Green Tea, Cinnamon, and Elderberry could fight HIV/AIDS

Research found that chemical components in elderberry, cinnamon, and green tea extracts might be a new tool in the drive to fight HIV/AIDS.

Scientists, in an article published in the journal Antiviral Chemistry & Chemotherapy are suggesting that extracts from the natural products can attach themselves to the HIV virus and block it from infecting cells.

Collaboration between the University of Miami Leonard Miller School of Medicine and HerbalScience Group produced this study. The study examined the effect of these subtances on the HIV virus' ability to infect cells. 

Scientists took elderberry extract and compared its antiviral activities to extracts of green tea and cinnamon. The researchers were able to identify specific compounds in each of the three extracts that blocked HIV infection in cells. Two specific compounds in the extracts were particularly effective in blocking HIV. What's more they didn't find the extracts to have any toxic effects, even at the high dosages they used in their experiments.

Elderberry has demonstrated previous anti-viral activity against influenza virus that led researchers to question whether the anti-viral properties could be effective against the HIV virus. Compounds in green tea including proanthocyanidins like EGCG also have anti viral activity that researchers examined in this study. Lastly, cinnamon extracts are rich in polyphenols and chemical analysis revealed that the properties have similarities to elderberry, including possible antiviral activity.

The research revealed that the flavonoids in the extracts bind to what Dr. Alberte identifies as the "knob of the virus," which is found on the protruding parts of the viral envelope. The botanicals inhibit the virus's ability to interact with cells by preventing its entrance and ultimately its infection of the cell. Without the ability to enter cells, the HIV virus cannot reproduce and cannot spread more viruses into other cells.

According to the researchers, their findings "open the door to the possibility of developing alternative means to reduce viral loads in HIV infected individuals, as well as a less expensive means to provide alternative treatments to those who are unable or cannot afford to receive traditional drug therapies."

Additional personal remarks
The jury is officially out: food can prevent and cure disease. More and more research is showing the definite powers in food and herbs.
These three substances: green tea, elderberry and cinnamon are powerful superfoods that are proving to have quite the healing and anti-aging compounds. A great way to incorporate cinnamon into your diet is in cereal in the morning; green tea can be sipped throughout the day 1-4 cups a day; elderberry is usually used in syrup form or purchased fresh, or you may want to buy the whole tree to plant. Thanks for reading! 

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