All over the world, researchers are working flat out to find an effective way to fight the coronavirus. One of them is the well-known Charité virologist Christian Drosten, who is often allowed to assess the current situation in Germany in the media. Together with his team, he could have made a breakthrough. The group of researchers examined the body’s active ingredient spermidine. First results give hope.

Hardly a day has passed since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic on which Charité virologist Christian Drosten has not commented on the coronavirus. And in addition to appearances in the press, Drosten and his team are of course also looking for an effective drug against the coronavirus. The group allegedly has now investigated the body’s own substance spermidine, which had already shown success in laboratory tests against the MERS coronavirus.

According to research results to date, it is known that the coronavirus decisively changes the cell metabolism in human cells. Drosten and his team have now also found that the spermidine concentration in cell cultures infected with the virus was significantly lower. In the human body, spermidia are responsible for autophagy processes. “This allows human body cells to regenerate themselves by ‘digesting’ old and / or damaged components,” says the Charité’s latest study.

Christian Drosten and his team have now succeeded in proving that the Sars-CoV-2 cancels out exactly these autophagy processes so that the virus can reproduce more easily in the human body. From the virologist’s point of view, it is therefore important to find suitable active substances that help to re-start autophagy. Overall, the Charité team examined three apparently suitable active ingredients for this. Namely, the tapeworm agent niclosamide, an already approved active ingredient against breast cancer (MK-2206) and also the body’s own spermidine.

“The laboratory experiment showed that the rate of multiplication of the novel coronavirus could be reduced by 99 percent, 88 percent and 85 percent,” the study continues. If one pretreated human cells with one of the active substances, the investigations showed that the coronavirus could reproduce considerably worse in these cells.

Further studies have to confirm whether spermidine can really be used to cure the coronavirus. However, the great advantage of the active ingredient is that it occurs in the human body and should, therefore, be well tolerated by all people. For example, spermidine is already sold as a dietary supplement in the form of wheat germ extracts in pharmacies.

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