Posted on Aug 09, 2011, 6 a.m.
People who drink hot tea or coffee are 50% less likely to carry methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in their noses.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that can cause infection that is not responsive to antibiotics. In that some previous studies have suggested that tea and coffee have antimicrobial properties when applied topically, Eric Matheson, from the Medical University of South Carolina (South Carolina, USA), and colleagues studied 5,555 individuals ages 2 and older; 48.6% reported consuming hot tea over the past month and 60.8% reported drinking coffee over the past month. Overall, 1.4% of the participants carried MRSA in their noses. After adjustment for confounding factors, the team found that drinking either hot tea or hot coffee was associated with about a 50% relative reduction in the odds of nasal MRSA carriage, and drinking both beverages was associated with a 67% reduction. Noting the potential antibacterial properties of trigonelline, glyoxal, methylglyoxal, and diacetyl compounds present in coffee, and the antimicrobial properties of tannic acid and catechins found in tea, the researchers submit that: “Our findings raise the possibility of a promising new method to decrease MRSA nasal carriage that is safe, inexpensive, and easily accessible.”
Eric M. Matheson, Arch G. Mainous, III, Charles J. Everett, Dana E. King. “Tea and Coffee Consumption and MRSA Nasal Carriage.” Ann. Fam. Med, Jul 2011; 9: 299 - 304.