Afriplex Corac-Q™ ingredient

CORAC-Q is a unique plant-based powder extract, developed by Afriplex (Pty) Ltd, consisting of unfermented Rooibos and optimized levels of Aspalathin, Quercetin, Zinc and Vitamin D. Together, these components may exert antiviral and immune stimulating effects which may assist with immune function and health.

The antiviral properties of CORAC-Q can be ascribed to its Zinc (Zn2+) content, as high concentrations of Zinc can block virus reproduction. However, cells are typically disinclined to tolerate high levels of Zinc due to concerns about its other actions. Fortunately, there are molecules that can act as facilitators and enhance the entry of Zinc into the cell, such as the nutraceutical, Quercetin, which forms part of the CORAC-Q formulation. In addition, Quercetin also possess the ability to block viral entry into the cell and the release of viral replicates through lysis.

CORAC-Q: Active Components

Aspalathin

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), indigenous to the Western Cape in South Africa, has numerous health promoting properties, which can be attributed to its polyphenolic composition. Studies conducted by Rahmasari et al., indicated that the extract of Aspalathus linearis exerts its antiviral effect during with regard to the influenza virus and more specifically during the virus replication process.

The unique Rooibos antioxidant, aspalathin, has also been associated with anti-inflammatory and immune function modulation properties. In addition, Rooibos has also shown bronchodilatory, antiviral and antimicrobial effects which can be ascribed to the presence of the phytochemical, chrysoeriol.

Quercetin

Apart from the unique antioxidant aspalathin, unfermented Rooibos extract contains Quercetin and its variants like iso-quercitrin. Quercetin, also known as 3,3′,4′5,7-pentahydroxyflavone, is a widely distributed plant flavonoid with antioxidant properties, found in various fruits, berries and teas.

In addition, this compound is also known to promote anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects as well as immune support.

After the outbreak of the SARS epidemic, Chrétien and Mbikay, researchers from the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, studied the antiviral properties of Quercetin. This is significant as SARS-CoV-2, comes from the same family and is structurally like the SARS virus. Earlier research published in 2014 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy stated that a glycosylated form of Quercetin might target steps of viral entry and protect mice against the Ebola virus.

The team also discovered that pre-treatment with Quercetin, rather than post-treatment, brought the most reliable protection. The research pointed to Quercetin having potential in combating both Ebola and Zika viruses.

Quercetin has been identified as one of the possible therapies for combating Covid-19. In vitro and some animal models have shown that Quercetin has an immune-modulating effect, as well as a range of biological actions that includes anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral activities.

Other studies indicate that Quercetin exhibit efficacy as prophylactic as well as treatment for this disease as it may play a vital role in binding viral capsid proteins. The preventative action is achieved by de-activating the action of the TMPRSS2 enzyme necessary for successful entry of the virion into the host cell.  In addition, Quercetin has been studied in various types and models of viral infection due to its promising antiviral effects in inhibiting polymerases and proteases.  [Polymerase is an enzyme which brings about the formation of a particular polymer, especially DNA or RNA, while Protease is an enzyme which breaks down proteins and peptides.] The virion is therefore prevented to bind to the ACE2 receptor, consequently preventing successful entry into the host cell.  In addition to this, Quercetin hampers the RNA replication mechanism in the cell, thus controlling viral loads in the host and lessening the occurrence of a cytokine storm.

Additional studies concluded that Quercetin had a positive effect in treating upper respiratory tract infections (URTI and a decreased incidence of URTI in sportsmen under stress conditions resulting from elevated training regimes. Quercetin has also been investigated for its possible antiviral effect on several members of the Coronaviridae family and has been suggested as a potential drug in the clinical treatment of SARS.

Zinc

Zinc has been proven to possess several antiviral effects. This is mainly facilitated through facilitation stabilization of cell membrane, thereby inhibiting the entry of the virus, and thus strengthening the immune system. Multiple antiviral effects of Zn2+ have been demonstrated in a variety of viral species, including several nidoviruses, to which SARS-CoV-2 belongs. It suggests that Zinc supplementation may be of benefit for prophylaxis and treatment of Covid-19. Another study suggests that increased intracellular Zn2+ concentrations have the potential to combat corona virus strains by interfering with the replication mechanism of the virion.

Vitamin D

Recent studies have found that sufficient levels of Vitamin D may lower the likelihood of developing respiratory infections associated with colds and influenza. The scientific community are currently attempting to establish whether Vitamin D has a positive effect in protection against SARS-CoV-2 and if Vitamin D deficiencies correlates with weak immune responses, resulting in increased susceptibility to developing Covid-19.     

Experts propose that low Vitamin D levels may hamper the immune system and that sufficient levels of Vitamin D reduces inflammation and stimulates the release of antimicrobial proteins that kill viruses and bacteria. One study suggests that Vitamin D could assist in combating cytokine storms. Another study published in the British Medical Journal reviewed data from 25 randomized trials and concluded that Vitamin D supplementation protected against acute respiratory tract infection. It suggested that the effect was more pronounced when considering individuals classified as Vitamin D deficient. Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote an opinion piece suggesting that vitamin D deficiencies could worsen outcomes for people who develop Covid-19 and other respiratory infections. He urged people to avoid deficiencies by taking supplements or adjusting their diet to include foods high in Vitamin D.

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