Broccoli Compound Found to Offer Potential Protection Against COVID-19

Lab experiments demonstrate that a chemical extracted from broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables could provide protection from viruses that cause colds and COVID-19 infections.

Researchers demonstrated that Sulforaphane, a plant-derived chemical known as phytochemical inhibits replication of both COVID-19 causing coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 as well as another human coronavirus in mice and cells.

Sulforaphane, a naturally-occurring compound found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage is known for its anti-cancer effects and can be obtained through food sources like mature plants, sprouts or even infusions of seed or sprouts. According to research studies performed earlier, its properties include infection prevention properties through interference with cell processes as well as cancer protection properties through interference between cell processes.

Cells were exposed to sulforaphane for one to two hours prior to being infected with both common cold coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2, with results showing low concentrations of sulforaphane reducing replication by 50% for all 6 strains of SARS-CoV-2 including its omicron and delta variants as well as that of common cold coronavirus infection; similar results were also seen with already infected cells; even then its protective effects could still be observed even with established infection of SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Remarks were also conducted regarding the effects of combining Remdesivir with Sulforaphane; Remdesivir is an antiviral drug prescribed to hospitalized COVID-19 infection patients to speed their recovery more rapidly, while this combination proved more successful at combatting both SARS-CoV-2 and common cold coronaviruses than either individual treatment taken alone.

An SARS-CoV-2 infected mouse model was then evaluated, and researchers discovered that giving 30 milligrams of sulforaphane per kg of body weight prior to infection significantly reduced weight loss associated with viral infection.

Pre-treatment with sulforaphane also resulted in a significant drop in viral load by 17% for lung cells and 9% in upper respiratory tract cells, as well as 29% reduction of lung injury compared with mice who weren’t given it, protecting from hyperactive immune responses that appear to drive COVID-19 deaths. Lung inflammation was reduced, protecting against an excessive immune response which is suspected as contributing factor behind many deaths from COVID-19 infection.

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