A team from the University of Hong Kong, China, examined the relationship between patients' Helicobacter pylori status and the history of Chinese tea consumption.
A previous study by the same research group has shown that Chinese tea has anti-Helicobacter activity
Chinese patients who had their first upper endoscopy were recruited.
Before the procedure, patients completed questionnaires about their current Chinese tea consumption habits and those when they were around 10-25 years old.
This information was used to calculate the tea consumption indices (TCI).
Gastric biopsies (two from the antrum and two from the corpus) were taken for histological examination for H. pylori.
A total of 80 patients were recruited. Of these, 8 patients were rejected because of either an incomplete questionnaire, absence of gastric biopsy, or a suspected history of treatment for H. pylori infection.
| Inverse relationship between Chinese tea consumption and H. pylori infection.
| Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology |
Of the eligible patients, 58% were H. pylori-positive.
The age, sex ratio, and indications for endoscopy were similar in both H. pylori-positive and -negative groups.
It was found that patients with high tea consumption had significantly lower H. pylori infection rate than those with low tea consumption.
This was true for those classified by current, past, and total TCI (45% vs 74%, 42% vs 67%, and 40% vs 83%, respectively).
The team found that H. pylori-negative patients had higher overall TCI than H. pylori-positive patients (28 vs 17).
When current and previous histories were analyzed separately, H. pylori-negative patients also had a trend towards higher TCI currently (17 vs 11) and in their 20s (12 vs 6).
Dr Yuk-Kei Yee, of the University of Hong Kong, concluded on behalf of fellow authors, "There is a significant inverse relationship between Chinese tea consumption and H. pylori infection.
"Chinese tea consumption may decrease the chance of H. pylori infection."