A recent study on mice has found that an ingredient in green tea could prove to be the perfect elixir for severe Sepsis - an abnormal immune system response to bacterial infection.
The study, conducted at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, discovered the therapeutic power of dozens of Chinese herbal compounds in reversing a fatal immune response that kills 225,000 Americans every year.
The researchers who had earlier discovered a late mediator of sepsis called HMGBI which was expressed in the late stages of lethal sepsis were now interested in finding a way to block this substance which could prevent the condition from growing further.
For the study, the researcher gave EGCG, a substance in green tea, to mice in the throes of severe sepsis. The dose was equivalent to 10 cups in a human.
The results showed a rise in survival rate from 53 percent in those who didn't receive the green tea substance to 82 percent in those who did.
"Clinically, even if we could save five percent of patients, that would be huge, in this study, we saved 25 percent more animals with the green tea." Haichao Wang, PhD, of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.
"This compound prevents HMGB1 from being released by immune cells and it also prevents it from activating immune cells to produce more cytokines," he said.
The researchers discovered that Cytokines, which was produced by immune cells acted as weapons to defend the body against invaders.
"We are hoping to stimulate future interest in clinical studies," he added.
The study was published in the latest issue in the Public Library of Science or PLoS-ONE.