Black Tea Compound Inhibit Coronavirus Activities

by Julian Tai

A 2005 study performed by National Health Research Institute of Taipei found that black tea compound theaflavin may be effective in blocking the activities of coronavirus SARS.

The researchers tested the actions different types of teas including green tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea and black tea. Their results indicated that extracts from Puer and black tea were more potent than that from green or oolong teas.

They found that black tea compound theaflavin-3,3′-digallate (TF3) was superior to other tea compounds such as caffeine, epigallocatechin gallte (EGCg), epicatechin (EC), theophylline (TP), catechin (C), epicatechin gallate (ECg) and epigallocatechin (EGC).

"However, TF1, TF2 and TF3 were more potent 3CLPro inhibitors than catechins in green tea. During the fermentation step in the production of black tea, most of the catechins are oxidized and condensed into theaflavins through dimerization and into thearubigins through polymerization."

"Green tea contains ∼30% of catechins (dry mass base) while black tea contains ∼9% of catechins and 4% of theaflavins."

"In another study, Leung et al. reported that TF3 was the most abundant (1.05%) theaflavin in black tea followed by TF2A (0.34%), TF2B (0.11%) and TF1 (0.08%)."

"Tannic acid is a class of polyphenolic in plants but the quantification of its levels in green or black tea is difficult because tannic acid constitutes a wide range of polymers with mol. wts of 500–3000 Da."

"Finally, this study has identified three compounds (TF2B, TF3 and tannic acid) that are effective 3CLPro inhibitors. These compounds are abundant in the extract of black tea. Black tea is a popular beverage in the world."

"Thus, it will be very interesting to evaluate, in a separate study, whether drinking black tea can prevent or alleviate the infection of an enteric form of coronavirus since SARS-CoV is known to actively replicate in the intestinal tract."

Wonder how a quality cup of black tea taste like? Yunnan Gold Tea (Dian Hong) - Best Chinese Black Tea

Source: Chia-Nan Chen, Coney P. C. Lin,1, Kuo-Kuei Huang, Wei-Cheng Chen, Hsin-Pang Hsieh, Po-Huang Liang and John T.-A. Hsu (2005). Inhibition of SARS-CoV 3C-like Protease Activity by Theaflavin-3,3′-digallate (TF3). Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 Jun; 2(2): 209–215.

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