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Every winter, many people become infected by influenza. This disease usually called by the short-form “flu” is caused by viruses. The influenza viruses are more likely to spread when the air is cold and dry. There are 4 types of influenza viruses. They are influenza A, B, C and D. Particularly in winter, type A and B are prone to become epidemic. However, we do not know which type of viruses will spread in a particular season. This is why we are not able to fully tackle with these viruses, even though vaccines are available for each of the types.

On top of it, decisively effective drugs have not been discovered yet. Therefore, unless you are vaccinated for the season’s hit virus, you will just have to wait until the influenza naturally goes away. Or, in a worse case, you will have to be hospitalized to receive more intensive medical care.

Considering such a situation of influenza, it is highly recommended to drink green tea to prevent the infection of influenza. It has been scientifically proven that the green tea has a high amount of catechin, and catechin has the ability to work against such viruses.  

In Shizuoka prefecture, Japan, some researches were conducted about the catechin contained in green tea, specifically about epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which occupies half of the catechin. The researches were carried out using cultivated cells, about the new influenza virus H1N1 that widely spread from 2009 to 2010. The results of the researches show that the infection by the influenza virus was suppressed by EGCG despite the fact that the concentration of EGCG was much lower than that of the element called amantadine which is used for the anti-influenza drug. This means EGCG, namely catechin, has a health benefit to fight against influenza viruses.

According to the researchers, catechin, specifically EGCG works directly on viruses to weaken their activity. Also EGCG is effective to slow down the reproduction of such viruses. Furthermore, the green tea contains vitamins A, C, E as well as catechin which are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants work well to prevent the oxidisation of the membrane and keep the membrane in a good condition. Because of these effects, you can improve your immune system against influenza. Green tea is effective when it is taken as a drink, but also effective when you use the tea to gargle to remove the viruses present at your throat.

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