Well. Color me surprised! I’ve long been learning about, and being surprised and amazed by, the astonishing healing powers of plants that exist in our natural world. Every day I take a moment to appreciate the wonder of a world that furnishes everything we need to stay healthy- without the need for pharmacies and chemists and expensive research projects! But now, to learn that the teas I drink for fun (and caffeine of course!) also have scientifically proven health benefits! WOW! And perhaps this explains why I’m so healthy… hmmm…
Here’s the article, which you can find in its raw form at http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/food/15396803-423/tea-does-wonders-for-many-chronic-illnesses.html
Tea does wonders for many chronic illnesses
Research has long shown the antioxidant properties and health benefits of tea, but new findings suggest it also may have significant preventative properties against chronic disease.
Findings were discussed at the recent Fifth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health in Washington, D.C.
“If there’s anything that can confidently be communicated to the public, it’s the ability of tea to be associated and demonstrated in the primary prevention of chronic disease,” says meeting chairman Jeffrey Blumberg, a professor in Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Boston.
One of those is osteoporosis. Green tea in particular may help reduce the risk for fractures and improve bone mass, suggests a study by researchers at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. “Osteoporosis is a non-curable disease and prevention is key,” says Chwan-Li “Leslie” Shen, associate professor of pathology.
In a six-month trial of 171 postmenopausal women with low bone mass, they improved bone formation when they consumed 500 mg of green tea polyphenol capsules a day, equivalent to four to six cups of tea, alone or in conjunction with tai chi exercises.
Green tea promoted bone remodeling within three months, and reduced oxidative stress damage, Shen says. “Bone loss can be slowed. You can slow the progression. You can delay the onset of osteoporosis.”
Among other preventative properties of tea reported were in the area of cardiovascular health. A small study of 19 people with hypertension and 19 without found that drinking just one cup of black tea before eating a high-fat meal supported healthy arterial function and prevented negative effects on blood pressure.
“Black tea may induce a protective effect by not only reducing blood pressure but also reducing the negative action of the fat load on the arteries,” says researcher Claudio Ferri of the University L’Aquila, Italy. Flavonoids, which induce dilation of the arteries, are the most important component in tea, he says. Drinking black tea could lead to a reduction in strokes, heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases, he adds.
Among other updated findings:
† Drinking green tea can help burn up to 100 calories a day, through increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation, found researchers at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
† Tea drinkers experienced better task performance and alertness in a placebo-controlled study by Unilever R&D, Vlaardingen, the Netherlands.
† Flavonoids in green and black tea can provide a probiotic effect in the lower gastrointestinal tract, found Alan Crozier, professor at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.
“Many people aren’t getting as many flavonoids as they need to,” Blumberg says. “Another way to get them is tea.”
Gannett News Service
Me again. A little PS, so to speak. International Symposium on Tea and Human Health! Who knew such a thing existed?!? I want to go to there!