Korean Researchers Found Substance Inhiting COVID-19

March 17, 2020

A recent study is drawing the attention of the medical community, claiming that sea buckthorn berry’s lactic acid bacteria can contain the spread of the new coronavirus by inhibiting the activation of its energy source, purine.

Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides),“super-fruits” is high in antioxidants, vitamin C, carotenes, and amino acid that is native to Central Asia, Mongolia, and parts of northern Europe. It has been used in wintertime and medicinally for centuries and remains a staple of the pharmaceutical industries of Mongolia.

The Sea Buckthorn is a deciduous shrub given its name to avoid confusion with the True Buckthorns in the Rhamnaceae family. This belongs to a different plant family, the Elegnaceae, and is thought to be native to a wide range of the northern hemisphere from the Atlantic coasts of Europe all the way across to China. The vast majority of Sea Buckthorn can be found growing in Mongolia. It is an important food source for many birds and animals and a highly nutritious one at that. It is a dense shrub that can grow anywhere between 1 and 20 feet tall with opposite, lanceolate, silvery-green leaves and very thorny branches which make it difficult to harvest the waxy yellow fruits. In Central Asia, it grows in semi-arid desert-like climates and thrives in places where other plants find it difficult to survive. Various parts of the plant including the leaves have been reported in traditional medicinal use, and the fruits have been processed for juice, jams, and liquors for quite some time.

According to a research team at Ehwa Woman's University Medical Center, it has confirmed probiotic bacteria extracted from fermented sea buckthorn berries had lots of lactobacillus gasseri (L. gasseri), which represses the activation of purine, an energy source required for the mutation of new coronavirus.

Professor Yoon Ha-na of the Department of Urology at Ehwa Woman's University Medical Center

The group of researchers found L. gasseri while conducting experiments related to the inhibition of cytokine activity, and escherichia coli that inflame the bladder.

The researchers, led by Professor Yoon Ha-na of the Urology Department, also discovered that sea buckthorn berry had abundant amounts of ehstreptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus rhamnosus, which have the same chemical binding site as the COVID-19 and affect the protein activity of AIDS. They also confirmed nine antioxidants, six minerals, and 16 amino acids.

In China, too, a research team led by Professor Ruan Jishou from Nankai University in Tianjin recently discovered that COVID-19 in the human body mutated in a similar way to that of the Ebola and AIDS virus. According to the Chinese research team, the new coronavirus creates spike protein to survive within the human body. The spike protein contacts the cell membrane and attacks purine to acquire energy for its replication.

Korea is also using AIDS drugs to treat COVID-19 patients by inhibiting proteolytic enzyme activity. A patient’s symptoms improved significantly in a few days after administrating Kaletra and AIDS drugs.

Professor Yoon expects the probiotic bacteria in sea buckthorn berry to be a supplementary treatment to suppress COVID-19 spread by inhibiting purine activity.

“I believe the probiotic bacteria will work as a complementary treatment to prevent COVID-19 and will apply the same mechanism to additional studies, including cystitis and hyperlipidemia,” Professor Yoon said.

Professor Jeong Goo-bo of Gachon University Lee Gil Ya Cancer and Diabetes Institute, also said, “I believe L. gasseri, derived from plants, can be effective in preventing COVID-19 spread because it affects the activation of purine enzyme, the energy source for AIDS, hepatitis, Ebola, and COVID-19 virus.”