March 13/London/Daily Mail -- Green tea can help beat bad breath, according to scientific research.

The study found that antioxidants in the tea, called polyphenols, destroy a number of compounds in the mouth that can lead to bad breath, tooth decay and even mouth cancer.

The study from Israel’s Institute of Technology will add to green tea’s status as one of nature’s so-called “superfoods.”

It is already said to help prevent cancer and heart disease and lower cholesterol and even ward off Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Writing in the Archives of Oral Biology, the scientists called for more studies, adding, “All together, there is increasing interest in the health benefits of green tea in the field of oral health.”

Green tea, while made from the same plant as black tea, is processed in a different way; it retains less caffeine and more polyphenols.

It has been drunk in China and the Far East for thousands of years and is fast becoming popular in Britain, particularly because of its health benefits.

It is also more likely to be drunk without milk or sugar so it tends to contain fewer calories, too.

The study examined the properties of the polyphenol called epigallocatechin 3 gallate (EGCG) in particular.

It reported, “EGCG constitute the most interesting components in green tea leaves.

“Tea polyphenols possess antiviral properties, believed to help in protection from influenza.

“Additionally green tea polyphenols can abolish halitosis through modification of odorant sulphur components.

“Oral cavity, oxidative stress and inflammation consequent to cigarettes' deleterious compounds may be reduced in the presence of green tea polyphenols.”

 From the March 15, 2012, Prepared Foods' Daily News.