Green tea helps beat superbugs

Mar 31, 2008

Green tea can help beat superbugs according to Egyptian scientists speaking today at the Society for General Microbiology’s 162nd meeting being held this week at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The pharmacy researchers have shown that drinking green tea helps the action of important antibiotics in their fight against resistant superbugs, making them up to three times more effective.

Green tea is a very common beverage in Egypt, and it is quite likely that patients will drink green tea while taking antibiotics. The medical researchers wanted to find out if green tea would interfere with the action of the antibiotics, have no effect, or increase the medicines’ effects.

“We tested green tea in combination with antibiotics against 28 disease causing micro-organisms belonging to two different classes,” says Dr Mervat Kassem from the Faculty of 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% better when taken with green tea than when taken on its own in some circumstances.”

Green tea also made 20% 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 superbug strains, and increase the action of the antibiotics. In some cases, even a low concentration of green tea was effective.

“Our results show that we should consider more seriously the natural products we consume in our everyday life,” says Dr Kassem. “In the future, we will be looking at other natural herb products such as marjoram and thyme to see whether they also contain active compounds which can help in the battle against drug resistant bacteria”.

Source: Society for General Microbiology

Explore further: Food supplements plus cash to poor families reduces rates of child malnutrition in Niger

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New method of incorporating fluoride into drugs

Sep 06, 2013

(Phys.org) —Synthetic biology is a science that aims to harness natural biological processes for other uses, such as in the manufacture of fuels and drugs. Now, synthetic biology researchers in the U.S. ...

Treating poultry diseases without antibiotics

May 30, 2012

Identifying antimicrobial proteins in chickens that kill pathogens is one method being used by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists to find alternatives to the use of antibiotics to control infectious ...

Scientists solve mystery of polyketide drug formation

Apr 01, 2008

Many top-selling drugs used to treat cancer and lower cholesterol are made from organic compounds called polyketides, which are found in nature but historically difficult for chemists to alter and reproduce in large quantities.

Researchers test antibacterial effects of healing clays

Nov 01, 2006

Clay is most commonly associated with the sublime experience of the European spa where visitors have been masked, soaked and basted with this touted curative since the Romans ruled. If ASU geochemist Lynda Williams and microbiologist ...

Recommended for you

Are human breast milk microbiome 'neutral'?

1 hour ago

Human breast milk is considered the most ideal source of nutrition for infants and it should have played a critical role in the evolution and civilizations of human beings. Unlike our intuitive perception, human milk contains ...

Many nurses unprepared to meet dying patients

3 hours ago

Most nurses in their work care for patients who are dying. A study of more than 200 students has shown that many nurses in training feel unprepared and anxious when faced with the prospect of meeting patients during end-of-life ...

Spinach extract decreases cravings, aids weight loss

3 hours ago

A spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids decreases hedonic hunger with up to 95% - and increases weight loss with 43%. This has been shown in a recently published long-term human study at Lund University ...

User comments : 0