Sunday, January 03, 2010

Green tea may have antiviral properties

The research division of Japanese tea manufacturer Ito En says its most recent study has demonstrated that green tea catechins have the ability to reduce infections from flu, including H1N1. Ito En's Central Research Institute and Takashi Suzuki, a professor in the University of Shuzuoka's School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, jointly conducted the study. They based the current research on previous work indicating that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a catechin found in green tea, has antiviral properties. The researchers mixed EGCG with solutions containing three types of viruses, including the H1N1 virus – the so-called "swine flu" virus spread into a global pandemic in 2009. The researchers then infected cultured cells with the mixture and allowed them to incubate. After fixed amounts of time, they measured the growth of the infection and the concentration of EGCG at which infection was cut in half (compared to cells with no EGCG). The tests showed that EGCG could halve infections caused by three types of viruses, including H1N1, at much lower concentrations than Amantadine (a flu treatment drug). In a statement, the Central Research Institute concluded that "EGCG contained in green tea has potential to inhibit flu infection regardless of its type."

Steve - keep in mind that the researchers represent special interest, a tea manufacturer. With that in mind, this data does add to growing evidence about tea's antiviral benefits.


1 comment:

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