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Infectious Disease

Tea Molecule May Help Scientists to Fight AIDS

20 years, 4 months ago

10646  0
Posted on Dec 07, 2003, 5 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Japanese researchers say that they have discovered a molecule in green tea that could help scientists in their fight against the deadly AIDS virus. Kuzushige Kawai and colleagues at the University of Japan found that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the compound thought to be responsible for most of the health benefits of green tea, attaches to the molecular doorway that the AIDS virus HIV to enter and invade immune system cells known as CD4 cells.

Japanese researchers say that they have discovered a molecule in green tea that could help scientists in their fight against the deadly AIDS virus. Kuzushige Kawai and colleagues at the University of Japan found that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the compound thought to be responsible for most of the health benefits of green tea, attaches to the molecular doorway that the AIDS virus HIV to enter and invade immune system cells known as CD4 cells. EGCG's action of attaching to the CD4 doorway effectively blocks the doorway, thus preventing HIV from invading the cells. In the laboratory study, EGCG attached to 80% of CD4 cells within just five minutes and virtually all CD4 cells within 30 minutes. Experts hope the findings will help scientists to fight the spread of AIDS. 

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2003;112:951-957.

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