The Tea in Immunity – Keeping Our Immune System Strong and Healthy

Everyday we come into contact with a myriad of illess and disease causing mic-
roorganisms, that want nothing more than to knock us off our feet, and use our
body as a host to increase their numbers.
And although some can be stopp-
ed by getting immunized, such as
a yearly flu shot or scheduled
shots at infancy (measles, chicken pox, tetanus,
etc.), there are still plenty of others out there wait-
ing to infect us.
That  means we need the pro-
tection of our immune system-
working to seek out and des-
troy the disease causing free-
loaders before they have a
chance to infect us.

But what can we do to main-
tain our immune system and
keep it running as strong as

possible?  One of the easiest ways is to drink plenty of tea.  Studies done with green tea
drinkers show they are far less likely than non-tea drinkers to be infected with an illness or
serious disease.
So how does tea work to strengthen the immune system?  From the
moment we are born our immune system goes to work to protect us.
Barriers are formed by the skin, mucous secretions (in the nose) and
stomach acid, protecting us against bacteria, viruses, fungi, or any of the
other microorganisms found floating in the air, or lying on everyday sur-
faces that we touch.  This is called innate immunity.

We also have a second defense in the form of adaptive immunity.  This
form of resistance is built up over the course of our lifetime.  Every

cold or
flu virus, bronchitis, sore throat, measles, or chicken pox, along with
immunizations received over the course of our life had a hand in building a
natural barrier against that illness, which in turn helped to increase our adaptive immunity.
Unfortunately as we age our immune system
slowly decreases in strength.  Also not eating
right or getting the proper nutrition, poor
sleep habits, high stress levels, and working
long hard hours over an extended period of
time, all contribute to a decline in the
strength of our immune system.

The good news is that we can boost it back
up to that of our younger years.  Drinking tea
is probably one of the easiest ways to re-
build and maintain our immune system back
to optimal levels.  Studies have shown that

green tea drinkers are far less likely to get ill
or stricken by disease.
One of the reasons tea is so effective is be-
cause of the high levels of antioxidants in the form
of polyphenols, vitamins, minerals, and compounds.

Tea contains a whole host of important vitamins and
minerals including vitamin C equal to the amount of one whole lemon in every cup, along with
vitamins B2, D, K, and carotenoids (fat soluble pigments).

Tea is also rich in minerals, containing calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper,
iron, and fluoride, to name just a few.

Some vitamins and minerals are found in trace amounts, while others are
found in significant amounts.  Also the ingredients vary between the less
processed green and white teas and the more heavily processed black,

semi-oxidized oolong teas.Recent studies have shown that

pu-erh teas are similar to green teas
with many of the same healing properties as well as some unique 
                                  benefits of its own.
Tea also contains high levels of the polyphenol EGCG, belonging to a group called catechins.
EGCG interacts in a unique way to counteract disease causing microorganisms, lessening their
ability to cause disease.

T-Cells and B-Cells
Specialized Microorganism Invaders

Our body produces large amounts of specialized white blood cells called lymphocytes, found in
bone marrow.  There are two kinds of lymphocytes produced:

  • B cells which go directly into the bloodstream, searching for microorganism invaders.  By
    producing antibodies the B cells work to neutralize potential infection causing
    microorganisms and any other foreign invaders they might find.


  • T cells travel directly to the thymus gland and develop into even more specialized type
    cells.  These special T cells kill germs outright, and also respond to cancerous cells they
    find within the body.  

Studies have shown that both EGCG and ECG found in tea helped bol-
ster and enhance B cell and T cell’s activity, along with boosting the
activity of other germ eating cells called macrophages, as well as activ-
ated white cells which are natural killer cells that search out and destroy
any invasive cells they find.

Also, studies from several Chinese hospitals have shown that green tea
polyphenols boost white blood cell counts.

Another natural immune system booster found in tea is L-theanine, which helps the immune
system fight off illnesses such as 
cold and influenza caused by viruses, bacterial infections,
and fungi.  The results of studies done, showed that the test volunteers who drank five cups
black tea a day had increased levels of interferon, a component of the immune system.
So by improving our diet, getting the proper amount of rest, getting a handle on stress and
any work-o-haulic tendencies, along with drinking three to five cups of tea a day, we can turn
back the clock on our declining immune system, giving it a nice boost and restoring it back to
that of our younger years, lessening the chances of catching a bug or being stricken with a
serious disease.

And if by chance you can’t or don’t wish to drink the recommended three to five cups of tea a
day, you can always take green tea extract, or EGCG or green tea supplements instead.