Supplementation with L-Theanine and L-Cystine improves the protection offered by Flu shots for type A bird flu in particular nursing home residents

February 06, 2009

Doctors at the Department of Internal Medicine at Nagoya Kosein Hospital, in Nagoya Japan state that flu vaccines do not confer as much protection in the elderly because their immune systems are not up to par and therefore they do not create a sufficient level of antibodies to fight the flu viruses when inoculated. Also, because they lack adequate immune system protection due to under function of their immune system making them the most at risk for developing the flu and dying from its complications.     

Previous studies show that giving the amino acids L-Cystine and L Theanine to elderly mice improved the amount of flu specific antibodies they created when given a flu vaccine. To test the ability of the amino acids to improve immunity 32 nursing home residents were supplemented with both L-Theanine and L-Cystine and 33 were placed on inactive placebo all starting 14 days before immunization. The level of antibodies in the serum was tested before immunization and again 4 weeks after vaccination. If the patients were low in protein or hemoglobin the amino acids significantly improved the formation of antibodies to bird flu viruses. The study is published in the December 2008 issue of the journal Geriatrics and Gerontology International.