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Can green tea help treat bacterial infections ?

In some cultures, for example in China and Japan, the miraculous properties for green tea have been known for centuries. In the West, scientists are only starting to discover those properties and various purposes where green tea can be applied in.

Antioxidants in green tea

Most of the beneficial effects of green tea derive from its high oxygen content. Antioxidants search for and destroy the free radicals that are present in human body. Free radicals are responsible for a wide range of problems and diseases, and it is important to take enough antioxidants to prevent those problems.

One of the most important antioxidants in green tea is epicatechin gallate (EGCG). This particular antioxidant is 15 to 20 times more potent than vitamin C, which is very impressive.

Substances found in green tea, like antioxidants, bioflavonoids and polyphenols, all have the ability to boost the immune system and to improve the body’s ability to ward off bacteria, viruses and other harmful agents.

Green tea and bacteria

Thanks to the antioxidants, green tea improves the ability to keep the bacteria away and does not allow them to multiply and cause infections. In addition, drinking at least 20 ounces of green tea per day, for at least two weeks, actually triples the production of interferon gamma, which is an infection-fighting substance produced by the body. It seems that the body metabolizes green tea into molecules that resemble the bacterial protein surface, which prepares the body to react against foreign microorganisms. This was confirmed in several scientific studies.

Japanese Okoyama University has found an even more interesting thing. Some of the Staphylococcus aureus strains can be very tricky and resistant to antibiotics, which makes them difficult, sometimes impossible, to treat. This Japanese study has found that the resistance of the bacteria to the antibiotics was reduced in patients who took EGCG extract from green tea, which greatly improved the chance of recovery.

Consumption of green tea

In order to reap all the benefits from green tea, especially the antioxidant boost, it is important to know how to consume it. Green tea is not fermented after harvesting, unlike black tea, which makes it much healthier. The water used for brewing green tea should not be boiling, and its temperature depends on the specific type of tea that is used.

As for the recommended amount of tea, it depends on the purpose. Healthy, strong people can drink two to three cups of day and still benefit from it, but those who are suffering from a disease should drink more. It is generally recommended to have between eight and ten cups of green tea per day.

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