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Chewing Gum that Could Stop COVID-19 Experts Say it's Possible But There's a Catch

Chewing Gum that Could Stop COVID-19 Experts Say it's Possible But There's a Catch

Categories: Health
Posted: November 30, 2021

A piece of COVID-19 chewing gum could be the next solution to stop the further spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to the latest research. While it sounds promising to people, the scientists noted that there are several cautions before it happens. What should we know first about this potential COVID stopper?

Experimental Chewing Gum Against COVID-19

According to a report by Science Alert on Tuesday, Nov. 30, the US researchers are planning to create an experimental chewing gum that could mitigate the spread of coronavirus. This would work by decreasing the virus inside the mouth of a person.

The common notion about bubble gums is that they can clean our teeth. Moreover, several companies promote them to bolster oral health improvement among individuals, especially those who have poor hygiene.

The previous study wrote that chewing gums have important content such as bicarbonate and calcium, which reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the teeth, therefore dental conditions could be further avoided.

However, what scientists look after this time is how a simple chewing gum could help stop the spread of coronavirus. According to the researchers, they will make use of the ACE 2 proteins for the experimental gum. These are found in plants.

Through the help of ACE2 proteins, the virus particles inside the mouth will now be "trapped." This will reduce the chance of spreading the infection in cells and to other individuals.

For the trial, the researchers collected samples of saliva from patients who had COVID-19. After that, they mixed them with powdered gum. The findings yielded that the number of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles significantly decreased compared to those patients who chewed gums with no ACE2 protein (placebo).

In addition, the 50 mg of chewing gum was found to mitigate the viral spread by up to 95%. This opens possibilities for the experts that the ACE2 protein-fused gum could stop the spike protein from reaching the human cells.

The Catch Behind this Anti-COVID Chewing Gum

In another report by The Conversation, there are some cautions why experts should not yet release the chewing gum as an official COVID-19 stopper. At the moment, the experts are still testing it in a lab. This means that they are not yet experimenting with its effects on real people.

More so, a person's mouth varies from one another in terms of the number of oral bacteria and temperature. The researchers have not yet identified the required duration of chewing to make it work. 

Another reason why chewing gum is not yet viable for COVID is the use of SARS-CoV-2 spike. According to the report, the experts did not use the full SARS-CoV-2 virus in their recent tests.

What we know so far is its potential to help the healthcare sector. Dentists and other professionals could utilize this chewing gum to reduce the spread of the virus in COVID-19 wards and clinics.

To view the study entitled "Debulking SARS-CoV-2 in saliva using angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 in chewing gum to decrease oral virus transmission and infection," visit Molecular Therapy.

In another report, Tech Times reported that a new COVID variant Omicron was detected in South Africa. The experts said that it was far more dangerous than the Delta variant.

Elsewhere, researchers proposed the idea of studying TikTok's health impacts in full detail.

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