By Daily Mail Reporter
People who regularly drink tea or coffee may be less likely to be carriers of the ‘superbug’ MRSA, according to a U.S. study.
Out of more than 5,500 Americans who took part in a government study published in the Annals of Family Medicine, those who drank hot tea or coffee were about half as likely as non-drinkers to contract methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in their nostrils.
But exactly what the information means is still unclear, say researchers.
‘ Hot tea and coffee have been found to have antimicrobial properties,’ wrote lead researcher Eric Matheson, of the University of South Carolina, Charleston.
‘Consumption of hot tea or coffee is associated with a lower likelihood of MRSA nasal carriage.
In general, about 1 percent of the U.S. population carries MRSA in the nose or on the skin, but does not get sick.
The idea for 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, Matheson said.
Less research has been done on coffee compounds, but there is some evidence of antibacterial powers there as well.
Matheson’s team found that, indeed, tea and coffee drinkers were less likely to carry MRSA.
Overall, 1.4 percent of the study group harbored the bacteria in their noses. But those odds were about 50 per cent lower among people who said they drank hot tea or coffee, versus non-drinkers.