Health Benefits of Black Tea

For a long time green tea has been believed to have beneficial health properties and it is now suggested that black tea may have many of the same tea health benefits.  Some constituents of black tea (theaflavins and thearubigins) mimic the action of insulin in the body.  Studies suggest that these developments may lead to the production of drugs or certain dietary interventions which can treat or delay the onset of age-related diseases.

Drinking Black Tea Helps Lower Stress

According to a new study by UCL (University College London) researchers, new scientific evidence shows that black tea has an effect on stress hormone levels in the body.  The study, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, found that people who drank tea were able to de-stress more quickly than those who drank a fake tea substitute.  Furthermore, the study participants who drank a black tea concoction four times a day for six weeks were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood after a stressful event, compared with a control group who drank the fake or placebo tea for the same period of time.  ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2006)

Black Tea Reduces the Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Black tea has been found to reduce the possible risk of ovarian cancer.  A study which was carried out with 414 subjects, found that women drinking two or more cups of black tea a day, had a 30% reduction in risk of ovarian cancer.

Commenting on this latest research, Dr Catherine Hood from the Tea Advisory Panel notes, "The findings are also supported by a Swedish study, where data has demonstrated that black tea could have a protective effect in ovarian cancer.  Each additional cup of tea was associated with an 18% lower risk of ovarian cancer, indicating that tea consumption may be associated with reduced risk of ovarian cancer in a dose-dependent manner."

Black Tea Reduces the Risk of Parkinson's Disease

Drinking black tea regularly could reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, concluded a study. 

Commenting on the study, Dr Ann Walker, a member of The Tea Advisory Panel (TAP) notes: "This was a large, prospective study, involving 63,257 Chinese men and women, aged 45 to 74, living in Singapore.  Those who drank more than 23 cups of black tea each month were 71 percent less likely to contract the disease.  In the past there seems to have been more of a focus by scientists reviewing the health benefits of green tea."

Three case-control studies in the US, Hong Kong and Singapore and a cohort study of male health professionals in the US have reported an inverse association between tea drinking and Parkinson's disease risk...

Dr. Walker continues:  "The authors of these previous four studies attributed the protective effect of tea, at least in part, to its caffeine content. In the current study, however, the beneficial effect of black tea did not appear to be influenced by caffeine intake, indicating that ingredients other than caffeine are responsible for black tea's protective effects.”

"A key difference between black tea and green tea lies in the types and amounts of flavonoids.  Green teas contain more of the simple flavonoids called catechins, but when black tea is made, the catechins undergo oxidation resulting in the generation of more complex varieties, called thearubigins and theaflavins."

In conclusion Dr. Walker notes:  "The underlying mechanisms for this protective effect of black tea on Parkinson's disease remains unclear until further research is done, but drinking even one cup of black tea per day could help to reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease."


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