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There have been many studies conducted to determine the health benefits of green tea, many with positive results. Recent research has discovered that one of the compounds found in the tea has an ability to increase regulatory T cells which are instrumental in the suppression of autoimmune diseases and in boosting immune function.
Researchers claim that this is important because, although there are pharmaceutical drugs on the market that act in the same way, they can also have high levels of toxins in them. These findings suggest there could be a natural solution that could someday replace these medications.
"This appears to be a natural, plant-derived compound that can affect the number of regulatory T cells, and in the process improve immune function," said lead researcher Emily Ho. "When fully understood, this could provide an easy and safe way to help control autoimmune problems and address various diseases."
The compound, a polyphenol called EGCG, greatly increased the number of regulatory T cells found in the spleen and lymph nodes of mice and was found to boost the animals' immune response.