Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Tea helps fight off infections

Drinking tea may prime the immune system to fight infections and even cancer, researchers have said.

The drink contains particular chemicals which are also present in some bacteria, tumour cells, parasites and fungi.

Because these are present in tea, the body is exposed to them so it can build up a defence against them if it comes up against them as part of a disease.

The chemicals are called alkylamine antigens.

US researchers looked at the effect of the antigens on gamma-delta T cells in the immune system, which act as a first line of defence against infection.

Source BBC News