Potential protective mechanisms of green tea polyphenol EGCG against COVID-19.


Trends Food Sci Technol. 2021 Aug ;114:11-24. Epub 2021 May 25. PMID: 34054222

Abstract Title: 

Potential protective mechanisms of green tea polyphenol EGCG against COVID-19.


Background: The world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this comprehensive review, we discuss the potential protective effects of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major constituent of green tea, against COVID-19.Scope and approach: Information from literature of clinical symptoms and molecular pathology of COVID-19 as well as relevant publications in which EGCG shows potential protective activities against COVID-19 is integrated and evaluated.Key findings and conclusions: EGCG, via activating Nrf2, can suppress ACE2 (a cellular receptor for SARS-CoV-2) and TMPRSS2, which mediate cell entry of the virus. Through inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 main protease, EGCG may inhibit viral reproduction. EGCG via its broad antioxidant activity may protect against SARS-CoV-2 evoked mitochondrial ROS (which promote SARS-CoV-2 replication) and against ROS burst inflicted by neutrophil extracellular traps. By suppressing ER-resident GRP78 activity and expression, EGCG can potentially inhibit SARS-CoV-2 life cycle. EGCG also shows protective effects against 1) cytokine storm-associated acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome, 2) thrombosis via suppressing tissue factors and activating platelets, 3) sepsis by inactivating redox-sensitive HMGB1, and 4) lung fibrosis through augmenting Nrf2 and suppressing NF-κB. These activities remain to be further substantiated in animals and humans. The possible concerted actions of EGCG suggest the importance of further studies on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in humans. These results also call for epidemiological studies on potential preventive effectsof green tea drinking on COVID-19.

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