Scientists have stuffed sticks of chewing gum with plant-based copies of the receptors on our cells which SARS-CoV-2 uses to get the drop on us, demonstrating that the gum can reduce the viral load in the saliva by a significant margin.
They also confirmed participants’ breath was “minty fresh.”
The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors line the cell walls in many tissues like the lungs, kidney, GI tract, heart, and liver. COVID-19 uses its infamous “spike” like a key, and the ACE2 as a door.
Looking, chewing, and tasting like any old chewing gum one would get in a convenience store, the gum trapped a lot of the viral particles of an infected person’s saliva; 95% when tested with a powdered form of the gum.
It is still very early stages, and many details have to be worked out. But the hypothetical gum could be extremely cheap, and sold to countries where vaccines aren’t widely available, or be a great defense for those who have chosen not to take it.
University of Pennsylvania researchers have published the details of their study this month in the journal Molecular Therapy.
Furthermore, there’s no reason to suspect, other than a lack of available data, that the gum would not be just as effective for any future variants, since they all more or less use the same method and tool of entry.
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