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Canada researchers investigating acai berry to fight COVID-19
In this file photo taken on June 11, 2020 a bird eats an acai berry from a basket on the boat of merchant Evandro Santos, 38, resident of the riverside community of Sao Jose, in Melgaco, southwest of Marajo Island, state of Para, Brazil, amid the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic. Canadian researchers said August 31, 2020 they are investigating a popular superfood -- the acai berry -- as a treatment to prevent Covid-19's most severe symptoms. Past studies have shown the berry's extract may act as an inflammation inhibitor, which doctors believe could help prohibit the severe inflammatory response caused by the coronavirus.
AFP/Tarso SARRAF

Canada researchers investigating acai berry to fight COVID-19

(Agence France-Presse) - September 1, 2020 - 7:52am

OTTAWA, Canada — Canadian researchers said Monday they are investigating a popular superfood — the acai berry — as a treatment to prevent Covid-19's most severe symptoms.

Past studies have shown the berry's extract may act as an inflammation inhibitor, which doctors believe could help prohibit the severe inflammatory response caused by the coronavirus.

University of Toronto scientists Michael Farkouh and Ana Andreazza, who have studied the berry's effect on inflammation responses for nearly five years, are researching how it can be used to fight Covid-19.

"It's a long shot," Farkouh told AFP. "But acai berries are cheap and easily accessible for everyone, as well as safe, so it was worth trying."

The pair enrolled some 580 patients who have tested positive for coronavirus in Canada and Brazil, where the berry is grown.

Half took doses of the extract while the rest received placebos.

The hope is that early intervention with acai could help prevent some of the disease's worst symptoms, which can lead to hospitalization and death, Farkouh said.

He explained that the extract specifically targets the same NLRP3 pathway as the coronavirus, which when activated triggers the body's response to fight off infection and stress.

Results of the 30-day study are expected to be released at the end of 2020.

ACAI BERRY CANADA NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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LATEST UPDATE: April 7, 2021 - 6:09pm

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April 7, 2021 - 6:09pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat becomes the latest to tighten coronavirus curbs as India's infections surge to a record of almost 116,000 new cases in 24 hours.

Experts blame the country's fresh wave on people ignoring guidelines and attending huge religious and political events, as well as weddings and cricket matches in recent months.

India has now recorded 12.8 million cases, the third-highest behind the United States and Brazil, although those nations have much smaller populations. More than 166,000 Indians have died. — AFP

April 7, 2021 - 9:24am

Brazil registers more than 4,000 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours for the first time Tuesday, the health ministry says, as the country reeled from a surge of infections that has made it the current epicenter of the pandemic.

The coronavirus claimed 4,195 lives in the deadliest day of the pandemic yet for the hard-hit country, whose total reported death toll is now nearly 337,000, second only to the United States.

Brazil's health system is buckling under the strain of the latest virus wave, which has forced doctors into agonizing decisions over which patients to give life-saving care and led cemeteries to hold nighttime burials to deal with the crush of coffins. —  AFP

April 4, 2021 - 9:17am

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez, who has been vaccinated against Covid-19, announced late Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

"At the end of today, after presenting a fever of 37.3 (99 Fahrenheit) and a slight headache, I performed an antigen test, which was positive," he tweeted.

A PCR test later confirmed the diagnosis.

The president, who turned 62 on Friday, was in isolation as a precaution but said he was "physically well."

"Although I would have liked to end my birthday without this news, I am also in good spirits," he said. — AFP

April 3, 2021 - 1:03pm

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez, who has been vaccinated against COVID-19, announces that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

"At the end of today, after presenting a fever of 37.3 and a slight headache, I performed an antigen test, which was positive," he tweets, adding he was waiting for the results of a PCR test to confirm the diagnosis. — AFP

April 3, 2021 - 9:16am

Latin America and the Caribbean pass the 25 million mark for recorded coronavirus cases as a surge in infections saw countries place restrictions on travel and movement while vaccine campaigns catch up.

An AFP tally showed the region reaching the grim milestone of 25,001,533 infections, putting it in third place after Europe with 44.2 million cases and the United States and Canada with over 31.5 million.

The death toll for Latin America and the Caribbean exceeded 788,000, according to AFP's count, second only to Europe which has lost some 936,000 people in the pandemic. — AFP

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