A study in the journal Cell shows that lectin found in bananas can be engineered so that it treats flu in mice. In fact, it shows promise in treating several high-profile diseases, including SARS, MERS and even Ebola. It works by binding with sugars on the surface of a virus to prevent it from getting into cells; previously, it has been shown to work on HIV, but only with unwanted side effects.
"There are no broad spectrum antivirals currently available in the clinic," said David Markovitz, co-senior author of the new paper and a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. It's exciting, he said, because the banana lectin has the potential to be developed that broad-spectrum antiviral.
The research is still at the basic science level, far from human trials, Markovitz said. "many hurdles, just made an exciting start. "
So for now, eat bananas because they're loaded in vitamins B6 and C, two known immunity boosters.
Americans Falsely Believe Their Diet Is Healthy