According to a brand new study, something as simple as gum could be playing a surprisingly important role in reducing the spread of COVID-19!
Researchers learned this by putting sticks of gum together with some plant-based copies of human cells that the SARS-CoV-2 virus normally uses to infect us.
The result was clear – chewing gum is able to actually reduce the viral load in saliva by a lot!
The ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) receptors line cell walls in a lot of different tissues such as the kidney, lungs, liver, GI tract and heart.
With that being said, the COVID-19 virus features a spike that is used just like it were a sort of key to access the ACE2 “door.”
Interestingly enough, chewing gum manages to trap many of the viral particles of a patient’s infected saliva.
Upon testing a powdered form of the chewing gum, the scientists involved in this study learned that 95 percent of the viral particles had been eradicated!
Of course, at this point, this new research is in its early stages, so there are many details that still need to be worked out.
Regardless, if it turns out that gum is really that efficient, it could be an accessible solution for everyone, especially for people in countries where vaccination rates are low, or vaccines are not widely available.
The details of this new study were published earlier this month by University of Pennsylvania researchers in the journal Molecular Therapy.
Another detail worth mentioning is that, while the world continues worrying about emerging new variants, there is no reason to think that chewing gum would not be just as effective in reducing the risk of spreading other future variants as well.
This is because regardless of variant, they all seem to more or less use the same type of method to enter people’s cells so it’s expected that gum would have the same effect on the virus.