Inhibitory potential of tea polyphenolics and influence of extraction time against Helicobacter pylori and lack of inhibition of beneficial lactic acid bacteria

J Med Food. 2011 Nov;14(11):1321-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.0237. Epub 2011 Jun 11.


Tea polyphenolics such as catechins are known to have the potential to inhibit many bacterial pathogens. Helicobacter pylori has been identified as an etiologic agent in the development of gastric ulcer, peptic ulcer, gastritis, and many other stomach-related diseases. In this study, we investigated the effect of 9 tea extracts--3 different brands representing 4 different processed types (white, green, oolong, and black)--on the inhibition of H. pylori. Extraction times of 2 and 5 minutes were compared. Most 5-minute extracts showed H. pylori inhibition, whereas 2-minute extracts only of Choice darjeeling black and Tazo white showed inhibition. No recovery was observed after the addition of 0.5 and 5 mM proline, indicating that tea polyphenols do not inhibit H. pylori by inhibition of proline oxidation via proline dehydrogenase. Extracts that showed inhibition were further evaluated for their effect on beneficial lactic acid bacteria. None of the samples showed inhibition, suggesting that tea might be able to inhibit H. pylori without affecting the beneficial lactic acid bacteria. High-performance liquid chromatography indicated the presence of gallic acid, quercetin, caffeine, and tea catechins (including catechin, epicatechin, and epigallocatechin) in all the tea samples. Our study indicates that tea can be potentially used as a low-cost dietary support to combat H. pylori-linked gastric diseases without affecting the beneficial intestinal bacteria.

MeSH terms

  • Caffeine / analysis
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives
  • Catechin / analysis
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Gallic Acid / analysis
  • Gallic Acid / pharmacology
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects*
  • Helicobacter pylori / growth & development
  • Lactobacillus / drug effects*
  • Lactobacillus / growth & development
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Proline / metabolism
  • Proline Oxidase / metabolism
  • Quercetin / analysis
  • Quercetin / pharmacology
  • Tea / chemistry*
  • Time Factors


  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea
  • Caffeine
  • Gallic Acid
  • Catechin
  • Proline
  • Quercetin
  • Proline Oxidase
  • gallocatechol