Tea and health

Since ancient times people were noticing the connection between tea and good health. This is reflected in ancient legends, the annals also mention the healing properties of tea. Equally important are the social aspects of tea drinking. Of course, these ancient discoveries were not supported by any scientific research. But for the past ten years there was found more and more evidence that the ancient discoveries are true.

Antioxidant properties
There appear more and more evidence on how important role in protecting our body from various diseases is for antioxidants. There is a hypothesis, that antioxidants can fight the harmful effect of free radicals, which are considered as the causes of such diseases as cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts and Alzheimer’s disease.

Free radicals are unstable molecules, which are formed in the body in the result of natural processes. But in addition, they can appear as a reaction to environmental pollution, excessive doses of UV radiation and under the influence of the tobacco smoke. They attack other molecules of the body, potentially leading to the damage to cells and cause a chain reaction as the formation of new free radicals.

The content of flavonoids in black and green tea
Black and green tea contain the same amount of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols - flavonoids and phenolic acids. However, their chemical structure is different - green tea contains more simple flavonoids, called catechins. In contrast, while preparation of the black tea, in the process of oxidation, these substances are becoming more complex - they are called theaflavins and thearubigins.
Tea flavonoids act as antioxidants in the body. Many studies have proved that the action of antioxidants is comparable to the consumption of fruits and vegetables. One of the studies determined that: three cups of tea a day, which are typical for Great Britain, have the same antioxidant effect as six apples. Another study determined that one or two cups of tea can eliminate the radicals in our bodies as much effectively, as five servings of vegetables or fruits, or 400 mg of vitamin C

Evidence of the fact that tea may prevent cancer
In Japan there was conducted a study, which determined a positive effect on health, while reducing the risk of cancer among those, who were regularly drinking tea. The effect was most visible, when the consumption of tea was equal to 10 cups a day or even more.

Many studies have shown that there is an inverse relation between green tea consumption and risk of stomach cancer. One of the studies has proven that green tea consumption reduces the risk of stomach cancer by 48% and risk of chronic gastritis by 51%.It is considered that flavonoids also reduce the risk of lung cancer. In one case the study showed the risk reduction by 50% for a man, who regularly drink at least one cup of tea a day.A recent study in Japan determined that regular green tea consumption (more than 3 cups a day) can prevent the breast cancer.

It should be noted that the results of each study are likely to be pharmaceutical and the further researches are necessary before publishing the results. At the present moment, more and more scientific materials are obtained, which are confirming the fact of the favorable effect of tea on health, but they still need a reliable proof- this is a vast field for further researchs. But  even now we can say that regular black and green tea consumption is agreed with the reccomendations of nutritionists and allows reducing the risk of various diseases, as well as maintaining good health.
Evidence that tea can help prevent diseases of the cardiovascular system.

Many studies show the relation of tea consumption to the prevention of heart diseases. One of the recent studies has confirmed that regular tea consumption (3 cups a day) reduces the risk of disease by 11%. On the basis of this fact in the US was conducted a study, which involved 1900 patients, who had a  heart attack. It was discovered that those patients, who were drinking more cups of tea (19 a week) before heart attacks, were dying by 44% more rarely within the next 3-4 years. Those, who were drinking  on the average 14 cups of tea a week, were dying by 28% more often.

Rheumatoid arthritis
It is considered that antioxidants, which are entering into composition of tea, help prevent arthritis. Recently in the USA there was conducted an experiment in mice. It was determined that in the group, who was drinking the water containing polyphenols of green teas, the risk of arthritis was reduced by half.

Tea and water content in the body.
It is determined that one third of all adults in Great Britain is short of body fluid, because they do not have time to compensate for natural fluid loss. Nutritionists recommend tea as one of the options to compensate for the required daily amount of fluid.

Tea and Oral health
Studies confirm that regular tea consumption reduces the risk of diseases of the teeth and gums.
The tea bush (Camellia Sinensis) absorbs fluorine from the soil and stores it later in the leaves. That’s why tea is so rich in fluorine. The large part of fluoride in England - 70% of the daily amount - people get exactly with tea. A recent study determined that tea can effectively deliver fluorine to the teeth and gums, where it could be potentially taken up, thus helping prevent dental diseases.

Other components contained in tea may also have a positive effect and prevent damage to the teeth. It is noted that tannins, which are entering into composition of tea, can slow down the formation of amylase, thus reducing the damage to the teeth. Also, many studies confirm that tannin helps dealing with the formation of dental plaque.
Tannin not only reduces dental plaque.  In combination with other substances contained in tea (catechin, caffeine, tocopherol), tannin may increase the acid resistance of tooth enamel. In combination with the fluorine the effect is even greater.

Tea and prevention of oral cancer
The first results, research data of the effect of tea on oral cancer, are promising. There was conducted an experiment - randomly was selected a group of patients, who were observed, and it was noted that the application of therapeutic mixtures of green and black teas may improve the general health.

Tea as the source of vitamins
Black and green teas are rich sources of kalium and magnesium. Tea also contains vitamins A, B1, B2 and B6. Kalium is necessary for maintenance of normal functioning of the vascular system, it provides the nervous and muscular functions, as well participates in an exchange of water at the cellular level. Magnesium is essential for the growth of bone tissue. Vitamin A improves the immune system, vitamin B is involved in the absorption of nutrients.

General things about the benefit of tea
- Tea is a rich source of antioxidants, which help dealing with free radicals - source of such diseases as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, heart diseases, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease.
- Tea is a great way daily to replenish the required amount of water in the body.
- Source of vitamins
- there is proved the benefit of tea for the prevention of oral diseases
- Tea without sugar or milk doesn’t contain any calories.

To find out more detailed scientific and medical data on the above-mentioned fact, please visit the website of UK Tea Council www.teacouncil.co.uk

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