jimib saidHow does it work? ...
Ok, it works by the lectin found in bananas (called Banlec here) binding to the mannose sugars in the viral coat of the HIV virus. Thereby, blocking those mannose sugars, which are important in attaching to white blood cells, from attaching to the human white cells and allowing the virus to infecting them.
"Lectins are sugar-binding proteins that are highly specific for their sugar moieties. They play a role in biological recognition phenomena involving cells and proteins. For example, some viruses use lectins to attach themselves to the cells of the host organism during infection."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lectin
"BanLec...binds to high mannose carbohydrate structures, including those found on viruses containing glycosylated envelope proteins such as human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1). Therefore, we hypothesized that BanLec might inhibit HIV-1 through binding of the glycosylated HIV-1 envelope protein, gp120."
"BanLec can recognize the high mannose structures that are recognized by the monoclonal antibody 2G12. Furthermore, BanLec is able to block HIV-1 cellular entry as indicated by temperature-sensitive viral entry studies and by the decreased levels of the strong-stop product of early reverse transcription seen in the presence of BanLec. Thus, our data indicate that BanLec inhibits HIV-1 infection by binding to the glycosylated viral envelope and blocking cellular entry."
"The relative anti-HIV activity of BanLec compared favorably to other anti-HIV lectins, such as snowdrop lectin and Griffithsin, and to T-20 and maraviroc, two anti-HIV drugs currently in clinical use. Based on these results, BanLec is a potential component for an anti-viral microbicide that could be used to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV-1. " http://www.jbc.org/content/285/12/8646.abstract?sid=7b9e04dd-d1a9-4a57-ac6e-47a766bb705a
But can you ingest the lectins by eating bananas? How many bananas do you have to eat?