Green tea helps beat super bugs

March 31st, 2008 - 11:47 am ICT by admin  

London, March 31 (IANS) Drinking green tea helps important antibiotics fight resistant super bugs, making the antibiotics up to three times more effective, according to a new study. In Egypt, where green tea is popular and where a lot of patients have it while taking antibiotics, researchers wanted to find out if it interferes with the action of the antibiotics.

“We tested green tea in combination with antibiotics against 28 disease-causing micro-organisms belonging to two different classes,” said Mervat Kassem of 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.”

Kassem presented these findings Monday at the Society for General Microbiology’s 162nd meeting in Edinburgh.

Green tea also made 20 percent of drug-resistant bacteria susceptible to one of the cephalosporin antibiotics. These are important antibiotics that new drug resistant strains of bacteria have evolved to resist.

The results surprised the researchers, showing that in almost every case and for all types of antibiotics tested, drinking green tea at the same time as taking the medicines seemed to reduce the bacteria’s drug resistance, even in super-bug strains, and increase the action of the antibiotics.

In some cases, even a low concentration of green tea was effective.

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