Pomegranate as an Anti-Viral Agent and Immune System Stimulant
Pomegranate contains various categories of phenolic compounds such
as flavanones, flavones, flavonols, flavanols, anthocyanins, isoflavones,
phenolic acids, hydrolysable and non-hydrolysable tannins that possess
strong antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
properties. Pomegranate polyphenols as mixture in extracts, juice or
as isolated compounds show very good antiviral activity against Herpes
Simplex Type 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2), Influenza Viruses (H1N1, H3N2,
H5N1), Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1, Clades A to G and
group O), HIV-2, Human Enterovirus 71 (EV71), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV),
adenoviruses, rotaviruses, feline calivirus (FCV-F9), mosquito-borne
dengue virus (DENV), Norovirus (MNV-1). Depending on each case
polyphenols manifest antiviral activity through various ways such as
killing the virus, cause structural damages on the virion and inactivate
the virus, inhibit the viral polymerase activity, protein expression
and RNA replication or block absorption of the virus on host cells.
Inflammation, oxidative stress and sometimes coincident bacterial
infection are referred as viral infection consequences that also must be
treated. Pomegranate phytochemicals as they possess also antioxidant
anti-inflammatory, antibacterial properties, treat the viral infections’
consequences too. Moreover, pomegranate is stimulating and balancing
immune system setting the host less vulnerable to viruses contributing
thus faster to health achievement and maintenance. It is important to
be mentioned that no side effects have been observed in the safety
tests that have been carried out and in the cases that pomegranate
gave results comparable to commercial drugs, it can be considered as
an alternative antiviral and immunostimulant agent.
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