The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Green tea capsules to treat cold and flu symptoms

    Researchers from the University of Florida at Gainesville report it’s a safe and effective dietary supplement to reduce your risk of cold and flu symptoms.

    And there’s more.

    First, the details.

    • Healthy adults were randomly assigned to take Camellia sinensis (green tea) capsules or a placebo twice a day for 3 months.
    • The volunteers kept a daily log of cold and flu symptoms including fever, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, headache, diarrhea, and nausea.
    • Neither the adults nor the researchers knew which treatment they were given.

    And, the results.

    Among subjects taking the green tea capsules?

    • 32% fewer people with symptoms
    • 23% fewer overall illnesses of at least 2 days duration
    • 36% fewer days with symptom
    • These differences were significant compared to those taking placebo.
    • Also, gamma-delta T cells from those taking the green tea extract increased 28%.
    • And they secreted 26% more gamma interferon compared to the gamma-delta T cells from the volunteers taking placebo.
    • Again, significant differences.

    The bottom line?
    In addition to symptom control, this product might help gamma delta T cells generate a primary immune response to certain microorganisms.

    Dr. Melissa McCarty from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington says that in addition to all the other recommendations, “you might also consider drinking a lot of green tea — or supplementing with a green tea extract, such as the one used in this study.”

    12/5/07 20:47 JR

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