Chemicals in the drink bind to the spike protein sticking out from the surface of the virus and stop it from infecting cells.
Scientists from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan had previously explored the impact of these tea-based molecules, known as EGCG and TFDG, on earlier strains of Covid and established a connection.
But their analysis of Omicron sub-lineages, which have become the dominant strains, found the mutations of the virus have made black tea and similar drinks even more effective as a Covid-fighting remedy. The study’s authors wrote in their paper: “EGCG and TFDG strongly suppressed infectivity of BA.1 and XE subvariants while the effect on BA.2.75 was weaker.”
Laboratory experiments found that certain changes in omicron greatly affect how tea chemicals attach to the virus.
EGCG and TFDG both latch on to the virus in the same spot where the human ACE2 receptor connects.
This receptor is like a door that lets the virus enter human cells and cause illness. When the tea chemicals block this crucial interaction, the virus loses its ability to make people sick.
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Seven healthy volunteers consumed either a sweet made of different types of tea – matcha, black and green tea – or a placebo.
The scientists said: “We found that all the omicron subvariants we tested were efficiently inactivated by treatment with green tea, matcha green tea, how much promethazine will cause overdose and black tea for 10 seconds.
“A candy containing green tea or black tea may be useful for inactivating the virus if infected persons consume it, to decrease virus load in the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract of the infected person, as well as to prevent spread of the virus from the infected persons to nearby uninfected persons.”
Green tea, brewed using tea leaves, tastes light and somewhat grassy. It gives the body a number of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Matcha is the ground-down version of green tea leaves, resulting in a fine powder, and it contains a stronger concentration of important antioxidants and nutrients.
The Kyoto paper was published in the Scientific Reports journal.
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