Studies Show Drinking Tea Fights Cancer

    Posted before Dec-31-2007

Here is great news for all aficionados of tea. Several researches conducted in recent times have demonstrated that drinking tea helps in diminishing the hazards of some varieties of cancer among the humans. In earlier days, people were of the opinion that drinking tea was advantageous for treating cardio-vascular problems, but now there is increasing proof of the fact that tea possesses properties to combat cancer cells too. Several new studies have identified the presence of antioxidants in the green, black, oolong (partly fermented Chinese tea) as well as the real tea for the cancer-fighting properties of this beverage. It may be noted here that all these teas originate from the plant called camellia sinensis and are tremendous sources of polyphenols or plant elements known as phytochemicals.

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It may be mentioned here that the real tea is rich in flavonoids, potent antioxidants, that have been greatly publicized as the essential staple diet of the Okinawan people living in Japan, who are also known as the healthiest people on the planet. Here it may be noted that the herbal tea and the real tea are different. The herbal tea is obtained from various plant sources and do not possess any antioxidant property of the flavonoids present in the real tea. It is important to bear in mind that the antioxidants are essential for the body as they help in safeguarding the body from diseases caused by the detrimental consequences of the free radicals occurring in the body. These free radicals are wandering, but extremely rash elements that build up in the body as by-products or offshoots of metabolism (a series of processes by which food is transformed into energy and other products required to continue with life). In addition, the free radicals harm the cells surrounding an organ through oxidation and if they are allowed to go unrestrained they may even harm cellular DNA and may lead to cancer.

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Vitamins C and E as well as beta-carotene are effective antioxidants and function as free radical foragers. Nonetheless, recent research reports published by the National Foundation of Cancer Research as well as the University of Kansas have asserted that the green tea is at least 100 times more powerful than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E while protecting the cells from harm owing to cancer, heart ailment and other illnesses. These researches have suggested that even black tea comprises an equal proportion of phytochemicals present in the green tea.

It may, however, be mentioned here that presently most of the information that are advocating the anti-cancer benefits of tea have been drawn from animal studies where the animals were administered polyphenols corresponding to the quantity taken by habitual tea drinkers. These studies have demonstrated strong evidence of tea acting as a valuable remedy to thwart cancers of the oral cavity, stomach and the colon. On the other hand, few animal studies conducted with tea have even suggested that the beverage may be useful in reducing the hazards of lung and skin cancers. Although studies carried on humans have been less reliable, they still recommend anti-cancer properties of tea. So folks, leave all your worries behind and you may now drink tea to protect your health.

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Health benefits of oolong tea

Oolong tea offers several health benefits, including lessening persistent health conditions like high levels of cholesterol, heart diseases as well as inflammatory ailments. At the same time, drinking this tea provides our body the essential antioxidants, which support better bone structures, excellent dental health and lively skin. In addition, oolong tea is aromatic having a fruit-like taste and a pleasing scent. Although it contains caffeine, oolong tea is useful in relaxing the body and the mind.

As oolong tea is a blend of green and black teas, this beverage offer us the attributes of both teas, thereby increasing the health benefits almost two-folds. The Tea Association of the United States describes oolong tea as a beverage that is somewhat between black and green teas, because the leaves of this plant are oxidized just partially. While several types of teas are available across the globe, oolong tea may possibly offer us the maximum health benefits.

It is believed that oolong tea originated nearly four centuries ago, when it was extensively used by people in China. Precisely speaking, oolong tea is a partially green tea that is fermented. However, the process involved in its fermentation is stopped the moment the color of the tea leaves begins to change.

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Nutritional value of oolong tea

All varieties of teas are a gift from the nature and contain high levels of antioxidants. In addition, teas also enclose the essential vitamins as well as minerals like copper, calcium, manganese, potassium and the trace element selenium. They contain several vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. Moreover, tea contains niacin amide, folic acid and various different alkaloids that help to detoxify our body. Specially, oolong tea is developed by means of fermenting the leaves partially. This type of semi-fermented processing helps oolong tea to retain several polyphenolic compounds, thereby enhancing its important health benefits greatly. Apart from this, oolong tea encloses caffeine as well as theobromine and theophylline, which resemble caffeine and when consumed, help to invigorate our nervous system.

Some of the health benefits offered by oolong tea are discussed in brief below.

Oolong tea contains a polyphenol compound that is extremely effectual in regulating fat metabolism in our body. It works to activate specific enzymes and in this way augments the functioning of the fat cells present in our body. People generally believe that consuming oolong tea every day helps to lose weight. Although further extensive researches are necessary on humans to corroborate this claim, findings of preliminary studies have shown enough promise.

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In an animal study with oolong tea, mice were administered polyphenols along with a diet rich in fat and sugar content. Despite the high sugar and fat diet, in general it was found that the mice lost some body weight and there was also a decline in the fat index. In fact, findings of a number of studies undertaken earlier revealed that the caffeine contained by oolong tea was the primary reason behind its weight loss action. However, now it seems that the weight loss due to consumption of oolong tea is attributed to the polyphenols contained by it.

In addition to weight loss, it has been found that the polyphenolic chemical present in oolong tea also helps to get rid of the harmful free radicals in the body. This polyphenolic compound works in the form of an antioxidant and invigorates the action of the other different free radical compounds in our body. Hence, daily consumption of oolong tea may help us to avoid the probable damage often caused by these free radicals to our body, for example atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, diabetes, stroke and even neuro-degeneration. In fact, all antioxidant attributes of any food or beverage are beneficial. Having said this, polyphenols present in oolong tea are especially potent antioxidants.

Scientific experiments have shown that drinking a minimum of three cups of oolong tea daily may prove to be beneficial for patients who have been found to be suffering from eczema. In fact, the positive actions of drinking oolong tea were observed within a week of consuming it in people suffering from this condition. They experienced amazing improvement in their skin condition. While the active means of working of oolong tea has not been identified precisely, several people are of the view that the polyphenol compounds found in this tea also function in the form of anti-allergic compounds. As a result of this, drinking oolong tea provides relief from persistent skin disorders, such as atopic dermatitis, as well as irritation. A study conducted in 2001 showed that 54 per cent of the subjects suffering from skin problems experienced positive as well as enduring results after drinking oolong tea regularly for six months.

Oolong tea contains valuable antioxidants that provide us with several health benefits, including making the bone structure stronger, protecting against tooth decay, avoiding osteoporosis and also supporting the normal as well as healthy growth of our body. Several scientific researchers have examined the long-term benefits of consuming this tea, especially for our BMD (bone mineral density). It has been found that individuals who regularly drink oolong tea or black tea for a period of over 10 years had very little chances of losing their BMD during this period of time. It is believed that a number of elements present in this tea work to encourage the body to retain the valuable minerals that we obtain from various ingested foods.

The herbal brew oolong tea is used to treat type-2 diabetes and also in the form of a supplementary drug to treat this condition. Oolong tea helps to control the blood sugar levels as well as insulin in the bloodstream at any particular time. This helps to avoid the dips as well as spikes in the patient's blood sugar levels, thereby preventing any disaster. A study undertaken in 2003 demonstrated that when oolong tea is used in conjunction with standard hyperglycemic medications, it further helps to keep the blood sugar levels balanced and, thereby put off any abrupt drop in nearly all the subjects participating in the study.

We are all aware of the fact that people who drink tea regularly have a lesser chance of developing skin cancer. In addition to this, polyphenol compounds present in oolong tea encourages apoptosis (programmed cell death) related to carcinogenic growths in our stomach. A polyphenolic extract also works in the form of a chemo-preventive means against the growth of other forms of cancer cells. These natural chemicals suppress the cancerous cells from being activated; thereby thwarting the development of N-nitroso chemicals and, at the same time, shut in the genotoxic agents even before they are activated.

During a comprehensive study undertaken by scientists at Japan's Osaka Institute for Health Care Science, it was found that the stress levels of mice that were given oolong tea demonstrated a notable improvement - about 10 per cent to 18 per cent. Oolong tea contains natural polyphenol compounds and the scientists concluded that these were responsible for lowering stress in the mice. In addition, the leaves of this herb also contain L-theanine, which is basically an amino acid that thwarts the glutamate receptors from uptaking L-glutamic acid in the brain. Generally, this would result in the excitement of cortical neuron causing enhanced cognitive actions as well as neural stress responses. As L-theanine attaches itself to these sites, such excitation does not take place. Moreover, the stress lessens and you will be further able to rest your mind.

Apart from those discussed above, oolong tea offers several other health benefits, including alertness and enhanced performance of the brain. Drinking oolong tea, which contains substantial levels of caffeine, on a regular basis will possibly aid in enhancing your mental performance and also help you to remain alert all through the day.

All these vital health benefits notwithstanding, you should always bear in mind that oolong tea has a tendency to be very rich in caffeine and this is something that cannot be ascribed that the most healthy element of this otherwise useful beverage. Caffeine has the aptitude to cure different individuals in different ways. However, too much caffeine intake may result in a number of adverse effects, such as anxiety, headaches, confusion, insomnia (sleeplessness), heartburn, diarrhea and even abnormal heart beats. Ingestion of excessive caffeine may also worsen some of the more serious health conditions like anxiety, heart ailments, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Another bad impact of drinking excessive oolong tea is that it may drain the calcium reserves in your body. It is important to note that people suffering from osteoporosis may experience bone degradation if they drink too much oolong tea. This is despite the fact that the different elements contained by oolong tea are actually beneficial for people with osteoporosis. Therefore, it is advisable that people with osteoporosis should preferably use oolong tea in the form of a preventive measure and not as a remedy for their condition.

Precisely speaking, it is advisable that you should consume many cups of oolong tea daily, as it is one of the most excellent types of teas available anywhere. It is not only healthy, but also very delicious and helps you to unwind your body and mind. All said and done, you should also be careful about the high levels of caffeine contained by oolong tea. As caffeine is a very potent compound, you need to keep an eye on how your body is responding to this modification in your diet. It is always the same when you start taking any new food or nutritional substance, including supplements.

Health benefits of black tea

Both oolong tea and black tea are prepared from the same plant called Camellia sinensis. In fact, even green tea is obtained from this plant. Black tea is a sort of tea which has undergone maximum oxidation and among all other teas, retains maximum flavour. Nevertheless, people usually do not give much importance to the health benefits offered by black tea. Very often people wonder how a tea can be beneficial for our health if it contains too much caffeine. Although tea does contain caffeine, the percentage of caffeine present in tea is less compared to that contained by coffee. As the amount of caffeine in tea is not much, it helps to improve blood circulation to the brain, but does not invigorate the heart too much. In addition, the amount of caffeine contained by tea is also useful for improving our mental concentration as well as focus.

Findings of a study carried in the 2009 edition of the journal of hypertension indicate that consuming black tea is conducive for the heart's health. This study was undertaken on 19 hale and hearty men and it showed that consumption of black tea for an extended period of time assists in enhancing the reactivity of the blood vessels. At the same time, it also lessens the rigidity of the arteries and lowers blood pressure. All these actions help to improve the heart's health, thereby keeping us healthier.

The findings of a recent study undertaken by scientists at the University College London (UCL) state that drinking one just one cup of black tea every day helps to neutralize the daily stress in our life. During the research it was found that cortisol (stress related hormone) in the bloodstream of the subjects of this research who consumed black tea as many as four times for a period of six weeks was lower even after they participated in an event. Therefore, the components of black tea are considered to influence the hormones that are responsible for stress in our body. Nevertheless, scientists are still to determine the precise elements of black tea that are responsible for the de-stressing as well as unwinding effects of this beverage.

It has been found that compared to any other vegetable or fruit, black tea encloses over ten times antioxidants. Black tea also contains high levels of polyphenols, vital antioxidants which eliminate the detrimental free radicals formed in the body during metabolism. These free radicals actually damage the healthy cells and can also be responsible for blood clot formation, atherosclerosis and even development of cancer. Therefore, the antioxidants present in the teas aid in protecting the cells of our body from harm.

It has also been found that black tea consumption helps to provide relief from diarrhea and, at the same time, keep our digestive system healthy. This is primarily because black tea contains tannins. In fact, tannins present in black tea help to lessen the activity of the intestines and they have an anti-diarrheal action on our digestive tract. This, in turn, assists in providing relief from the symptoms related to diarrhea, including pain. If you are suffering from diarrhea and want to cure it, you are advised to drink unsweetened black tea that has been infused for no less than 15 minutes.

People often ask if there is any relation between drinking black tea and weight loss. It does appear that there exists some association between the two. In fact, drinking tea speeds up the process of weight loss, as it boosts the pace of metabolism in our body. In addition to accelerating weight loss, tea also prevents carbohydrates from causing fat deposits.

As tea encloses some amount of caffeine, it is harmful for pregnant women. The metabolic process of a developing fetus is not able to deal with caffeine. Nevertheless, most physicians are of the view that drinking just one cup of black tea daily in a restrained way is not detrimental for the health of pregnant women. However, to remain safe, it is advised that pregnant women should only drink restricted amount of tea. What is important is that they should essentially check with their gynaecologist before drinking tea during pregnancy.

Black tea is also beneficial for your hair. If you rinse your hair with it, it makes the hair darker and glossy. People who desire to add shine to their hair usually brew black tea and use two cups of it to rinse their dampened hair after shampooing. In fact, rinsing your hair with black tea also aids in hair growth, making it bulkier. At the same time, it is useful for preventing hair fall.

Black tea also possesses excellent astringent properties. In order to obtain the benefits of this attribute of black tea, you need to brew some black tea and splatter it warm on your face. It will produce a wonderful result. In addition, tea will also prove to be beneficial for people who are suffering from acne - on their face or body. You may also apply black tea in right proportions onto the skin to treat eruption of pimples. What you need to do is simply take some hot water and infuse a black tea bag in it. When it becomes cool, apply it on the blotches for about 10 minutes. Subsequently, take the bag away and allow the tea to remain on the blemishes. Do not rinse the tea and you will be surprised to find that your blemishes are healed.

Scientists in Berlin have said that when you add milk to black it, it diminishes the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vasodilating (expanding the passages of the blood vessels) actions of the tea. Hence, if you intend to obtain the utmost benefits offered by black tea, you should preferably drink it without adding milk. Remember, your cup of tea should be black and not creamy! In addition, it is advisable that after you come to learn the health benefits of any food or beverage, you should never use it in excess. Always exercise caution and use them in moderation. This is vital to obtain the maximum benefits from such foods and beverages.

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