Green Tea vs Zika Virus
The Zika virus if you remember, had circulated the news last 2016, an outbreak in Brazil even threatened to cancel the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The virus itself is one of many mosquito-borne viruses (West Nile, yellow fever and dengue fever, to name a few), and for most folks, the symptoms are usually quite mild. However, for pregnant women, this zika virus can prove fatal for their child.
Zika virus can cause microcephaly, a defect which causes the cranium and brain to not grow as much as it should, resulting in serious neurological deficiencies, usually resulting in the death of the child. And while it is quite rare, scientists are still searching for an appropriate vaccine to help prevent it from spreading.
Surprisingly, that’s where tea comes in.
According to a study done at São Paolo State University in Brazil, the antioxidant found plentifully in tea, Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG, for short), can effectively block entry of the Zika virus into host cells. In fact, they found that high concentrations of EGCG prevented entry of more than a staggering 90% of the Zika virus into the cells.
The authors urge that this is just the first test, and that before tea is implemented as a vaccine many other factors, such as “bioavailability and the safety evaluation of its use … (for pregnant women) …should be improved.”
So if you are planning on traveling this year, it might be a good idea to have some tea on hand!