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Pomegranate Peel Extracts can Inhibit SARS-CoV-2

Researchers from Herzegovina have studied the use of pomegranate peel extracts in preventing COVID-19. Punica granatum or pomegranate is consumed worldwide due to its various health benefits. The peel extracts are known to contain hydrolyzable tannins like ellagic acid, punicalin, punicalagin, etc. The current study targeted four major ellagitannins: punicalin, ellagic acid, gallic acid and punicalin.

The researchers tested binding affinities of these on four protein targets. The molecules testes were camostat, lopinavir,umifenovir and pomegranate peel extracts. The four protein targets were SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, furin, ACE-2  and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2). The results of the study revealed that the constituents of pomegranate peel extracts such as punicalagin and punicalin show significant potential in interacting with the selected protein targets. This could prevent viral entry into the host cell. Punicalagin and punicalin formed the most stable complexes with the protein targets. They also showed intensive interactions with TMPRSS2 amino acid residues.

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