Green tea may help reduce the risk of HIV infection and slow the spread of the virus in people who are already infected, concludes a study by US and UK scientists.
They found that a component of green tea called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) prevents HIV - the virus that causes Aids - from binding to immune system cells. EGCG does this by binding to immune system cells first, leaving no room for HIV to attach to the cells, BBC News reported.
The study, which looked at the ability of EGCG to block HIV from binding to immune cells in test tubes, appears in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
"Our research shows that drinking green tea could reduce the risk of becoming infected by HIV, and could also slow down the spread of HIV," said Professor Mike Williamson of the University of Sheffield in the UK
"It is not a cure, and nor is it a safe way to avoid infection, however, we suggest that it should be used in combination with conventional medicines to improve quality of life for those infected," he said.
Williamson said research is underway to determine the levels of protection offered by different amounts of green tea, BBC News reported. Experts not involved in the study noted that this is very preliminary research. – (HealthDayNews)
Breastfeeding vs. HIV