A potful of evidence suggests that the antioxidants and polyphenols in tea help protect you from stroke and heart attack, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and cancers of the lung, mouth, breast, pancreas, prostate and skin. The essential oils found in the leaves even aid 1 by increasing the flow of digestive juices.
Now it turns out that tea, 2 chicken soup or echinacea, is what can give your body an extra 3 to help it battle infections.
Given 20 ounces of tea daily, non-tea drinkers were better able to fight 4 bacterial diseases, according to a study at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The researchers 5 L-theanine, an 6 found in black, green, oolong and pekoe teas--but not in 7 teas, which usually don't contain Camellia sinensis, the one true tea 8 .
When broken down by the liver, L-theanine becomes an antigen called ethylamine, 9 primes the response of gamma-delta T cells against a 10 of bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic 11 , and possibly tumors. (Ethylamine is also found in other plant-based foods, such as apples, mushrooms and wine.)
In the study, blood samples from new tea drinkers were 12 to E. coli, bacteria 13 food poisoning and ulcers. The 14 cells in the tea drinkers produced five times the interferon―an important element of the body's 15 system--than they had before tea was 16 . No change was noted in a 17 group of coffee drinkers.
“I don’tthink there’s a 18 to [drinking tea],” says co-author Jack F. Bukowski, M.D, of Harvard Medical School. While tea won’t 19 you or make you immune from illness, “people who do get sick will probably get a milder 20 ,” Bukowski says.
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