Green tea supplements prevent flu better than vaccination
2011 November 22
Flu season is now in full swing and seasonal vaccinations are being pushed from every corner. Nonetheless, a recent clinical trial showed that green tea-based supplements reduced the risk of flu by 75%. This is far better than the 60% risk reduction recently reported in the Lancet for vaccinations. Given that green tea provides a host of other health benefits and none of the risks of injections, it would appear to be a far superior alternative to vaccination.
Green Tea: Natural Antiviral and Immune Enhancer
For many years it has been known that green tea polyphenols actively suppress many bacterial, fungal and viral species. On the virus front, green tea suppresses the adenovirus, Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex, HIV-1 and influenza viruses. EGCG, one of the main polyphenols in green tea, is mainly responsible for this suppression. Specifically, ECGC binds to the hemagglutinin of the influenza virus, which blocks it from attaching to (and infecting) target receptor cells. EGCG also alters the virus cell membrane, which further inhibits its ability to infect other cells. Another important component of green tea is the amino acid L-theanine, which has been shown to activate human gamma-delta-T lymphocytes to proliferate and make interferon-gamma, a potent antimicrobial cytokine. These lymphocytes are considered to be the body’s first line of defence against infection. Green tea therefore offers a two-pronged protection from the flu which vaccination simply cannot match. But for final proof, we need clinical trials.
Green Tea Lowers Flu Risk: Early Clinical Evidence
One early trial using green tea against the flu involved gargling three times daily with a weak solution of green tea (50 mg of catechins per cup, of which 60% was EGCG). The theory was that since the throat was a major infection site of influenza, gargling could stop the flu virus there. The theory was right: 1.3% of garglers contracted the flu vs. 10% of the control group. In another more sophisticated trial on 97 healthy adults, a proprietary blend of theanine and green tea polyphenols (apparently worth about 10 cups of green tea per day, but exact amounts were not disclosed) was used for three months during flu season. This trial was randomized, double-blind and placebo controlled. The supplement takers experienced 32% less illnesses and 35% fewer “symptom days.” However, participants were included in the statistical analysis even if their compliance (actually taking the green tea pills) was only 70%.
9 Super ways to stop ageing!
2011 November 12
Apart from being an excellent way to detoxify your body, drinking gallons of green tea can slow down the formation of wrinkles and dark circles. Green tea contains flavonoids that are known for their excellent anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic and enzyme altering activities. It acts as a natural antibiotic that helps in building immunity to keep minor ailments away.
Laugh out loud
Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormone, cortisol, and releases health enhancing hormones such as endorphins. Lack of stress equals lack of stress lines and wrinkles. The best ways to ensure your daily dose of laughter are to stock your library with joke books, subscribe to a funny website, download a Russell Peters video or simply enroll at a laughter club.
Get a fruit facial
But don’t head to the beauty parlour yet! Make your own mask with the fruit of your choice. You could smear some papaya puree on your face. The enzymes from the fruit, known as papain, exfoliate dry skin and reduce melanin accumulation. Or rub a chopped strawberry that is infused with ample beta-carotene and vitamin A to help in collagen regeneration.
Bite on a berry
Berries such as raspberry and cherry contain anthocyanins, a water soluble pigment, that protect us from many age monsters. Research has linked consumption of anthocyanins to prolonged good vision and improved blood circulation. Eating berries also retards the effect of ageing, particularly in the areas of memory loss and degrading motor skills.
W for Wrinkle, W for Water
There may be a list of gels that vow to help you get rid of that ugly wrinkle, but the simplest way to deal with this devil, lies in your own kitchen. Water helps in digestion, absorption, transport of nutrients and elimination of the body’s wastes. It detoxifies the body and improves skin’s turgidity to keep wrinkles at bay.