May 162008

KARACHI: Green tea helps protect the human body against fatal diseases and is the common cure for obesity, as it is rich in anti-oxidants, mainly epigallocatechin gallate, said International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences’ Professor Dr Iqbal Choudhary.
During his lecture on Thursday, Iqbal pointed out, “Nine percent of men and 14 percent of women, in rural areas of Pakistan, suffer from obesity. The situation is a lot more alarming in urban areas, where 22 percent of men and 37 percent of women, between the ages of 25 and 44 suffer from the condition. The statistics are the same for the age bracket of 45 to 64. The higher obesity level in urban areas is due to the changing lifestyle— high fat and carbohydrate-rich diets, and a lack of exercise.”

Extensive consumption of green tea helps reduce the fat cells in the human body, thus combating obesity, the most common health problem in the country, especially urban areas. Results from many laboratories and epidemiologic studies also suggest that green tea plays a protective role against the development of various types of cancers. “Drinking green tea has been associated with reduced risks of stomach, pancreatic and colorectal cancers and with the decreased recurrence of stage I and II breast cancer. Besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills these cells without harming the healthy tissues,” he said.

Green tea is also effective in lowering the LDL cholesterol level and inhibiting abnormal formation of blood clots, the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. According to research, green tea helps prevent tooth decay and its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning. It can also kill the bacteria that causes dental plaque. Skin creams and deodorants containing green tea are also widely available in the market because of their therapeutic and beautifying properties, he added.

Touching on the negative aspects of green tea, Dr Iqbal said that the only side effect reported of drinking green tea was insomnia, due to the fact that it contains caffeine. However, green tea contains less caffeine than coffee. Drug Week reported on April 18 that green tea helps beat superbugs. Green tea can help beat superbugs according to Egyptian scientists speaking on March 31 at the Society for General Microbiology’s 162nd meeting being held this week at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The pharmacy researchers have shown that drinking green tea helps the action of important antibiotics in their fight against resistant superbugs, making them up to three times more effective.

Green tea is a very common beverage in Egypt, and it is quite likely that patients will drink green tea while taking antibiotics. The medical researchers wanted to find out if green tea would interfere with the action of the antibiotics, have no effect, or increase the medicines’ effects.

“We tested green tea in combination with antibiotics against 28 disease causing micro-organisms belonging to two different classes,” says Dr Mervat Kassem from the Faculty of Pharmacy at Alexandria University in Egypt. “In every single case green tea enhanced the bacteria-killing activity of the antibiotics. For example the killing effect of chloramphenicol was 99.99% better when taken with green tea than when taken on its own in some circumstances.”

Green tea also made 20% of drug-resistant bacteria susceptible to one of the cephalosporin antibiotics. These are important antibiotics that new drug resistant strains of bacteria have evolved to resist.

The results surprised the researchers, showing that in almost every case and for all types of antibiotics tested, drinking green tea at the same time as taking the medicines seemed to reduce the bacteria’s drug resistance, even in superbug strains, and increase the action of the antibiotics. In some cases, even a low concentration of green tea was effective.

“Our results show that we should consider more seriously the natural products we consume in our everyday life,” says Dr Kassem.

 ppi/daily times monitor

 Posted by at 11:48 am

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