New study finds green tea extracts have anti-malarial effects in vitro

A European study done by a group of scientists in Italy confirmed on Tuesday that green tea extracts have a positive impact when used for treating malaria in vitro.

Previous studies, most notably from Plandai Biotechnology, Inc., found that green tea had some effect against malaria. The latest study supports these findings, showing that green tea extract is capable of battling malaria.

"A crude extract of green tea as well as two of its main constituents, epigallocatechin-3-gallate and epicatechin gallate, strongly inhibit Plasmodium falciparum growth in vitro," the study said. "Both these catechins are found to potentiate the antimalarial effects of artemisinin (a key malaria treatment) without interfering with the folate pathway."

Malaria is caused by a parasite inside the mosquito. The disease is spread by mosquitos who pass the parasite onto humans when they draw blood. Symptoms of malaria often include fever, chills and flu-like illness.

In 2010, there were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria worldwide and of these cases, 660,000 people died from the disease. Approximately 91 percent of malaria cases are reported to come from the African region.