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Can Green Tea Compounds Prevent Infections?

While viral infections are very much in the news, deadly microbes, bacterial infections, and the growing ineffectiveness of antibiotics is still a major concern.

Green tea is incredibly popular worldwide, and it may provide a partial answer to the question of how to deal with preventing and treating infections. Green tea compounds, a valuable player in cognitive health, weight management, and overall DNA protection, also appear to have antibacterial properties.

These components, called catechins, make up about 90 percent of the flavonoids in green tea. They are powerful fighters of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and prevent the binding of various bacteria to host cells, including Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Helicobacter pylori. Other research has shown that green tea catechins can also make effective partners with conventional antimicrobial medications.

Clinical studies show that green tea may have preventative abilities as well. One trial showed that adults taking green tea supplements daily for three months experienced 32 percent fewer cold symptoms, and shorter illness times when they did catch a cold or flu.


Reygaert WC. Green Tea Catechins: Their Use in Treating and Preventing Infectious Diseases. Biomed Res Int. 2018 Jul 17;2018:9105261. doi: 10.1155/2018/9105261. PMID: 30105263; PMCID: PMC6076941.

Green tea is one of the most popular drinks consumed worldwide. Produced mainly in Asian countries from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, the potential health benefits have been widely studied. Recently, researchers have studied the ability of green tea to eradicate infectious agents and the ability to actually prevent infections. The important components in green tea that show antimicrobial properties are the catechins. The four main catechins that occur in green tea are (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), and (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Of these catechins, EGCG and EGC are found in the highest amounts in green tea and have been the subject of most of the studies. These catechins have been shown to demonstrate a variety of antimicrobial properties, both to organisms affected and in mechanisms used. Consumption of green tea has been shown to distribute these compounds and/or their metabolites throughout the body, which allows for not only the possibility of treatment of infections but also the prevention of infections.

Here is the link to the complete article: Green Tea Catechins: Their Use in Treating and Preventing Infectious Diseases

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
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