April 29, 2009

Expert: A healthy nose helps prevent flu

There is no vaccine to prevent swine flu disease, but a U.S. doctor says there are simple ways to help reduce risk of all infections including influenza.

Most flus enter our body through our noses, and the organ in our nose that is critical to fighting infection is the nasal cilia, Dr. Murray Grossan, author of Free Yourself from Sinus and Allergy Problems.

If you take care of your cilia, and take steps to enhance their ability to ward off infection, you can increase your immune response and reduce your susceptibility to swine flu.

Tea can boost the body's defense fivefold, Grossan says.

Dr. Jack Bukowski of Harvard University reported that five cups of tea per day increased the body's defenses against disease via L-theanine, which transforms into ethylamine in the liver, Grossan says.

Ethylamine is a molecule that primes the response of an immune blood cell, one of the T cells. These T cells, called gamma delta T cells, prompt the secretion of interferon, a key defense against infection, Grossan explains.

Tea is also high in antioxidants and actually stimulates cilia action, Grossan said.

Chicken soup also contains properties that are critical to cilia health, Grossan says.

There are also over-the-counter products used to protect the cilia topically that are usually employed by travelers on airplanes.

These gels coat the cilia, and prevent bacteria from penetrating to the nasal tissue, helping to prevent infection, he adds