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Green Tea Salmonella Research

Green tea Salmonella research

Green tea Salmonella research, since the late 1980's, has show that green tea is bactericidal against as many as 26 strains of Salmonella, including Salmonella typhimurium and Salmonella enteriditis One of the ways that researchers suspected that green tea could kill Salmonella was by damaging the cell membrane. In fact, early research showed that green tea did substantial damage to bacterial cell membranes, causing leakage of carboxyfluorescein (Ikigai, 1993), but the specific mechanisms could not be determined until recently.

Green tea attacks Salmonella bacterial cell membranes

Green tea Salmonella research has now tracked green tea catechin polyphenols like EGCG and ECG to specific areas in the Salmonella cell membrane.

These green tea catechin polyphenols deeply penetrate the phosphotidylcholine and pholphotidylethanolamine layers where they create bactericidal action (Caturla, 2003).

The specific mechanism includes increasing surface pressure which causes the Salmonella membrane to rupture and burst (Tamba, 2007).

Bursting the membrane kills the Salmonella bacteria.

Salmonella Typhimurium Bacteria Cause Food Poisoning
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A second way that green tea protects against Salmonella poisoning is by reducing the virulent toxins (Friedman, 2007) that accompany the infection. These toxins create septic shock which cause most of the deaths from Salmonella.

Green tea stops the pathway (HMGB1 release) of cytokine systemic inflammation throughout the whole body that causes fatal sepsis (Chen, 2006).

Fighting with hydrogen peroxide

Another way green tea helps protect against Salmonella bacterial infections is with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).

Hydrogen peroxide is made by our bodies to help fight local infections.

It is a good news, bad news situation. We need small amounts of hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria and dissolve debris, but too much can turn into free radicals which cause damage on their own.

Green tea with its broad spectrum chemicals seems to serve both needs.

The EGCG the primary polyphenol catechin antioxidant from green tea, effectively generates small amounts of hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria (Arakawa, 2004).

Green tea antioxidants also scavenge or neutralize the free radicals more than Vitamin C does (Geetha, 2004).

What about drug-resistant bacteria?

Multi-drug resistance for Salmonella strains increased from 1% in 1998 to 26% in 2001 in the United States (NIMSS.umd, 2007) probably due to excessive agricultural practices (Gupta, 2003). Drug resistance occurs when bacteria adapt to the use of drugs by DNA mutation. Green tea has shown that it prevents mutation (Geetha, 2004), and inhibits bacterial DNA through EGCG binding (Gradison, 2007).

Research that tests green tea with drug resistant bacteria has usually been with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Green tea has proven effective against these drug-resistant bacterial strains by rupturing their cell membranes.

One interesting study with another bacteria, Bacillus cereus, found that tea polyphenol chemicals, including both the gallates from black tea and the catechins from green tea, were more effective against the bacteria than antibiotics like tetracycline or vancomycin at similar concentrations (Friedman, 2006).

  • Against bacteria, fresh tea was the most active.

  • Day old tea was not effective.

  • Decaffeinated tea was not effective.

Daily green tea as a healthy habit

While green tea Salmonella research is still considered preliminary and tea has not been proven to prevent Salmonella infection with people, drinking green tea daily is a healthy habit many people choose.

Freshly made regular strength green tea (non-decaffeinated) seems to be the best choice based on many studies. Long-term human research seems to support drinking several cups daily (between 3 and 10 cups daily) for the most significant benefits.

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Green Tea Research and Flu Prevention | and Cold Flu Viruses | and Cholera | and Salmonella | and Salmonella Poisoning In Your Food | and HIV Prevention | and Tuberculosis | and MRSA Superbugs | and Helicobacter pylori

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This page last updated by Sharon Jones on January 5, 2013

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