Tuberculosis or TB is a widespread chronic disease that is infectious and may also lead to death in severe cases. Although, TB mostly affects the lungs, it can sometimes reach the lymph nodes, bones or kidneys as well. It is said that a weakened body due to insufficient nutrition is one of the causal factors of tuberculosis. Fuelling the body with ample nutrients and antioxidants may help in tackling the disease. Believe it or not, some scientists have found a class of antioxidants present in green tea that could be helpful in combating tuberculosis. Caffeine-rich tea or coffee is our go-to drink for instant energy boost. For a healthier alternative, green tea is quite a catch.
The research team from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) discovered during laboratory investigations, a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which may interfere with the growth of a tuberculosis-causing bacteria strain. EGCG binds to an enzyme that provides biological energy for cellular activity developing the risk of TB. The binding process leads to reduced amounts of energy in the bacteria for carrying out its cellular processes.
Study lead researcher Gerhard Gruber, Professor at NTU commented, "Our discovery of the EGCG's ability to inhibit the growth of M. tuberculosis will allow us to look at how we can improve the potency of this compound in green tea, and other similar compounds, to develop new drugs to tackle this airborne disease."
The team studied 20 compounds that could possibly bind to enzymes that boost bacterial activity and found only EGCG, the most efficient one. The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.
EGCG is a natural antioxidant that is found in large quantities in green tea. The antioxidant carries the efficiency and potency in fighting the tuberculosis bacteria.