay, chair in influenza virology at Imperial College, London, called it an “a new strategy for fighting a wide range of viruses” and “beautiful science”.

We would say it is not only a beautiful science, but a delicious one also (as bananas are very delicious). We hope this drug will be able for the humans soon. This could lend the deadly infections caused by deadly viruses.

References:

  • http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/banana-molecule-fights-hiv-and-hepatitis-c
  • http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151022124335.htm
  • http://www.foodworldnews.com/articles/46277/20151023/new-drug-made-from-bananas-fight-many-deadly-viruses.htm
  • http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/614019/Bananas-fight-flu-Wonder-fruit-cure-illness-common-cold
  • http://nehandaradio.com/2015/10/23/could-bananas-cure-aids-new-drug-made-from-the-fruit-can-kill-viruses-including-hepatitis-c-and-flu/
  • http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/23230-drug-engineered-from-bananas-shows-promise-in-fighting-deadly-viruses
  • Image adapted from:
    http://cdn1.medicalnewstoday.com/content/images/articles/271157-bananas.jpg

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