Menristek / Ka BRIN: Guava and Honey Boost Immunity to Fight COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 caused various agencies to try to find a suitable drug to overcome the virus. Some researchers have now succeeded in finding alternative candidates for natural materials that can be used to tackle COVID-19.

The Minister of Research and Technology / Head of the National Research and Innovation Agency (Menristek / BRIN), Prof. Bambang PS Brodjonegoro, through a press conference on Thursday (3/26) revealed that natural materials which have the potential to be able to cope with COVID-19 are red guava.

"Of the various materials which certainly exist in our biodiversity, there have been several that have been studied in depth both by several universities and also by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). One of them is guava fruit which is one of the best ingredients for human consumption in order to increase endurance to deal with COVID-19, "he explained.

In addition to talking about strengthening the body's immunity, Bambang also explained about the handling of short, medium and long term carried out by the Ministry of Research and Technology / BRIN towards COVID-19. He mentioned, the short-term efforts that have been carried out include testing COVID-19 samples, developing and conducting applied studies of personal protective equipment (PPE) both masks and clothing, the production of handsanitizers which will later be disseminated to those in need, and developing disinfecting chamber equipped with ozone which can be used in places where it is needed.

"Going forward, we are trying to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, of course we have not closed the door to cooperation with foreign countries that have started developing the vaccine. The most important thing is that as soon as possible and as accurately as possible we immediately make and find a vaccine that is suitable for handling COVID-19, "he added.

Although other countries have preceded the development of this vaccine, Bambang explained that Indonesia must have the ability to produce itself. To that end, the Ministry of Research and Technology / BRIN is ready to carry out such development by collaborating with various parties.

Equally important in the current effort is the test kit that is used to detect early for people infected with COVID-19. In addition, his office is also trying to conduct epidemiological studies and studies of making COVID-19 drugs. The budget spent for these efforts is around Rp 20 billion, not including other production budgets.

Related to red guava has the potential to cope with COVID-19, Prof. Irmanida Batubara, Professor of IPB University explained, red guava has compounds from the flavanoid group potentially to be developed as anti-COVID-19.

"Based on these results, we know that flavonoid compounds can interact well with five target proteins, namely 3ClPro, PlPro, SpikeACE2, E34 and RDrP. Insiliko, it is known that myricetin, rhamnetin, quercetin, esperidia and kaempferol are flavonoid compounds which have the most potential as anti-COVID-19, "he explained.

Furthermore, Prof. Irmanida explained, the compound was thought to be able to inhibit viral replication or propagation and inhibit the binding of viral proteins to human receptors. Not only found in red guava, it turns out these compounds are also found in honey.

"Therefore, further clinical trials will be conducted related to the effect of consuming guava juice combined with honey and also clinical trials on the effects of guava leaf extract as a supplement in COVID-19 patients," he concluded.

This multidisciplinary research involved the Department of Chemistry at the University of Indonesia (UI) Faculty of Medicine, IMERI-FKUI Bioinformatics Core Facilities Cluster, IMERI FK UI Drug Development Research Center Cluster, Biomedical Computation Laboratory and Drug Design UI Faculty of Pharmacy, UI Hospital, Study Center IPB Biopharmaca (Trop BRC) IPB University and IPB University Computer Science Department. (IAAS / NAS)

Published Date : 27-Mar-2020

Resource Person : Prof Bambang PS Brodjonegoro

Keyword : guava, Covid-19, IPB University, Trop BRC IPB