Can Hot Coffee or Tea Cut MRSA Risk?
Can drinking a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea reduce the likelihood of having MRSA bacteria lurking inside your nose? New research in the Annals of Family Medicine says these beverages have antimicrobial properties and drinking hot tea or coffee is associated with a lower risk of carrying MRSA bacteria within the nasal passages.
Nearly 2.5 million people have evidence of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) inside their noses. In the study, people who drank hot tea were 50% less likely to have MRSA in their nose, compared with people who did not drink hot tea. The same held for people who drank coffee vs. those who didn’t. Soft drinks and iced tea had no significant effect on nasal MRSA risk.
The more coffee or tea participants drank, the lower their risk for MRSA, says study author Eric Matheson, MD, an assistant professor of family medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
MRSA often causes illness when it comes into contact with an open skin wound. People with weakened immune systems are at higher than average risk of having an MRSA-related illness. Hospital-acquired MRSA accounts for many fatal MRSA infections, and these bugs tend to be resistant to many antibiotics.