Pomegranate lozenge reduces COVID-19 presence in asymptomatic patients, says study
23 Jun 2020 --- Certain over-the-counter virucidal products may reduce the presence of COVID-19 in the saliva of asymptomatic patients. This is according to a pilot study published in Medical & Clinical Research, which examined five commercial products that produced a disappearance of positivity in most subjects after three days of use. AlchemLife’s Phytorelief-CC, which includes pomegranate, was found to have potentially produced the longest action of over three hours due to its slower release. The researchers state that these observations indicate a significant effect of virucidals on the viral contamination of the mouth with a simple, cost-effective model.
“We were not surprised by the study’s findings, as they are consistent with the immunity findings of trials conducted around 2014 for the relief of coughs, colds and flu. We are very confident about its efficacy with no side effects. During the initial trials, it was also found to be very effective against bacteria,” Raman Mehta, AlchemLife CEO, tells NutritionInsight.
“The lower presence of a virus charge may reduce contagiousness of most patients and possibly, the spread of viral material from the mouth. The effects on the evolution of COVID-19 on single patients are unknown, but virucidals may assume a significant community value in controlling spreading,” the researchers write.
According to the study, saliva acts as a staging ground from which respiratory viruses like COVID-19 invade the lungs. The oropharyngeal cavity (where the mouth and throat meet) is the primary incubator where viruses multiply until they reach critical mass to spread to target organs (trachea, bronchial tree and lungs). Attacking COVID-19 with oral supplements may, therefore, represent a proactive strategy, especially for asymptomatic carriers like those in the study, though more research is warranted.
The researchers assessed asymptomatic people who had tested positive for COVID-19, but who were otherwise healthy when evaluated. No drugs had been used, normal oral hygiene was regularly observed and body temperature was normal. The test was made before 10 AM, prior to mouth or teeth washing and without eating. The same tests were repeated after three days under similar conditions.
All of the virucidals used resulted in a significant level of complete disappearance of positivity in most subjects at three days. The test was considered only as positive or negative without quantification of the level of COVID-19 positivity.
The researchers note that the pharmaceutical form used seems to be the most important in assuring persisting traces of the virucidal in the mouth. Accordingly, PhytoRelief’s lozenge composition, which was launched in February, allows a slower release and persistence on mucosal surfaces. The researchers state that pomegranate extract is one of the most powerful natural antivirals, and it is also virucidal. The product also contains ginger and turmeric.
The study comes as no surprise to AlchemLife CEO Raman Mehta, who carries on the family business of refining extraction methods for traditional medicinal plants. “The body’s own immune system is powerful when supported naturally,” Mehta declares.
The other examined products were:
- Eucalyptus extracts from Calyptol and Sanofi: They were used with warm-humid vaporization. Calyptol produced a complete and fast negativization of swabs in a significant number of subjects. The researchers consider it the “model” safe virucidal product to be used for viral respiratory diseases and for COVID-19 patients in warm-humid vaporization.
- Benzydamine, also known as Tantum Green: The hydrochloride salt in a solution is a locally acting nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with local anesthetic and analgesic properties for pain relief and anti-inflammatory treatment of mild conditions of the mouth or upper throat.
- Baicalin (85 percent), obtained by InXi, Shanghai: The researchers state that this product (alone or in combinations) has been used in Wuhan, China, during the pandemic – although data is not accessible. It is a flavone glycoside (the glucuronide of baicalein).
- Aldiamed Certmedica: This compound used for dry mouth shows persisting effects for up to three hours. Included in a jelly liquid are glycerin, sorbitol, xylitol, aloe, polyacrylate and xanthan gum. Lactoferrin is also present in parts of this product.
These findings come as a vaccine could still be over a year away. As a result, many researchers have been exploring the extent to which nutritional modifications could provide a boost to the fight against COVID-19. A study last month revealed that natural compounds from ashwagandha and propolis could be used as an effective tool against the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, Hofseth BioCare is entering into a Phase 2 clinical trial to assess the ability of OmeGo salmon oil to reduce Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) related to COVID-19.
In the gut space, a DSM probiotic is currently being trialed in households exposed to COVID-19, with the researchers anticipating that it may be able to directly reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. ADM Biopolis is involved in a clinical trial administering a food supplement containing three of ADM’s live probiotic strains on COVID-19 patients. Meanwhile, Biosearch Life is examining the effect of its Hereditum Immunactiv K8 product on the virus.
Edited by Katherine Durrell
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