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White tea beats green tea in fighting germs


New studies conducted at Pace University have indicated that White Tea Extract (WTE) may have prophylactic applications in retarding growth of bacteria that cause Staphylococcus infections, Streptococcus infections, pneumonia and dental caries. Researchers present their findings today at the 104th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

"Past studies have shown that green 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 White Tea Extract can actually destroy in vitro the organisms that cause disease. Study after study with tea extract proves that it has many healing properties. This is not an old wives tale, it’s a fact."

White tea was more effective than green tea at inactivating bacterial viruses. Results obtained with the bacterial virus, a model system; suggest that WTE may have an anti-viral effect on human pathogenic viruses. The addition of White Tea Extract to various toothpastes enhanced the anti-microbial effect of these oral agents.

Studies have also indicated that WTE has an anti-fungal effect on Penicillium chrysogenum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In the presence of WTE, Penicillium spores and Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells were totally inactivated. It is suggested that WTE may have an anti-fungal effect on pathogenic fungi.

Several findings in the new study are of particular interest:
  • The anti-viral and anti-bacterial effect of white tea (Stash and Templar brands) is greater than that of green tea.
  • The anti-viral and anti-bacterial effect of several toothpastes including Aim, Aquafresh, Colgate, Crest and Orajel was enhanced by the addition of white tea extract.
  • White tea extract exhibited an anti-fungal effect on both Penicillium chrysogenum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
  • White tea extract may have application in the inactivation of pathogenic human microbes, i.e., bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
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