Science of Tea Health: Virus Edition

Of the four types of catechin contained in tea, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is drawing particular attention. EGCG has three functions. 1. Antioxidant action, 2. Fat decomposition action, 3. Protein binding action. Antioxidants and lipolysis are used in anti-aging and dieting. This time, I will focus on "protein binding action".

Catechin EGCG and anti-virus measures

As I wrote in a book published in an English e-book last year, the infectious protrusions (spikes) of the virus are made of proteins, and EGCG with a size of 1/10 to 1/100 can stick tightly to the spikes. This will invalidate spikes, which will prevent infection. In a presentation in an academic journal by an Indian researcher last year, EGCG was overwhelmingly rapidly adsorbed on proteins among more than a dozen substances. With this in mind, I've said that catechin is effective for prevention, and that it's good to spray tea on your fingers or gargle. However, you cannot expect much even if you drink it. It changes from EGCG to other substances by the time it is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and dissolved in the blood as a component. If EGCG can be delivered from blood vessels to all cells in the body without change in the body, influenza, coronavirus, and any mutant strain can prevent intracellular infection. Vaccines make a "lid" according to the protein composition of the spiked process, so they are not good at dealing with mutant strains that replace the nth substance in the protein sequence, but EGCG adsorbs all kinds of proteins. It can be said that it is versatile because it will end up. I thought that the problem was "development of technology to deliver EGCG to cells as it is" by the delivery method.

Delivering EGCG using fatty acids

Meanwhile, there is an interesting attempt. For example, it is a method of binding EGCG with fatty acids so that it does not change in the digestive system. A time ago in 2008, research groups at Kyoto University and Osaka University attempted to develop anti-cancer drugs using EGCG fatty acid derivatives that combine EGCG with linear saturated fatty acids. This fatty acid plays a role in preventing EGCG from changing immediately in the body. It would be great if such technology came out. There is also a technology that makes this essential action of EGCG even stronger in the prevention of virus infection. This is also a modification with fatty acids, but it not only covers the infectious process of the virus, but also destroys the virus membrane itself. This is the effect of fatty acids that bind to the membrane. That is, EGCG fatty acids first adsorb to the proteins of the infectious process, and then the fatty acids stick to and destroy the viral membrane. It's like an airplane holding a bomb and sticking together. Hand washing and alcohol disinfection have become firmly established in the corona virus, but alcohol disinfection is effective against viruses that have a film called an envelope. This technology seems to have been commercialized with non-woven masks and sprays.


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