We know that bananas are full of potassium and sugary goodness, but what scientific mysteries do they hold? New study from an international team comprised of 26 scientists confirms that bananas are a lot more than just a wholesome treat.
According to the University of Michigan, the group was able to take a protein from bananas known as banana lectin (BanLec) and “carefully edit” it to make it even much more powerful at fighting viruses like HIV and influenza. “Five years ago, scientists showed [banana lectin] could preserve the virus that causes AIDS from obtaining into cells, but it also brought on side effects that limited its potential use,” an article on the school’s site states.
That’s why this modified version of BanLec is so large — it is successful at fighting viruses with no causing “irritation and unwanted inflammation.”
“The first factor is that this is nevertheless extremely much in the research phase,” Dr. David Markovitz, a co-senior author of the study and a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, told MTV News. “So we’re quite satisfied with the way this big, collaborative group came up with a really great way to modify a chemical from bananas and make it a significantly more most likely point to be utilised to treat folks for viral infections.”
Markovitz noted that that even though the drug’s results are promising, they haven’t produced it to human trials. “We’ve had quite nice success in mice, but of course, we’re quite far from folks nevertheless,” he stated. “It’s crucial to note that we do not know if this is going to function in folks. we hope, but we don’t know that at all.”
Markovitz also stressed that bananas themselves do not “cure” HIV, and their all-natural properties are not identical to the scientifically modified BanLec. “This is a item that has been cloned and molecularly modified to make it better, and so if you eat a banana, you are not getting our version of the BanLec, so the implications for bananas themselves are not that robust. It’s actually the specific protein … I’m a fan of bananas, but consuming bananas is not gonna be equivalent to what we’re undertaking.”
Markovitz stated regarding the future of the drug, “The initial [step] is to do further testing in mice in certain to assure us this a protected and promising agent to treat influenza and other viral infections. So far the data looked great, but we have a lot much more to do. We have to make it so that it’s a item that’s acceptable to be place in people, so it’s gotta be hugely pure and safe.”
So even though bananas themselves don’t specifically have all the answers for fighting viruses, they’re dropping some major hints. One tiny step for man, one giant leap for bananakind.