Posted on Oct 30, 2018, 4 p.m.
Drinking black tea can help protect against trichomoniasis due to protective compounds in the tea that inhibit parasite growth, according to a study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture.
Trichomoniasis renders people vulnerable to reproductive morbidity and to HIV, it is caused by the Trichomonas vaginalis protozoan. Some strains of T.vagilanis have become resistant to first line drug treatment of metronidazole.
Tomatine has been found to prevent growth of Trichomonas strains in cats, cattle, and humans in earlier studies in a report that also suggested that natural foods could be used to stop and treat trichomoniasis. In collaboration with the University of the Pacific the team investigated edible plants that prevent growth of pathogenic microbes and natural ingredients capable of breaking cell membranes of microbes that could kill protozoans including Trichomonas.
10 solutions were made from powdered edible plants: 2 green tea extracts; 2 black tea extracts; pomegranate fruit extract; pomegranate seeds; jujube fruit; jujube seeds; red wine grape seed extract; and grape seed extract. Solutions were used to inoculate 3 Trichomonas strains: T.vaginalis G3; Tritrichomonas foetus D3; and feline T foetus C1; with the most effective being applied to Metronidazole resistant T.vainalis strains as well as harmless bacteria.
All theaflavins in black tea were reported as equivalents as they have similar absorption properties. Black tea extracts were the only solutions reported to inhibit all 3 strains, with the G3 strain being the most vulnerable to the natural treatment methods. Black tea extracts showed the strongest inhibitory effects, while theaflavin extract showed lower levels than listed on the label the high theaflavin sample exceeded minimum value of its product specification.
Different theaflavins were observed to use the same approach in neutralizing pathogenic protozoa, theaflavins did not harm lactobacilli bacteria normally found within the body.
G3 and D1 strains were shown to be inhibited by green tea catechins, but did not have any effect on C1 strains.
Pomegranate fruit extracts were 3 times more effective at inhibiting G3 strains than seed extract. Both pomegranate extracts showed the same effect on C1 strains, and did not work on D1 strains.
Both jujube extracts only showed minimal effectiveness, with effects being restricted to the G3 strains. Due to higher phenolic and antioxidant activity seed extract had greater activity.
Grape seed extract was effective on C1 and G3 strains with its effects on C1 being second only to black tea extract effects; red wine grape seed only affected G3 strains.
C1 Strains are the most resistant to natural inhibition, but was strongly vulnerable to grape seed extract.
The team has proposed additional research to compare black tea and tomatine extracts in clinical studies for possible use as natural treatment in human and animal trichomoniasis.
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