Polyphenols are antioxidant compounds found in plant foods that have myriad benefits for human health. As powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, they’re protective against just about every disease imaginable through a variety of mechanisms. We suggest supplementing with one of our quercetin formulas, Quercetin Pro or Cell Repair, to boost your polyphenol intake.
Another way to get more polyphenols into your life is to make a habit of drinking green or white tea. Both of these teas are made from the same Camellia sinensis leaves, but white tea has gone through less processing and retains more polyphenols. It also has less caffeine and more soothing theanine.
Camellia sinensis leaves contain four kinds of polyphenols called catechins, the most potent of which, where health benefits are concerned, is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
EGCG and quercetin possess many of the same abilities, including one that’s relevant to the COVID epidemic. We’ve written previously about quercetin’s ability to act as a “zinc ionophore,” meaning quercetin rapidly escorts zinc into cells.
The way a virus spreads through the body is by entering (infecting) cells. Once it commandeers the cell, the virus “replicates”—that is, it multiplies itself—and sends new viruses out to infect more cells.
But by ushering a rapid influx of zinc into our body cells, quercetin can inhibit a virus’ ability to enter the cells; if a virus does make it into a cell, zinc inhibits its replication. (It’s important to take zinc and quercetin at the first sign of a viral infection before replication gets out of hand.)
EGCG also acts as a zinc ionophore. And like quercetin, EGCG, and other tea catechins protect against a wide range of diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, inflammatory conditions like arthritis, dementia and age-related cognitive decline, autoimmune disease, and obesity. EGCG also has antibacterial and antifungal effects, while it increases beneficial bacteria in the gut.
How much tea should you drink to get its health benefits? Traditionally, the Japanese drank 3 cups a day for disease prevention, supplying about 300 mg of catechin polyphenols. This is approximately what you’d get from drinking 2 cups of our green or white tea.
A few more tips: Don't drink your tea too hot. Although our teas reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, drinking any very hot liquid can raise that risk.
Also, skip the milk—casein (milk protein) binds to, and apparently inactivates, EGCG and other catechins—and hold the lemon. Although our tea is very low in fluoride, all tea, even ours, has some fluoride in it. Fortunately, that fluoride is in a form that isn’t very bioavailable . . . unless you add lemon. Lemon reacts with fluoride, creating a form that goes right into the brain and destroys brain cells! And finally, don't ruin your tea with chlorinated water, which kills off precious antioxidants. Investing in a home water filtration system is the cheapest way to assure a steady supply of pure water.