Polyphenols and their potential role to fight viral diseases: An overview.

Research paper by María Fernanda MF Montenegro-Landívar, Paulina P Tapia-Quirós, Xanel X Vecino, Mònica M Reig, César C Valderrama, Mercè M Granados, José Luis JL Cortina, Javier J Saurina

Indexed on: 28 Aug '21Published on: 27 Aug '21Published in: Science of the Total Environment


Fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs are a potential source of phenolic acids and polyphenols. These compounds are known as natural by-products or secondary metabolites of plants, which are present in the daily diet and provide important benefits to the human body such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-allergic, antihypertensive and antiviral properties, among others. Plentiful evidence has been provided on the great potential of polyphenols against different viruses that cause widespread health problems. As a result, this review focuses on the potential antiviral properties of some polyphenols and their action mechanism against various types of viruses such as coronaviruses, influenza, herpes simplex, dengue fever, and rotavirus, among others. Also, it is important to highlight the relationship between antiviral and antioxidant activities that can contribute to the protection of cells and tissues of the human body. The wide variety of action mechanisms of antiviral agents, such as polyphenols, against viral infections could be applied as a treatment or prevention strategy; but at the same time, antiviral polyphenols could be used to produce natural antiviral drugs. A recent example of an antiviral polyphenol application deals with the use of hesperidin extracted from Citrus sinensis. The action mechanism of hesperidin relies on its binding to the key entry or spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Finally, the extraction, purification and recovery of polyphenols with potential antiviral activity, which are essential for virus replication and infection without side-effects, have been critically reviewed. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.