Antioxidants fight N1H1 respiratory problems.

23 November 2009

As the vaccine for Swine Flu comes under attack for its possible risks, researchers at the University of Alabama have been looking into another way to reduce the probability of fatality from the virus. They are claiming that the antioxidants found in plant based foods could help prevent the dangerous lung damage that the virus can inflict.

Swine flu damages the lining of the lungs when a segment of its “M2 protein” attacks them. More specifically the M2 protein disrupts the lungs ability to remove liquid from the lungs, leading to an increased possibility of pneumonia and respiratory failure. But the scientists believe they may have found the virus's weakness.

In the FASEB journal Sadis Matalon, co-author of the study stated that “the recent outbreak of H1N1 influenza and the rapid spread of this strain across the world highlights the need to better understand how this virus damages the lungs and to find new treatments.” He went to claim that “our research shows that antioxidants may prove beneficial in the treatment of flu."

The studies showed that antioxidant drugs prevented the lungs from damage caused by the M2 protein. This prevention, while not a cure, would help to reduce the damage caused.

"Although vaccines will remain the first line of intervention against the flu for a long time to come,” informs Gerald Weissmann, M.D., the Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB journal, “this study opens the door for entirely new treatments geared toward stopping the virus after you're sick, and as Thanksgiving approaches, this discovery is another reason to drink red wine to your health."

: Diet & Lifestyle

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