Can green tea extract help prevent influenza virus?
Viral infections are a constant threat. Every year people get sick from the influenza virus.
In addition to eating healthy and being physically active, what else can you do?
How about using green tea.
Researchers in Japan tried to find additional resources and investigated if capsules with green
tea extract including catechins and theanine could be effective in preventing the flu (Matsumoto
K, et al, 2011).
This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 200 healthcare workers
conducted for 5 months.
The researchers found that the incidence of clinically defined influenza infection was
significantly lower in the catechin/theanine group.
Research has also shown that green tea extract lowers blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL
(the bad cholesterol), and inflammation (Nantz MP, et al 2009). These are all risk factors for
It is also important what green tea can do for the brain. Green tea may provide neuroprotection
and has been associated with a lower prevalence of cognitive impairment (Kuriyama S, et al
Kuriyama S, Hozawa A, Ohmori K, Shimazu T, Matsui T, Ebihara S, Awata S, Nagatomi R, Arai H,
Tsuji I. Green tea consumption and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study from the Tsurugaya
Project. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 83, No. 2, 355-361, February 2006.
Matsumoto K, Yamada H, Takuma N, Niino H, Sagesaka YM.
Effects of green tea catechins and theanine on preventing influenza infection among
healthcare workers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011
Nantz MP, Rowe CA, Bukowski JF, Percival SS. Standardized capsule of Camellia sinensis lowers
cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Nutrition. 2009
Feb; 25(2):147-54. Epub 2008 Oct 9.
BETTER GREEN TEA
Polyphenols (catechins) are the active ingredients in green tea providing a variety of benefits.
Green tea extract has been documented to lower blood pressure, reduce total cholesterol and LDL (the bad cholesterol), reduce serum amyloid-alpha (a marker of chronic inflammation) and reduce malondialdehyde (a marker of oxidative stress) (Nantz MP, et al. 2009). These are all cardiovascular risk factors and they were reduced in only 3 weeks.
Green tea may provide neuroprotection and has been associated with a lower prevalence of cognitive impairment.
A study including 41,761 participants found that green tea consumption was associated with a reduced risk of liver cancer.
Green tea polyphenols have been documented to reduce serum biomarkers in patients with prostate cancer.
Regular drinking of green tea has been associated with a slightly decreased risk of breast cancer (Shrubsole MJ, et al. 2008).
Green tea consumption was inversely associated with psychological distress in an assessment of 42,093 individuals. Consumption of 4 cups or more of green tea has been associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms.