E-ISSN 1858-8360 | ISSN 0256-4408
 

Commentary 


SUDANESE JOURNAL OF PAEDIATRICS

2020; Vol 20, Issue No. 1

COMMENTARY

Broad beans (Vicia faba) and the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infection

Mutasim I. Khalil (1,†), Mustafa A. Salih (2,†), Ali A. Mustafa (3,†)

(1) Formerly Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

(2) Division of pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

(3) Formerly Professor, Basic Medical Sciences Department, College of Medicine, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence to:

Mutasim I Khalil

Director of MIK-Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Email: mkhalil [at] ksu.edu.sa; mutasimibrahim937 [at] gmail.com

Received: 28 March 2020 | Accepted: 29 March 2020

How to cite this article:

Khalil MI, Salih MA, Mustafa AA. Broad bean (Vicia faba) and the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infections. Sudan J Paediatr.2020; 20(1):10–12.

https://doi.org/10.24911/SJP.106-1585398078

†All three authors contributed equally.


ABSTRACT

Due to its high linoleic acid concentration (41%), sesame oil has been proposed to have the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection, which was characterised by the World Health Organization as a pandemic in March 2020. Unsaturated fatty acids, in general, are active against some enveloped viruses, like COVID-19 coronavirus, due to the incorporation of the fatty acid into the lipid membrane of the viral envelope causing destabilisation of its bilayer. Broad beans (Vicia faba), grown in Northern Sudan, proved to incorporate high content of unsaturated fatty acids and in particular linoleic acid (46.41%). It forms a traditional meal in Sudan and in several Middle East countries. Hence, it is here recommended to be taken as the main meal in combination with sesame oil, as it is commonly practiced in Sudan. Theoretically, it has the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infections. This proposal needs to be confirmed by further experimental and clinical research.


KEYWORDS

COVID-19 coronavirus; Broad beans; Vicia faba; Fatty acids; Linoleic acid.


INTRODUCTION

The whole world is now crippled by the globally out breaking COVID-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The gripping fear caused by this contagious and resilient virus is a devastating stress. Folk advices, rumours, non-medical and scientifically unjustified knowledge about preventing COVID-19 coronavirus have found a fertile soil among desperate and extremely worried people.

To contain the virus and break its cycle, all international powers vested to impose measures that would hopefully flatten the curve of the pandemic, and hence lead to its control. On the other hand, medical experts and research laboratories all over the world are working hard to come out with a vaccine and a curing medicine. Good and encouraging news are now emerging. Resorting to rich healthy nutrients would definitely help to better fight the virus attack and infection. In this note, we would like to share our knowledge regarding a food item with potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infections.

Rationale of the proposal

In a recent theoretical study Fan et al. [1] discussed the use of sesame oil to prevent the infection of 2019-nCoV (COVID-19 coronavirus) and explained how sesame oil has the potential to protect people from infection by this virus. They related that activity to the high concentration of the unsaturated fatty acid (USFA), linoleic acid, 18c.2, and 9c12c, in the oil. In support of that, USFAs have been proven to be active against some enveloped viruses [27] due to the incorporation of the fatty acid (FA) into the lipid membrane of the viral envelope causing destabilisation of its bilayer [2]. In fact, it has been demonstrated that incubation of vesicular stomatitis virus with linoleic acid can lead to leakage of viral envelope and the effect is acid concentration dependent. Moreover, supplements of linoleic acid in human coronavirus 229-E infected cells were capable of significantly suppressing the coronavirus replication. A similar inhibitory effect was also observed in the highly virulent Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus [7].

On light of such findings, we would like to offer a nutritional advice that we hope would help people to better fight the COVID-19 virus. Our advice is based on our research findings on the composition of a Sudanese plant seed, namely, Vicia faba (broad beans) [8], which constitutes a traditional meal in most Middle East countries. The legume group is an important source of lipids and fatty acids in animal and human nutrition [9]. Its high content of the essential oil, linoleic acid, renders it a good meal for proper health. As a food source, the neuropharmacological and other potential therapeutic benefits of broad beans (V. faba) have been demonstrated [10]. Other seeds which contain fatty acids are baobab (Adansonia digitata) [11] and lalob (Balanites aegyptiaca) [12]. However, these are not used as food items.

Table 1. Linoleic acid percentage and U/S values in total fatty acids contents of sesame, broad beans (V. faba), baobab (A. digitata) and lalob (B. aegyptiaca).

Plant seed Linoleic acid% U/S Reference
Sesame 41 - [1]
Broad beans (V. faba) 46.41 4.21 [8]
Baobab (Adansonia digitata) 30.33 2.83 [11]
Lalob (B. aegyptiaca) 48.18 2.92 [12]

U/S = Unsaturated/saturated.

Our findings revealed that linoleic acid percentage (46.41%) in the total fatty acid content of broad beans grown in Northern Sudan is higher than that found in sesame (41%) or baobab (30.33%) oil, but lower than that found in lalob oil (48.18%). Yet, a differential very high characteristic value of unsaturated: saturated fatty acids ratio (U/S) is exhibited by broad beans fatty acids, a property that renders broad beans of Northern Sudan a rich antioxidant source (Table 1).

In view of such high linoleic acid content and a high U/S value, it is logical to recommend that people take broad beans grown in Northern Sudan in the three main meals in combination with the abundantly available sesame oil. There is sound reason to believe that it will help to better fight COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Nevertheless, this proposal needs to be confirmed by further experimental and clinical research.

CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

FUNDING

None.

ETHICS APPROVAL

Not applicable.

REFERENCES

  1. Fan W, Zeng J, Xu Y. A theoretical discussion of the possibility and possible mechanisms of using sesame oil for prevention of 2019-n CoV (Wuhan coronavirus) from the perspective of colloid and interface science, ResearchGate; 2020. https://wwwresearchgatenet/publication/3391235812020.10.13140/RG.2.2.31786.98248
  2. Thormar H, Isaacs CE, Brown HR, Barshatzky MR, Pessolano T. Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1987;13:27–31. https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.31.1.27
  3. Kohn A, Gitelman J, Inbar M. Unsaturated free fatty acids inactivate animal enveloped viruses. Arch Virol. 1980;66:301–7. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01320626
  4. Kelly L. Influenza virus infection—can fatty acids change infectivity? 2018 [cited 2020 Mar]. https://doi.org/10.17615/5411-3242
  5. Li, Chuyuan, et al. Unsaturated fatty acids for suppressing the purposes of virus replication and/or infection. Patent No. CN103096885B, 2010. Available from: https://patents.google.com/patent/CN103096885B/en
  6. Yan B, Zou Z, Chu H, Chan G, Tsang JO-L, Lai P-M, et al. Lipidomic profiling reveals significant perturbation of intracellular lipid homeostasis in enterovirus-infected cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20:5952. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20235952
  7. Yan B, Chu H, Yang D, Sze KH, Lai PM, Yuan S, et al. Characterization of lipidomic profile of human coronavirus -infected cells :Implications for lipid metabolism remodeling upon coronavirus replication. Viruses. 2019;11:E73. https://doi.org/10.3390/v11010073
  8. Khalil MI, Salih MA, Mustafa AA. Study of fatty acids composition, physiochemical properties and thermal stability of Broad beans (Vicia faba) seeds oil. ABJNA. 2017;8:141–6.
  9. Grela ER, Gunter KD. Fatty acids composition and tocopheral content of some legume seeds. Animal Food Sci Technol. 1995;52:325–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/0377-8401(94)00733-P
  10. Salih MA, Mustafa AA. A substance in broad beans (Vicia faba) is protecting against experimentally induced convulsion in mice. Epilepsy Behav. 2008;12:25–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2007.08.016
  11. Khalil MI, Khalil IMI. Comprehensive and comparative study of fatty acids, physiochemical properties and thermal stability of Kurdufan (Sudan) Baobab (Adansonia digitata) seeds oil. ABJNA. 2016;7:307–15.
  12. Khalil MI, Khalil IMI. Re-evaluation of fatty acids composition, physiochemical properties and thermal stability of Balanites aegyptiaca (lalob) fruits oil. ABJNA. 2017;8:51–7.


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How to Cite this Article
Pubmed Style

Khalil MI, Salih MA, Mustafa AA. Broad beans ( Vicia faba ) and the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Sudan J Paed. 2020; 20(1): 10-12. doi:10.24911/SJP.1061585398078


Web Style

Khalil MI, Salih MA, Mustafa AA. Broad beans ( Vicia faba ) and the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infection. https://www.sudanjp.com/?mno=95493 [Access: July 03, 2022]. doi:10.24911/SJP.1061585398078


AMA (American Medical Association) Style

Khalil MI, Salih MA, Mustafa AA. Broad beans ( Vicia faba ) and the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Sudan J Paed. 2020; 20(1): 10-12. doi:10.24911/SJP.1061585398078



Vancouver/ICMJE Style

Khalil MI, Salih MA, Mustafa AA. Broad beans ( Vicia faba ) and the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Sudan J Paed. (2020), [cited July 03, 2022]; 20(1): 10-12. doi:10.24911/SJP.1061585398078



Harvard Style

Khalil, M. I., Salih, . M. A. & Mustafa, . A. A. (2020) Broad beans ( Vicia faba ) and the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Sudan J Paed, 20 (1), 10-12. doi:10.24911/SJP.1061585398078



Turabian Style

Khalil, Mutasim I., Mustafa A. Salih, and Ali A. Mustafa. 2020. Broad beans ( Vicia faba ) and the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics, 20 (1), 10-12. doi:10.24911/SJP.1061585398078



Chicago Style

Khalil, Mutasim I., Mustafa A. Salih, and Ali A. Mustafa. "Broad beans ( Vicia faba ) and the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infection." Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics 20 (2020), 10-12. doi:10.24911/SJP.1061585398078



MLA (The Modern Language Association) Style

Khalil, Mutasim I., Mustafa A. Salih, and Ali A. Mustafa. "Broad beans ( Vicia faba ) and the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infection." Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics 20.1 (2020), 10-12. Print. doi:10.24911/SJP.1061585398078



APA (American Psychological Association) Style

Khalil, M. I., Salih, . M. A. & Mustafa, . A. A. (2020) Broad beans ( Vicia faba ) and the potential to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics, 20 (1), 10-12. doi:10.24911/SJP.1061585398078





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