A hepatitis infection can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis.
Research from Germany shows that a bioactive compound in green tea, the catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG, blocks Hepatitis C (HCV) from entering liver cells.
According to Sandra Ciesek, a researcher at the Hannover Medical School, “Green tea catechins such as EGCG and its derivatives epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechingallate (ECG), and epicatechin (EC) have been shown to exhibit anti-viral and anti-oncogenic properties”.
HCV entry into liver cells seemed inhibited because EGCG stops viral attachment to the cell membranes. It also blocked HCV infection following liver transplants.
This is a significant finding. The abstract for the research study notes that ‘Current antiviral therapy fails to clear infection in a substantial proportion of cases’.
The World Health Organisation reports that 170 million people globally suffer from Hepatitis C infection. And other research shows that about 2 per cent of the entire population of the world has HCV. In some countries the rate is now up to 20 per cent.