RALEIGH – De-Yu Xie, professor of plant and microbial biology at NCSU who earlier this week suggested a diet of green tea, grapes and dark chocolate could help prevent COVID-19, on Wednesday stressed that his recommendations were “not a substitute” for coming vaccines or other preventive measures such as face masks.

“People congratulated me that a report was published about my interview from WRAL,” Xie said. “A person emailed our department to accuse me that I do not support vaccines and I am not responsible for the pandemic.”

That led him to issue a statement about his research and also to note the paper – published Nov. 30 – was submitted to a peer-reviewed journal in August before vaccines were close to approval as they are now.

“Here, I make a strong and clear statement that I strongly support all CDC guides, vaccines, mask requirements, social distancing, and all other protocols for preventing, stopping, and treating COVID-19,” he said.

“Vaccines are the final solutions to eradicate COVID-19.”

The first vaccine in the US is nearing possible approval.

Xie pointed out:

“I am not a doctor. Our findings reviewed by peer-reviewers recommend that people may drink tea and take grapes and chocolate for interfering SARS-Cov-2 [which causes COVID-19]. However, these methods are not a substitute of any other therapeutics, particularly vaccines.”

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science, shows “active compounds” in certain foods fight the virus at the cellular level.

Its conclusion reads in part:

“Given that there is not an effective medicine for the treatment of COVID-19 and not a vaccine for preventing against the SARS-Cov-2 infection and transmission, these data recommend that these nutraceutical compounds and extracts of green tea, grape, and cacao can be utilized to interfere the devastation of SARS-Cov-2.”

Xie stressed: “We submitted our manuscript on Aug. 30 and it was accepted on Nov. 6.  The final product did not come out until Nov. 30. THis conclusion was made in our revision two months ago, when there were no vaccines and medicines. This conclusion was a past conclusion, thus cannot be used for the present time.”

You can fight pandemic with this diet, says NCSU professor based on new study