Japanese researchers set out to explore various foods and ingredients that may inactivate the strain of SARS-CoV-2 responsible for COVID-19.

As COVID-19 mutates over time, variants and sub-variants different from the original SARS-CoV-2 virus emerge. A recent study, conducted in Japan, found that green tea (Japanese sencha), matcha, and black tea can effectively inactivate certain Omicron subvariants. In addition, saliva produced after consuming candy containing green tea or black tea exhibited virus-inactivating properties in vitro, rendering the virus less contagious.
The COVID-19 virus primarily spreads through the saliva of infected individuals, including asymptomatic carriers. Saliva containing the virus is released when talking, sneezing, or coughing, forming droplets and aerosols that disperse into the air.

Professor Osam Mazda and his research team at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan believe that inactivating the virus in saliva is crucial for preventing COVID-19. Therefore, they explored various foods and ingredients that may inactivate the strain of SARS-CoV-2 responsible for COVID-19. A previous study they conducted found that polyphenols found in green tea or black tea reduced the infectivity of the virus in human saliva in vitro, demonstrating virus-inactivating properties. The polyphenols in tea can bind to the spike protein of the virus, preventing it from infecting cells.

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