Scientists identify chemical in bananas as potent inhibitor of HIV infectionMarch 15, 2010
This is a 3-D structure of BanLec, a chemical isolated from bananas identified as a potent new inhibitor of HIV infection. Credit: University of Michigan Medical School
A potent new inhibitor of HIV, derived from bananas, may open the door to new treatments to prevent sexual transmission of HIV, according to a University of Michigan Medical School study published this week.
In laboratory tests, BanLec, the lectin found in bananas, was as potent as two current anti-HIV drugs. Based on the findings published March 19 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, BanLec may become a less expensive new component of applied vaginal microbicides, researchers say.