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Green Tea Extract Benefits for Battling Infection: How Catechins Can Keep You Healthy

Image: Green Tea Extract Benefits for Battling Infection: How Catechins Can Keep You Healthy
Fine powdered green tea. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 05:35 PM

According to some sources, the benefits of green tea extracts include weight loss, better blood sugar regulation, cardiovascular health and mental alertness and a prolonged life span. Some studies have suggested that the catechins in green tea can help battle infection by increasing the effectiveness of antibiotics.

Science Daily reported on a study conducted by the Society for General Microbiology in which Egyptian scientists claimed that consumption of green tea helped make antibiotics "three times more effective."

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Initially, the study was designed to assess whether drinking green tea while on antibiotics would "interfere with the action of the antibiotics, have no effect, or increase the medicine's effects." 

According to Dr. Mervat Kassem from the Faculty Pharmacy at Alexandria University in Egypt, "In every single case, green tea enhanced the bacteria-killing activity of the antibiotics. For example the killing effect of chloramphenicol was 99.99 percent better when taken with green tea than when taken on its own in some circumstances."

The beneficial effects of green tea when battling infection and taking antibiotics seemed to apply even against "superbug strains."

In a focused review article for Frontiers in Microbiology, molecular biologist Dr. Wanda C. Reygaert closely examined current research on how the catechins in green tea serve to battle infection. In her comprehensive review, Reygaert made numerous statements about the antimicrobial possibilities of green tea, including:

"The results of studies on the antimicrobial effects of green tea have shown that the potential for preventive and therapeutic purposes is present."

"The effects for oral health are related to both teeth and gums. The main cause of dental caries is the bacteria Streptococcus mutans. Green tea has a direct antimicrobial effect on this bacteria, plus it seems to inhibit the attachment of the bacteria to oral surfaces."

"Green tea could very possibly be an effective antimicrobial agent, especially against multidrug-resistant strains, and in particular, MRSA and ESBL producing organisms." 

Green tea extract has been touted by numerous publications for its ability to help fight the common cold and bacterial infections. For example, Men's Health calls green tea the "cold-virus killer."

"When Canadian researchers added green tea to lab samples of the adenovirus (one of the bugs responsible for colds), they found that it stopped the virus from replicating," according to the publication. "All the credit goes to EGCG, a chemical compound found in certain kinds of tea, but in the highest concentrations in green tea." 

In an article titled, "Immunity Superstars" Alternative Medicine includes green tea in its list of foods to fight off cold and flu. The article quoted Beth Reardon, director of integrative nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine as saying, "Green tea is one of my top-10 favorites because it is a powerful antioxidant and has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties."

Additionally, Healthline reported, "Some promising research indicates green tea supplements (in capsule form) may prevent some illness and cold and flu symptoms" although they qualify the statement with the suggestion that more research is needed.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Some studies have suggested that the catechins in green tea can help battle infection by increasing the effectiveness of antibiotics.
green, tea, extract, catechins
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2014-35-14
Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 05:35 PM
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