Tea and coffee consumption and MRSA nasal carriage

E M Matheson et al, (2011)
Annals of Family Medicine, Volume 9
July 10, 2011


Hot tea and coffee have been found to have antimicrobial properties. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the consumption of tea, coffee, or both is associated with less frequent nasal carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).


We performed a secondary analysis of data from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to investigate the relationship between the consumption of coffee, hot tea, cold tea, and soft drinks, and MRSA nasal carriage among the noninstitutionalized population of the United States.


An estimated 2.5 million persons (1.4% of the population) were MRSA nasal carriers. In an adjusted logistic regression analysis controlling for age, race, sex, poverty-income ratio, current health status, hospitalization in the past 12 months, and use of antibiotics in the past month, individuals who reported consuming hot tea were one-half as likely to have MRSA nasal carriage relative to individuals who drank no hot tea (odds ratio = 0.47; 95% confi dence interval, 0.31-0.71). Similarly, individuals who reported consuming coffee had about a one-half reduction in the risk of MRSA nasal carriage relative to individuals who drank no coffee (odds ratio = 0.47; 95% confi dence interval, 0.24-0.93).


Consumption of hot tea or coffee is associated with a lower likelihood of MRSA nasal carriage. Our findings raise the possibility of a promising new method to decrease MRSA nasal carriage that is safe, inexpensive, and easily accessible.


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