Monday, January 19, 2015

Drinking lots of tea may do the body good!

A growing number of studies suggest that drinking tea imparts a lot of health benefits to the drinker.

Such potential benefits from tea include improved mental alertness, lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduced blood pressure, lower risk of breast, colon, lung, ovarian and prostate cancer, as well as possible protection again Type 2 diabetes and maybe even help with weight loss.

One substance in tea -the epigallo-catechin gallate (EGCG) - appears to be the main component that produces those health benefits. Other benefits also include reduction of psoriasis, prostate cancer and colon tumors (at least in animals). EGCG is now an ingredient in a growing number of foods, beverages and dietary supplements.

However, there is still so much debate on such tea health benefits. Where one study finds that tea boosts immune function, another shows no effect. Most of the research has been limited to animals. Scientists have yet to examine all the properties of green, black, oolong and white tea. They don't yet know if the variety of tea -- Darjeeling vs. jasmine green tea, for example -- could make a difference. Or what effect there may be from drinking tea straight or mixing it with milk, sugar, lemon or other spices. There isn't even agreement on whether a cup of tea means the barely four ounces you sip from fine china or the hefty 16 ounces in an oversize mug.

Tea has big possibilities, say observers. But there is still a long way to go before such health benefits are conclusively confirmed.

Still, almost all seem to agree that drinking tea is beneficial to drinkers.


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