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Green tea boosts antimicrobial properties of toothpaste

WASHINGTON, DC May 20, 2003 Studies conducted at Pace University have indicated that green tea extracts (GTE) and polyphenol (PP) have an adverse effect on bacteria that cause strep throat, dental caries, and other infections. Additionally, the research suggests that the oral agents such as toothpaste and mouthwash are more effective in fighting pathogenic microbial agents, such as viruses, with the addition of GTE and PP. Researchers present their findings today at the 103rd General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology

"The New York Times recently reported [Study Concludes Tea Helps Fight Infection, April 2003] that tea stimulates the immune system to fight disease," says Milton Schiffenbauer, Ph.D., a microbiologist and professor in the Department of Biology at Pace University's Dyson College of Arts & Sciences and primary author of the research. "Our research shows tea extracts can destroy the organism that causes disease. If we can stimulate the immune system and at the same time we are destroying the organisms, then it makes sense to drink more tea."

All teas contain polyphenols or antioxidants that protect human cells from reactive atoms (free radicals) that are responsible for body tissue damage. "Flavorids" are a group of polyphenols that occur naturally in tea. It is suspected that the concentration level of these polyphenols in the body is responsible for the beneficial properties of tea. Polyphenols may also contribute to the prevention of various types of cancer, including pancreas, colon, bladder, prostate and breast cancer.

Several findings are of particular interest:

  • The anti-viral effect of green tea is much more substantial than the anti-viral effects of either black or white teas.
  • Results using Eden organic green teas indicate that green tea extract from tea bags is more effective than loose tea, filtered or unfiltered. In regard to Stash green tea, loose unfiltered tea wa
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
20-May-2003


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