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Black Tea: Its Role in Prevention of diseases

About Dr Arif Sohail Sheikh

At the Epidemiological Congress 2001, a joint meeting of Canadian and American Scientific Societies, a new research paper on the health benefits of drinking black tea was presented. The paper recorded that of 1764 Saudi women studied, tea drinkers were 19% less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. The women who consumed black tea had total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels which were significantly lower than in non-tea drinkers. The most marked reduction in blood lipid levels was observed in women who consumed six or more cups of black tea per day. Studies confirm the critical role of antioxidants found abundantly in tea to prevent heart disease. Drinking tea can soak your brain in antioxidants thus slowing down brain decline. There is evidence that tea can cut the risk of strokes. Japanese researchers at Saitoma Cancer Center Research Institute have found that in heavy consumers of green tea, the cancer spread to lymph nodes was less frequent.

Green tea appears to improve prognosis and survival by suppressing the spread and growth of breast cancer. A little milk with tea actually boosts protection against breast cancer, but, too much abolishes the anti-cancer effects. So take a couple of teaspoons of milk in an eight ounce cup of tea. Tea also helps prevent tooth decay as it contains a solid dose of fluoride. Black tea helps to keep plaque from forming on your teeth. British researchers have found that female tea drinkers have stronger bones than non-tea drinkers. Tea also helps you to burn more calories and may stave off signs of aging.Tea is one of the healthiest beverages today due to its high content of antioxidants, called flavonoids. Antioxidants can protect us from the harmful effects of free radicals.

A free radical is an unstable substance which can disrupt and damage molecules in the body and have been implicated in the slow chain reaction of damage leading to heart disease, cancer and the aging process. The best known antioxidants are Vitamin C,E and beta - carotene found in fruits, vegetables, cereals and vegetable oils. The antioxidant capacity of tea depends on how long you brew it. Within five minutes of brewing, 85% of the antioxidant potential of tea was released and the other 15% after another five minutes.

One should not drink more than 10 cups of tea per day. If consumed in excess, tea produces undesirable effects.

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