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Tea May Reduce Risk of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

Catechins are flavanols found in tea leaves that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to a new review of existing clinical trials, drinking tea catechins or gargling tea may help protect against upper respiratory infection and the flu.

For their study, researchers from the University of Shizuoka used data from 6 randomized controlled trials and 4 prospective cohort studies. The studies included 6,634 participants who were monitored for consumption of tea catechins or instructed to gargle tea (not a common practice). All incidences of upper respiratory tract infection and flu were recorded.

The researchers found that consuming tea catechins was associated with a 32% reduction in the risk of upper tract infection and flu. Gargling tea was associated with a 17% reduction.

The study was published online ahead of print on September 22, 2021 in the European Journal of Nutrition.

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