A Steaming Hot Way to Cut MRSA Risks? Possible Benefit of Coffee and Tea

There is nothing like a cup or strong coffee in the morning or a relaxing cup of tea at the end of a long day. Drinkers of such beverages may have their favorite varieties or other rituals that go along with a great cup of coffee or tea.

While coffee and hot tea are both enjoyable, some researchers are trying to verify a link between drinking these hot liquids and reducing the risk of getting MRSA.


What is MRSA

MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that has become highly resistant to certain types of antibiotics.   If this staph bacteria is not stopped, it can lead to infections of the skin and other areas of the body.   The strength of the MRSA bacteria and it resistance to medication can lead to dangerous consequences for those afflicted with the disease.

The first symptom of MRSA is usually a small bump on the skin.   This bump may appear swollen, red or be painful.   The bump may also feel warm and have some discharge.  The patient sometimes has a fever.  If you such a bump with the characteristics listed above, the CDC advises you to cover the area with a bandage and seek medical help.

MRSA can be treated with a course of antibiotics, draining the wound or a combination of both.   You should take all of the medication as prescribed and follow all other directions given by your healthcare professional.

The CDC advises citizens to know the symptoms of MRSA and to seek treatment promptly if you suspect you may have the disease.  Keeping cuts and other wounds clean and covered and practicing good personal hygiene habits are good steps in avoiding MRSA.  Sharing personal care items such as towels and razors should be avoided at all times as these practices can contribute to the spread of MRSA.

Those with compromised immune systems have a higher risk of contracting MRSA as compared to people in good general health.   This accounts for many cases of MRSA that are found to have been contracted in hospitals.

A Unique, Simple Way to stop MRSA?

Dr Eric Matheson of the University of South Carolina at Charleston conducted a study in 2011 that sought to discover if drinking hot beverage can reduce the risks of catching MRSA.

The study was based on the knowledge that MRSA can enter the body through the nasal passages.  Dr. Matheson contended that coffee and tea have certain antimicrobial characteristics and consuming these beverages while they are hot and steaming can further enhance these bacteria fighting properties.

Dr. Matherson’s study compared samples from nasal passages of those who drink hot coffee or tea  to individuals who did not consume such beverages.  The coffee and tea drinkers were found to be about 50 % less likely to have the MRSA bacteria inside their nasal passages.  Additional research showed consuming iced coffee, iced tea or carbonated beverages had no significant impact on the existence of MRSA in the nasal passages.

The Next Step

While Dr. Matherson’s study shows a possible link between drinking hot coffee or tea, it has not been shown if these beverages can prevent or cure MRSA. Matherson feels the antimicrobial characteristics of coffee and tea may decrease the strength of the MRSA staph bacteria and possibly allow antibiotics to fight the disease more effectively. Cooling the beverages decreases or, in some cases, eliminates the compounds with medicinal properties.

Further research into the effects of coffee and tea on MRSA is needed.   Trails may be planned to see if consuming the beverages can stop the spread of MRSA in an afflicted patient or can eliminate the bacteria from the human body.

The Medical Community Chimes In

Some members of the medical community see an intriguing possibilities in the results of Matherson’s study.   Even if a direct impact cannot be made on MRSA, drinking coffee and tea cannot healthy people or those currently fighting the disease.

Other medical professionals contend that antibiotics also have the same antimicrobial characteristics of coffee and tea.  While these antibiotics have failed to stop MRSA, they cannot realistically see how these beverages can halt the spread of this dangerous disease.

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