While it has been shown in the past that tea has antioxidant properties that can play a part in overall health, new findings suggest tea may also have important preventative effects against chronic disease. These discoveries were recently discussed at the Fifth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health in Washington, D.C.
Meeting chairman Jeffrey Blumberg, a professor at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Boston said “if there’s anything that can confidently be communicated to the public, it’s the ability of tea to be associated and demonstrated in the primary prevention of chronic disease.”
Researchers at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center have tested the effects of green tea as an aid to help reduce the risk for fractures and improve bone mass. “Osteoporosis is a non-curable disease and prevention is key,” said associate professor of pathology Chwan-Li “Leslie” Shen. Postmenopausal women with low bone mass improved bone formation when they consumed 500 mg of green tea polyphenol capsules a day – equivalent to 4 to 6 cups of tea, alone or along with tai chi exercises.
The health benefits of black tea are also being reported in studies. Researcher Claudio Ferri of the University L’Aquila, Italy believes drinking black tea may lead to a reduction in strokes, heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases. “Black tea may induce a protective effect by not only reducing blood pressure but also reducing the negative action of the fat load on the arteries.” One small study reported that drinking one cup of black tea prior to eating a high-fat meal aided in arterial function and stopped negative effects on blood pressure. In addition to these findings, Alan Crozier, professor at the University of Glasgow, Scotland reported that flavonoids found in black and green tea can provide a probiotic effect in the lower gastrointestinal tract. “Many people aren’t getting as many flavonoids as they need to. Another way to get them is tea,” said Blumberg……Chicago Sun Times 10/11/12