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Flavonoids are promising safe therapy against COVID-19

  • Alzaabi, Moza Mohamed1, 1
  • Hamdy, Rania1, 2
  • Ashmawy, Naglaa S.1, 3
  • Hamoda, Alshaimaa M.1, 4, 1
  • Alkhayat, Fatemah1
  • Khademi, Neda Naser1
  • Al Joud, Sara Mahmoud Abo1
  • El-Keblawy, Ali A.1, 1
  • Soliman, Sameh S. M.1, 1
  • 1 University of Sharjah,
  • 2 Zagazig University,
  • 3 Ain Shams University,
  • 4 Assiut University,
Published Article
Phytochemistry Reviews
Publication Date
May 22, 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s11101-021-09759-z
PMID: 34054380
PMCID: PMC8139868
PubMed Central
  • Article


Flavonoids are a class of phenolic natural products, well-identified in traditional and modern medicines in the treatment of several diseases including viral infection. Flavonoids showed potential inhibitory activity against coronaviruses including the current pandemic outbreak caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and designated as COVID-19. Here, we have collected all data related to the potential inhibitory mechanisms of flavonoids against SARS-CoV-2 infection and their significant immunomodulatory activities. The data were mapped and compared to elect major flavonoids with a promising role in the current pandemic. Further, we have linked the global existence of flavonoids in medicinal plants and their role in protection against COVID-19. Computational analysis predicted that flavonoids can exhibit potential inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV-2 by binding to essential viral targets required in virus entry and/ or replication. Flavonoids also showed excellent immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities including the inhibition of various inflammatory cytokines. Further, flavonoids showed significant ability to reduce the exacerbation of COVID-19 in the case of obesity via promoting lipids metabolism. Moreover, flavonoids exhibit a high safety profile, suitable bioavailability, and no significant adverse effects. For instance, plants rich in flavonoids are globally distributed and can offer great protection from COVID-19. The data described in this study strongly highlighted that flavonoids particularly quercetin and luteolin can exhibit promising multi-target activity against SARS-CoV-2, which promote their use in the current and expected future outbreaks. Therefore, a regimen of flavonoid-rich plants can be recommended to supplement a sufficient amount of flavonoids for the protection and treatment from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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