DARJEELING TEA BENEFITS: TEA AND HEALTH
you are cold, tea will warm you. If you
are heated, it will cool you. If you are
depressed, it will cheer you. If you are
excited, it will calm you." - William
TEA: AN ANCIENT HEALTH BEVERAGE
Dating back to 2737 B.C., the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung seems to have discovered this remarkable health beverage. History stands tall that tea
has itself created a community of its own and enshrines itself as a beverage having miraculous medicinal value.
In daily verbal communication we erroneously express any warm or hot concoction of fruits or herbs as "tea", but in veracity, tea is an infusion brewed from the leaves of a discrete plant, 'Camellia sinensis', which does not bear any botanical relation to fruits or herbs.
According to scientific researches and with the help of the media people, the general public is now aware of the fact that tea is not a mere beverage, but a natural and refreshing health beverage. Recent research works have revealed that this ancient beverage can prevent everything from cavities to complex diseases such as cancer, heart attacks, neurological disorders etc.
- catechins, anti-oxidants branded to help lessen cholesterol and the risk of heart disease, slow down some cancers and aid in cell repair.
- B-complex vitamins
– is an alkaloid which stimulates the central nervous system, increases reaction time and the ability to concentrate.
prevent cavities and strengthen tooth enamel
stimulates enzyme production
regulates blood sugar levels
• other minerals present are calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium and zinc
- Tea has seven of the eight essential human amino acids present in it: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Tea also contains its own unique amino acid, 'theanine'. Theanine consists of one-half of all the amino acids that are found in tea. Amino acid is supposed to play a role in the biosynthesis of polyphenols. All of these amino acids augment the fragrance of tea and theanine also improves its flavour.
- These volatile oils manipulate the aroma and is responsible for the scent of tea.
1. CUP OF TEA A DAY CALLED HEALTHY FOR THE HEART
LONDON, Jul 09 (AP) - Drinking at least one cup of tea a day could cut the risk of heart attack by 44 percent, according to new research presented yesterday.
The study by Dr. Michael Gaziano, a heart specialist at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, shows that tea contains powerful amounts of flavonoids - vitamin-like nutrients that make blood cells less prone to clots, which can cause heart attacks.
Flavonoids also are one of the most powerful antioxidants, which offset the damaging effects of oxygen in the body, such as fatty deposits in the arteries. Scientists have recently become excited about the potential benefits of flavonoids, which number about 4,000 and are also found in fruits, vegetables and are famously connected to the heart-healthy effects of red wine.
While earlier studies have suggested that tea-drinking could be good for the heart, the latest findings, presented Thursday at a Royal Society of Medicine conference in London, are the most comprehensive and indicate the most dramatic effect.
Gaziano found that people who drank one or more cups of tea a day slashed their risk of heart attack by 44 percent, compared with those who did not drink tea.
"This is, in my view, quite an astonishing outcome," said Dr. Catherine Rice-Evans, an antioxidant researcher at King's College, London, who was not connected with the study. "These are very exciting results."
But the study did not compare the benefits of one cup versus two, three or four, and the question of how much tea to drink, and how strong it should be brewed for the greatest benefit is still open to debate.
John Folts, a University of Wisconsin heart specialist who studies the effects of flavonoids on the heart and was not involved in the study, said he thinks it would take more than one cup of tea a day. His studies on dogs have indicated that six cups of tea daily are needed to prevent a blood clot in the coronary artery.
Gaziano's study examined 340 men and women who had suffered heart attacks and matched them by age, sex and neighborhood with people who had never had a heart attack. It then investigated their coffee- and tea-drinking habits over the course of a year.
The study involved regular tea from black tea leaves, as opposed to green or herbal teas. Scientists say black tea contains more powerful flavonoids than green tea, while herbal teas are not known to contain any flavonoids.
Other studies have shown that it doesn't matter if milk, sugar or lemon are added to the tea. There also is no difference between drinking it hot or cold, or preparing it with loose tea leaves, tea bags or granulated crystals, said Dr. Paul Quinlan, a biochemist who heads the Brook Bond tea company's health research unit.
Few of the study subjects drank one beverage exclusively, so they were categorized by their strong preferences. The study was adjusted for factors that could have skewed the results, such as smoking, exercise, alcohol intake and family history of heart trouble. Total calories consumed, intake of fatty foods and body mass index - which compares the girth of people of different heights to determine obesity - was about the same across the board.
Scientists have not compared the flavonoid benefits of tea with those of red wine, made famous by research showing that the French, with red wine as a staple, have lower rates of heart disease despite their penchant for high-fat food. However, Quinlan warned that tea is only part of a regimen for cutting heart attack risk and should not be seen as a substitute for eating fruits and vegetables, giving up smoking, cutting fat intake or other heart-healthy habits.
The study, which was paid for by the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, also found that coffee had no effect on heart attacks, regardless of whether it was decaffeinated.
2. TEA HELPS HEARTS HEAL
|Excerpt by Kathleen Doheny, HealthScoutNews
(HealthScoutNews) -- Heavy tea drinkers -- whether they like it black, green, hot or cold -- are more likely to survive a heart attack than those who don't sip the healthy brew.
That's the finding of the latest study on a beverage that has been in the research limelight lately.
Scientists from Boston interviewed 1,900 people after their heart attacks, asking them to recall their consumption of caffeinated tea during the year before the attack.
"The more tea people drank, the lower the death rate," says lead author Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The findings appear in tomorrow's issue of Circulation.
Moderate tea consumption, defined in the study as two cups a week, was associated with a 28 percent lower death rate when compared to the death rate of non-drinkers.
Heavy tea drinkers, who averaged 19 cups a week, fared even better: They had a 44 percent lower death rate than non-drinkers during the four-year follow- up. The average age of the heavy drinkers was 63, while the moderate and non-drinkers' average age was 61.
The most recent study follows a report, published last month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in which Dutch researchers found people who drank more than three cups of black tea a day had half the risk of having a heart attack when compared to non-drinkers -- and a third the risk of dying from a heart attack if they did suffer one.
In the latest study, tea drinkers had a lower death rate after their heart attacks, Mukamal says, regardless of their gender, age, smoking status or whether they had high blood pressure, were obese or had had a previous heart attack. The researchers took into account green or black tea, drunk hot or cold, but not herbal tea, he says.
They are certain it was not the caffeine in the tea that made the difference because they evaluated caffeine consumption from other foods and drinks consumed by the people, but found no effect on death rates from heart attacks.
How does tea help?
Mukamal suspects the tea's flavonoids, powerful antioxidants, help improve the blood vessels' ability to relax. Flavonoids also prevent the so-called bad cholesterol, or "LDL," from oxidizing, which experts believe may promote hardening of the arteries. The substances may also keep blood from clotting too much.
"A study like ours alone is not enough to advise people to change their [dietary] habits," Mukamal says. However, he also says he would not discourage anyone from drinking tea.
"There are no downsides. There is very good evidence that asking people to drink tea improves their blood vessels' ability to function normally, including the ability to relax," he says.
Other studies have shown that poor blood vessel function is associated with a higher risk for having a subsequent heart attack, he adds.
"I think it's a terrific study," says Jeffrey Blumberg, a professor of nutrition and chief of the Antioxidants Research Lab at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston.
Already, he says, "we have a body of evidence saying people who drink tea are less likely to get heart disease." Mukamal's study suggests people who already have heart disease can reap tea's benefits, too.
"Adding tea to your diet is certainly not harmful," Blumberg says. "It's got no calories, and it's got all those flavonoids. And it can be a [healthier] substitute for other beverages that we know do not have those compounds -- such as coffee or soda."
However, he adds that heart patients shouldn't think they can sip tea and skip other aspects of their diet. "It's not a panacea," he says.
"With each study like this, I become a little more confident that the effects of tea are real," he says.
Interesting Tea and Health Articles:
Tea Fights Bad Breath, Mouth Bacteria
Tea Drinkers Reap Blood Pressure Benefits
Tea May Cut Ovarian Cancer Risk
Tea Can Reduce Cronic Liver Disease
Green Tea Extract to Help Leukaemia Patients
Green Tea May Fight HIV
Adding Milk to Tea inhibits health gains according to BBC
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