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Green tea has a surprise up its sleeve

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Chemicals in green tea, black tea, and matcha (powdered green tea) are effective in inactivating the Omicron subvariant of Covid-19.

Chemicals in green tea, black tea, and matcha (powdered green tea) are effective in inactivating the Omicron subvariant of Covid-19. Picture: Pexels

THE extensive health benefits of green tea have been enjoyed for centuries, but now researchers have found that green tea may help in the fight against Covid-19 as the tea inactivates the virus.

Scientists from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan recently published a study in Scientific Reports that chemicals in green tea, black tea, and matcha (powdered green tea) are effective in inactivating the Omicron subvariant of Covid-19. They found that chemicals in these teas will bind to the spike protein of the virus, preventing it from infecting cells.

This is great news for South Africa where Omicron – which was first discovered in the country in September 2021 – remains the dominant Covid-19 variant.

While the virus is less threatening, the World Health Organisation notes that “evidence suggests approximately 10–20% of people experience a variety of mid- and long-term effects after they recover from their initial illness”.

Candice Sessions, Tetley’s marketing manager, said: “This research indicates that green tea gives us another line of defence, and considering its affordability and versatility, it’s a great way to protect ourselves and our families ahead of the festive season.”

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