Scientists have developed chewing gum for the treatment of COVID-19. This different treatment approach has produced promising results…
A group of researchers in the USA conducted a trial of chewing gum for the treatment of COVID-19. The findings show that people infected with SARS-CoV-2 have high levels of the virus in their saliva. Therefore, the team investigated whether the gum they developed could prevent the spread of the virus.
SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells by attaching to ACE2 proteins on the surfaces of certain cells in our body. According to the news of Science Alert, with the idea that ACE2 proteins can trap virus particles in the mouth, the team developed the gum with this protein. The research team published their findings in the journal Molecular Therapy.
Does gum really work for the treatment of COVID-19?
Researchers took saliva samples from COVID-19 patients to test the effectiveness of the gum. He then mixed these samples with a form of gum. They found that saliva treated with this gum had significantly fewer SARS-CoV-2 virus particles compared to those treated with a placebo (gum without the ACE2 protein).
It was recommended that the gum be used primarily in clinical settings.
Developed for the treatment of COVID-19, chewing gum has resonated all over the world. 5 mg significantly reduced viral entry into cells, while 50 mg reduced viral entry by 95 percent. So it shows that ACE2 gum severely inhibits the ability of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to infect cells.
While the study’s findings seem promising, we can’t see gum as a game changer yet. Because first, this study is only experimental. That is, it was not done with humans, but in a laboratory under controlled conditions. The conditions in a lab experiment are different from those in a person’s mouth.
The researchers used a chewing simulator to show that the chewing motion did not affect the integrity of the ACE2 protein in the gum. But the questions were not limited to that. For example, we do not yet know whether the environment in a person’s mouth, such as body temperature and mouth bacteria, will play a role in the effectiveness of the gum.
Second, the scientists did not use the full SARS-CoV-2 virus in the experiments. In addition, according to the researchers, the use of this gum is in clinical settings. For example, reducing the spread in dental surgeries or COVID-19 rooms.