A new study shows that half of the persons that participated in a government funded study were able to ward off methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in their nostrils by drinking tea, making the consumption of such beverages not just for the wide awake anymore. Tea and coffee have been found to have antimicrobial properties.
An estimated 2.5 million persons (1.4% of the population) are MRSA nasal carriers. In an adjusted logistic regression analysis controlling for age, race, sex, poverty-income ratio, current health status, hospitalization in the past 12 months, and use of antibiotics in the past month, individuals who reported consuming hot tea were one-half as likely to have MRSA nasal carriage relative to individuals who drank no hot tea. Similarly, individuals who reported consuming coffee had about a one-half reduction in the risk of MRSA nasal carriage relative to individuals who drank no coffee.
Eric Matheson, of the University of South Carolina, Charleston states:
"Hot tea and coffee have been found to have antimicrobial properties. Consumption of hot tea or coffee is associated with a lower likelihood of MRSA nasal carriage. Our findings raise the possibility of a promising new method to decrease MRSA nasal carriage that is safe, inexpensive, and easily accessible. "
The study came from the fact that, in both the lab dish and in humans, topically applied or inhaled tea extracts have shown some anti-MRSA activity. Less research has been done on coffee compounds, but there is some evidence of antibacterial powers there as well.
However, in general about 1% of the U.S. population carries MRSA in the nose or on the skin, but does not get sick. Matheson's team did find that however, tea and coffee drinkers were less likely to carry MRSA.
Overall, 1.4% of the study group harbored the bacteria in their noses. But those odds were about 50% lower among people who said they drank hot tea or coffee, versus non-drinkers.
MRSA is well known to live in the nasal passage and so can be disastrous. Those people who are working in hospitals are said to be more prone to get this infection. MRSA may live in a dormant stage and it is quite possible that for a larger number of years you can see no symptom of the same from occurring. It is known in late years that the symptoms come up.
The researchers tried to account for several other factors, such as age, income or self-rated health, but the beverages were still linked to lower odds of being a MRSA carrier.
One issue is that even if coffee and tea drinkers do have a lower risk of carrying MRSA, whether that makes them less likely to actually fall ill is unknown. For now, Matheson stops short of recommending that people start drinking coffee or tea in the hopes of fending off MRSA.
Those people who have got this infection in the nose are likely get the infection in other parts of the body as well and hence great care is needed. It is essential that one try to get the treatment at the earliest before it could spread to other areas of the body since it could prove to be deadly.
Source: The Annals of Family Medicine
Written by Sy Kraft