Flu Season is Tea Time

Mon Jan 5, 2009 11:02am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

January is National Hot Tea Month, the Height of the Cold and Flu Season

NEW YORK, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- January is National Hot Tea Month and is also
the height of the dreaded "cold and flu season". The CDC estimates that there
will be more than 200,000 Americans affected by the cold and flu this year,
which leads to missing work, school and even social gatherings. So what can
one do to avoid the cold and flu?

The CDC strongly recommends an annual flu vaccine as the best way to reduce
the chances that you will get the flu. In addition, drinking hot tea may also
help you stay healthy during the cold and flu season.

Published research from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University
indicates that theanine, an ingredient found naturally in tea, supports the
immune system. A cup of tea contains an average of 20-25 mg of theanine.
Drinking tea throughout the day may strengthen the immune system which is
something important to do during the cold and flu season.

Drinking five cups of Black Tea a day for two to four weeks boosted the body's
immune defense system by four times, according to the results of a human
clinical trial. According to this study, the data suggests that drinking Black
Tea boost's the body's natural resistance to infection.(1)

Tea also contains flavonoids, which are naturally occurring compounds known
for their antioxidant properties.  Antioxidants work to neutralize free
radicals, which scientists believe damage elements in the body, such as
genetic material and lipids, and contribute to many chronic diseases.

The CDC states that healthy adults have a 30% chance of contracting the flu
even with an annual flu vaccination, and the vaccine may be somewhat less
effective for children and the elderly. And while drinking tea may not keep
you from getting sick this season, it can help your odds of staying healthy.

So why not do something good for your body while having a hot beverage ...
help stay healthy this cold and flu season and drink your tea every day!  For
more information about the role of tea in a healthy diet and lifestyle, please
visit www.TeaUSA.org.

(1) Kamath AB, Wang L, Das H, Li L, Reinhold VN, Bukowski JF. Antigens in
tea-beverage prime human Vgamma 2Vdelta 2 T cells in vitro and in vivo for
memory and nonmemory antibacterial cytokine responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S
A. 2003 May 13;100(10):6009-14. Epub 2003 Apr 28.

    CONTACT:  Jennifer Krosche / Melissa McAllister
              Pollock Communications, Inc.
              646-277-8720 / 646-277-8711
              jkrosche@pollock-pr.com / mmcallister@pollock-pr.com


SOURCE  The Tea Council of the USA, Inc.

Jennifer Krosche, +1-646-277-8720, jkrosche@pollock-pr.com, or Melissa
McAllister, +1-646-277-8711, mmcallister@pollock-pr.com, both of Pollock
Communications, Inc.
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