RESEARCHERS IN CANADA EYEING ACAI BERRY TO FIGHT COVID-19
Researchers in Canada are now looking into possibilities that a popular superfood ‘acai berry’ could be a better treatment to prevent COVID-19 most severe symptoms.
University of Toronto Scientist Michael Farkouh and Ana Andreazza, who have studied the berry’s effect on inflammation responses for nearly five years, are researching how it can be used to fight the virus.
Accordingly, past studies have shown that the berry’s extract may act as an inflammation inhibitor, which doctors believe could help prohibit the severe inflammatory response caused by COVID-19.
In an interview with AFP, Farkouh said the research would take a long shot by acai berries are cheap and easily accessible for everyone as well as safe, so it was worth trying.
The pair enrolled some 580 patients who have tested positive for coronavirus in Canada and Brazil, where the berry is grown.
Half of the patients took doses of the extract while the rest received placebos.
Farkouh said the hope is that early intervention with acai could help prevent some of the disease’s worst symptoms, which can lead to hospitalization and death.
He explained that the extract specifically targets the same NLRP3 pathway as the coronavirus, which, when activated, triggers the body’s response to fight off infection and stress.
The results of the 30-day study are expected to be released at the end of 2020.