Drinking tea, coffee lowers superbug risk

Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011, 09:54 AM IST

New York: A U.S study has indicated that people who regularly drink tea or coffee may be less likely to be carriers of the ``superbug`` methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The government study of more than 5,500 Americans found that those who drank hot tea or coffee were about half as likely as non-drinkers to contract MRSA in their nostrils, reports the Daily Mail.

"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," added Matheson.

The big caveat, though, is that the link does not prove that tea or coffee is the reason for the lower risk of contracting MRSA, Matheson said.

The study shows an association between the two, "but you never can conclude causation from an association. I can`t tell you that this finding isn`t just a coincidence," he said.

"Our findings raise the possibility of a promising new method to decrease MRSA nasal carriage that is safe, inexpensive, and easily accessible," he added.

The study has been published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

ANI