Green Tea helps Hepatitis C sufferers

Green Tea helps Hepatitis C sufferers

At Camellia’s Tea House, one of our passion’s is to talk about the truly wonderful health benefits of drinking tea and herbal infusions and this month we wanted to share with you the latest research on Green Tea and its ability to inhibit the Hep C virus.

Individuals receiving a liver transplant who are vulnerable to infection by Hepatitis C virus may find green tea inhibits HVC re-infection.

End stage liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus is the most common reason for a liver transplant, accounting for about 30 percent of liver transplant surgeries, according to a review of the research on the website Hepatitis Central.

HCV is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease affecting 170 million people worldwide. Reservoirs of the virus outside the liver often re-infect those receiving a liver transplant. According to German researchers the antiviral properties of EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) contained in green tea may prevent HVC re-infection.

In a paper published in the December 2011 issue of the journal Hepatology, Sandra Ciesek and Eike Steinmann said “green tea catechins such as EGCG and its derivatives epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechingallate (ECG), and epicatechin (EC) have been shown to exhibit antiviral and anti-oncogenic properties; our study further explores the potential effect these flavonoids have in preventing HCV reinfection following liver transplantation.”

Results showed that EGCG inhibits entry of HCV into liver cells and it is believed that the HCV is prevented from entering liver cells.

“The green tea antioxidant EGCG inhibits HCV cell entry by blocking viral attachment and may offer a new approach to prevent HCV infection, particularly reinfection following liver transplantation,” according to Ciesek.

“The range of health benefits characteristic of EGCG span so many desirable areas – from lowering cholesterol to deterring cancer development to inhibiting liver disease progression – that it seems to be the obvious choice for those concerned with health preservation. However, this new research provides motivation for those with a new liver due to advanced Hepatitis C to make green tea their new, preferred beverage,” according to a review of the research by Nicole Cutler.

Source: Hepatology (December 2011); Hepatitis Central; Times of India

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