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

Sudan J Paediatr. 2020;20(1):10-12. doi: 10.24911/SJP.106-1585398078.


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