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Open AccessArticle

Prevention of Acute Upper Respiratory Infections by Consumption of Catechins in Healthcare Workers: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial

1
Department of Drug Evaluation and Informatics, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka 422-8526, Japan
2
White Cross Nursing Home, Tokyo 189-0021, Japan
3
Biological Science Research Laboratories, Kao Corporation, Tokyo 131-8501, Japan
4
Health Care Food Research Laboratories, Kao Corporation, Tokyo 131-8501, Japan
5
Personal Healthcare Research Laboratories, Kao Corporation, Tokyo 131-8501, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010004
Received: 5 November 2019 / Revised: 12 December 2019 / Accepted: 16 December 2019 / Published: 18 December 2019
Catechins, phytochemicals contained mainly in green tea, exhibit antiviral activity against various acute infectious diseases experimentally. Clinical evidence supporting these effects, however, is not conclusive. We performed a placebo-controlled, single-blind, randomized control trial to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of consumption of catechins-containing beverage for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). Two hundred and seventy healthcare workers were randomly allocated to high-catechin (three daily doses of 57 mg catechins and 100 mg xanthan gum), low-catechin (one daily dose of 57 mg catechins and 100 mg xanthan gum), or placebo (0 mg catechins and 100 mg xanthan gum) group. Subjects consumed a beverage with or without catechins for 12 weeks from December 2017 through February 2018. The primary endpoint was incidence of URTIs compared among groups using a time-to-event analysis. A total of 255 subjects were analyzed (placebo group n = 86, low-catechin group n = 85, high catechin group n = 84). The URTI incidence rate was 26.7% in the placebo group, 28.2% in the low-catechin group, and 13.1% in the high-catechin group (log rank test, p = 0.042). The hazard ratio (95% confidence interval (CI)) with reference to the placebo group was 1.09 (0.61–1.92) in the low-catechin group and 0.46 (0.23–0.95) in the high-catechin group. These findings suggest that catechins combined with xanthan gum protect against URTIs. View Full-Text
Keywords: acute upper respiratory infection; catechins; epigallocatechin gallate; influenza like illness; randomized controlled trial acute upper respiratory infection; catechins; epigallocatechin gallate; influenza like illness; randomized controlled trial
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Furushima, D.; Nishimura, T.; Takuma, N.; Iketani, R.; Mizuno, T.; Matsui, Y.; Yamaguchi, T.; Nakashima, Y.; Yamamoto, S.; Hibi, M.; Yamada, H. Prevention of Acute Upper Respiratory Infections by Consumption of Catechins in Healthcare Workers: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2020, 12, 4.

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