Soybeans to Treat HIV?

New research shows a compound found in soy could be effective in treating HIV

BY Katie Wurtzel

August 01 2013 4:26 PM ET

A compound found in soybeans may be the key to a new HIV treatment, according to The Guardian.

The compound known as genistein is found in soybeans and other plants, and it shows promise of becoming an effective ingredient in a less toxic treatment.

"Instead of acting directly on the virus, genistein interferes with the cellular processes that are necessary for the virus to infect cells. Thus, it makes the virus more difficult to become resistant to the drug," said Yuntao Wu, a professor at the George Mason University.

Still, this news doesn't mean that people should start eating large amounts of soy products. Wu says that the amount of genistein consumed in eating soybeans or other plants might not be enough to inhibit HIV. In the meantime, the George Mason team is working to figure out just what that amount might be, and if any new drugs would need to be developed.

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