SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Soy sauce may hold the secret ingredient in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Virologists at the University of Missouri recently confirmed a 2001 finding that a flavor-enhancing molecule in the sauce could potentially be used to treat HIV.
The molecule, EFdA, belongs to a family of compounds that help prevent the virus from replicating.
Scientists have shown the molecule can help develop compounds that are 70 times more potent than Tenofovir, a first-line HIV drug threrapy.
“Patients who are treated for HIV infections with Tenofovir, eventually develop resistance to the drugs that prevent an effective or successful defense against the virus,” Stefan Sarafianos, associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine told Business Standard.
A Japanese soy sauce company inadvertently discovered the molecule while trying to enhance the flavor of their product. That flavor enhancer is part of a family of compounds called nucleoside analogues, which is similar to existing drugs that treat HIV.