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A Banana A Day Keeps HIV Away?

Could bananas really be the key to stopping the spread of HIV? Some researchers believe they could be. They’ve discovered that BanLec, a type of lectin naturally found in bananas, binds to the sugary envelope that encases the HIV virus, thus blocking its entry into the body. It was even more effective in preventing the spread of the virus in lab tests than two synthetic HIV drugs currently on the market. So what’s the next step? Researchers will work on a way to make it into a type of vaginal or anal microbicide ointment. They believe that a cheap, effective, self-applied BanLec ointment may prevent up to 2.5 million HIV infections in three years. Now that’s bananas! [MNN]

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