Thursday, January 18, 2007

Green tea inhibits bacteria

Cup Of Green Tea To Keep The Bacteria Away ScienceDaily 1/16/07 "green tea catechins inhibit essential bacterial enzyme DNA gyrase, which is the target of several existing clinically used drugs. By the use of NMR spectroscopy, researchers from Slovenia have now pinpointed the ATP-binding site of DNA gyrase as target of EGCG, the most abundant catechin from the green tea extract. Up to now several compounds targeted against the ATP-binding site of bacteria gyrase have been known but couldn't be used as drugs due to their side effects on mammalian cells...Lead researcher Roman Jerala, the head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology at NIC explains: "We can anticipate to avoid the problem of toxicity using the compounds based on the green tea catechins, which have centuries of established safety record in the human diet."This finding may be used to develop even more potent antibacterial compounds."

The article seems somewhat incomplete. It's not clear what bacteria green tea inhibits. It's known that green tea can help prevent cavities so one would assume that green tea is inhibiting the bacteria that causes most cavities - mutans streptococci. But there is other bacteria that causes gum disease and maybe EGCG has an effect on these.

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