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    Dietary supplement among 17 drugs can block COVID-19, says study

    Dietary supplement among 17 drugs can block COVID-19, says study

    Dietary supplement among 17 drugs can block COVID-19, says study
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)

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    Seven of these drugs were identified previously and some of them are already being used in the clinical treatment of COVID-19 worldwide.

    Scientists have found a variety of existing drugs that have the potential to block coronavirus infections. New research has identified 17 drugs, including a dietary supplement, can potentially block COVID-19 from infecting individuals. Lactoferrin, the dietary supplement that is found in breast milk, is among them.

    Seven of these drugs were identified previously and some of them are already being used in the clinical treatment of COVID-19 worldwide.  The study by the University of Michigan was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

    The researchers tested over 1,400 drugs, compounds and proteins approved by the US regulator Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for various uses. The drugs were introduced to human lung cells grown from stem cells both before and after infection from SARS-CoV-2. Image analysis powered by artificial intelligence then analysed and screened the results.

    Researchers first identified that certain compounds like MEK inhibitors, complex drugs used for the treatment of cancer can potentially worsen COVID-19 infections. Cancer patients are already potentially immunocompromised, but researchers caution that chemotherapy can possibly worsen COVID-19 infections. Though further studies are needed to be certain.

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    As a result, 10 drugs were noted as having the potential for treating and blocking COVID-19 infections. One of the 10 is lactoferrin, a protein that is used as a dietary supplement and is normally found in human breast milk. The protein is synthesised using cow's milk. The protein was able to prevent infection of COVID-19, even when introduced with the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

    With the Delta variant causing surges of infections across the globe once more, in spite of high vaccination rates, scientists are racing against time to develop better prophylactics. As the number of infections due to the Delta variant grows, the possibility of further mutations that are even more dangerous than the Delta variant also increases.

    The 10 new drugs that have been identified in the study will be sent for Phase II clinical trials, human testing, in order to rapidly develop and deploy adequate medical machinery to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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