Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences is a member of an international team developing a natural dietary supplement supporting the functioning of the immune system in the fight against viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2.
The supplement, based on spermidine and eugenol, is supposed to have a two-fold activity, limiting the action of viruses and strengthening the immune response mechanism. It will be available on the European market at the beginning of the next year. The project is led by the University of Bologna (Italy).
„SPIN” project (SPermidin and eugenol INtegrator for the contrasting incidence of coronavirus in EU population) is powered by European Knowledge and Innovation Community EIT Food to provide supporting measures at the time when works on an effective vaccine against Covid-19 are still in progress.
The supplement will contain spermidine and eugenol, plant-based substances with a potential antiviral activity. Previous studies have shown that eugenol can inactivate animal coronavirus and limit the multiplication of viruses in the cells of the infected host. Spermidine has a proven positive effect on the cardiovascular system and its consumption is associated with a lower blood pressure. Spermidine has also demonstrated a beneficial impact effect on the immune system by inducing autophagy, i.e. degradation of damaged or unnecessary cells and proteins. In vitro studies revealed that SARS-CoV-2 infection reduces autophagy by disrupting multiple metabolic pathways, while the presence of exogenous spermidine limits the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This may suggest that the intake of a dietary supplement containing spermidine and eugenol may strengthen our immune system against the development of SARS-CoV-2 infection and limit the serious complications of Covid-19.
IARFR PAS is primarily responsible for the evaluation of consumers’ behaviour towards dietary supplements and their attitude to new solutions aimed at combating coronavirus. Consumer survey is conducted in Poland, Italy and Spain, and its results will play an important role in the commercialization process of the supplement. Each of us can their opinion with the project’s experts, filling in the survey available here.
EIT Food “SPIN” entails also organization of knowledge transfer workshops addressed to nutrition and health professionals from the RIS regions of Poland, Spain and Italy, which will be focused on innovative dietary solutions against SARS-CoV-2 infections and dissemination of project outputs. More details on the meeting will be available at pan.olsztyn.pl/en.
It needs to be emphasised that the supplement developed is not aimed at treating COVID-19 or replacing the vaccine. It is designed to strengthen the functioning of our immune system, while we are all seeking the medical solution of proven effectiveness.
As part of the EIT’s Crisis Response Initiative, this activity directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.