New Study Shows White Tea Has an Inhibitory Effect on Various Pathogenic Bacteria

NEW YORK -- 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.

The effect of WTE was determined by observing zones of inhibition of bacteria grown on Mueller Hinton II Agar (Kirby-Bauer technique). In regard to bacterial virus inactivation, White Tea was more effective than green tea. 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.

"Past studies have shown that green tea stimulates the immune system to fight disease," says Milton Schiffenbauer, PhD, 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."

Several findings in the new study are of particular interest:

The anti-viral and antibacterial effect of white tea (Stash and Templar) is greater than that of green tea.

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.

The results of this study were presented at the 104th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology on May 23, 2004 in New Orleans.

Source: Pace University

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