Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Green Tea Shown to Fight Colds, Flu and Even Cancer

Various health benefits have been discovered in relation to drinking green tea and taking green tea extracts. These benefits include such things as decreasing the severity of cold and flu symptoms and decreasing the risk and growth of cancer. Green tea is made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis which is a type of evergreen. Green tea has many active ingredients including polyphnolic compounds known as catechins which act as antioxidants. A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition looked at the effect of green tea on health during the flu season. The study followed 118 healthy adults for three months during flu season; the participants ingested a capsule twice per day. The capsule was either decaffeinated green tea extract, which contained a standardized amount of the two immune-activating plant components found in green tea - L-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG); or a placebo. The green tea group when compared with the placebo group experienced 32.1% fewer cold and flu symptoms. The green tea group reported 22.9% fewer illnesses which lasted two or more days. Of the green tea group that did experience illness only 5.7% of them became ill enough that they sought medical care, in comparison to 12.7% in the placebo group. Other studies have also shown that gargling with green tea can aid in the prevention of cold and flu. The Japanese study showed that the virus which causes the flu can become non-infectious by having 5 seconds of contact with green tea. In animal studies the antioxidants called catechins found in green tea have been shown to help inhibit cancer in three major ways. The first is by scavenging free radicals and possibly helping to repair any damage caused by the free radicals to the DNA. The second is by reducing the incidence and size of tumors. The third is by inhibiting tumor cell growth. Another study published in a recent issue of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology has shown that the antioxidant EGCG found in green tea is involved in slowing tumor growth by binding to a protein on tumor cells. The effect of EGCG on tumor cells appears to be most beneficial with lung, breast, and prostate cancers. Green tea is a very powerful natural food. As more studies are conducted more health benefits are found in relation to the active ingredients in green tea. Source - www.naturalnews.com

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