http://www.flickr.com/photos/maureendidde/5398613149/I’m always delighted to discover new research that supports the health benefits of green tea.  Dr. Emile Ho from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University recently published encouraging research findings in Immunology Letters, a professional journal.  It has been previously noted that one of the beneficial compounds found in green tea, EGCG, has the ability to increase the number of regulatory T cells that play a role in the immune function by suppressing the auto-immune response of the body.

The immune system performs a delicate balancing act, attacking unwanted invaders without damaging normal cells.  In auto-immune diseases, however, which can range from simple allergies to juvenile diabetes or even terminal conditions, the body ends up attacking itself.  Dr. Ho found that green tea can cause a higher production of regulatory T cells, which help to reduce the auto-immune response.

According to Dr Ho:

“EGCG may have health benefits through an epigenetic mechanism, meaning we aren’t changing the underlying DNA codes, but just influencing what gets expressed, what cells get turned on.  And we may be able to do this with a simple, whole-food approach.”

I do hope the FDA is listening.