Tea” is the most common drink besides water. In ancient China, there is a long history of tea drinking. Ancient people think tea is the panacea for keeping you in good health, and the antidote for living longer. There are many descriptions of the health effects of tea in literature: It is recorded in “The Classic of Herbal Medicine” that tea tastes bitter, drinking tea is better for promoting thinking, reducing the sleepless and weight, brightening eyes; In the “Supplement to Compendium of Materia Medica” of Tang Dynasty, it also has the record that drinking tea can reduce weight and fat. The Poet Su Tung-po of Song Dynasty has a poem wrote: “Why you need the elixir from Wei Emperor, you just need to drink seven bowls of tea.” The medical doctor from Ming Dynasty Li Shi-zhen also promoted drinking more tea and less alcohol.
Modern scientific analysis has discovered that there are more than 450 chemicals with bioactivity, and 20 inorganic compounds, which have both nutritional values, drugs and effects of biochemical action.
Drinking tea is good for health and has anti-aging effect
Drinking tea is commonly seen as a health habit, in study, the peroxidation of the unsaturated fatty acid has a direct effect on the aging of the body. Antioxidants are needed to delay the process of aging. And it finds from the animal testing that the tea polyphenols, caffeine and Vitamin C has the effects to stop the lipid peroxidation and thus achieve the purpose of anti-aging.
Additionally, every 100 grams of tea contains 10 – 15 mg of fluorine, thus drinking tea can help preventing tooth decay. Tea also has the benefits of brightening and helping eyes: tea contains a large amount of carotenoid that can prevent cataract; vitamin C can prevent the pathological changes of the lens, as for vitamin B is the essential substance to protect the optic nerve and prevent keratitis.
Tea has different types of tea polyphenols
The four types of tea that common seen in the market include green tea, black tea, oolong tea and Pu-erh tea. Each tea has different types of tea polyphenols and different quantities. For example, green tea belongs to unfermented tea. The tea polyphenols are catechin, which belongs to the untreated state of tea polyphenols and is relatively provocative and may hurt the stomach. That why some people think drinking tea will hurt the stomach, it is mostly referring to green tea.
Black tea belongs to fermented tea. The tea polyphenols include theaflavin, red pigment; the oolong tea largely produced in Taiwan is the partially fermented tea, most of the tea polyphenols are red pigments; Pu-erh tea produced mostly in Yunnan, China, is a special black tea, which needs to be preserved in dry environment for several years before it’s done.
Tea polyphenols is an essential active substance for the quality of tea leaves, also the most crucial factor that promotes health. Currently, through the study of cells, observing the change and information delivering of the molecular gene, or animal testing, the four major benefits of tea polyphenols are supported by part of the scientific evidence. However, it must stress here that the following results are based on cell experiments or animal experience, not human trials.
4 Major Benefits of Tea Polyphenols from Animal and Cell experiments
- Prevent cancer
Including bread cancer, lung cancer, oral cancer, bladder cancer, esophageal cancer and other types of cancer, the epithelial cell factor (EGF) of the patients have shown excessive performance. The study finds that the tea polyphenols can inhibit its combination and the growth of cancer cell simultaneously.
Another study has also shown the tea polyphenols can reduce the amount of NO (nitric oxide) in the cell. NO is an important active substance that leads to the inflammation of cell, and also an accelerator for tumor. This is the commonly known mechanism that drinking tea can help with diminishing inflammation and annealing, which provides another clue about tea on preventing cancer.
- Reduce fact and lose weight
Tea and tea polyphenols can inhibit the formation of fatty acid synthase (FAS). FAS is the important ferment for the energy metabolism of the body. The animal testing has proved that tea can lower triglycerides, cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein, and reduce weight at the same time.
Special note here, some of the tea advertisement are too exaggerated to say that the tea can decompose the fat in the body, which is incorrect. The effect of tea has on weight losing in focused on inhibiting the formation of fat. Thus, the advertisements that descript tea as a knife to cut the fat – “Oil cut”, are inconsistent with scientific evidence.
Additionally, different types of tea have different effects on weight losing. Another research has to find that the Pu-erh tea works the best in inhibiting the formation of fat, followed by oolong tea and black tea. As the commonly advertised green tea, it has the least effects on preventing fat synthesizing.
- Protect brain cell
The brain might suffer from two diseases while aging: Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease, which are all because of the brain cell getting old and losing their original function.
For Alzheimer’s Disease, it is related to the accumulation of β-Amyloid Protein. The neurotoxicity caused by Aβ can be restrained by tea polyphenol, and prevent the brain from producing exceeded reactive oxygen species (ROS) that destroy brain cell. In this way, it protects the brain.
- Diabetes remission
According to the newest research, it finds tea can relieve diabetes, especially the type 2 diabetes.
In the record of tea culture, there is no literature about the tea or tea polyphenols used to cure diabetes. But because of the saying of “tea can help with diabetes remission” by word of mouth, the cell study was conducted. This creative research has discovered that tea can prevent the pathology of the defect in insulin transmission.
From several research findings mentioned above, it illustrated that there are many potentials for tea to promote health. However, there are too many sophisticated knowledge about tea, and more mechanisms needed to be studied further. Also, tea is a mild drink, which is different than the drug. To cure a disease cannot rely on drinking tea.
Lower adverse impact of the caffeine contained in tea
Modern people often drink tea and coffee, both of which contained caffeine that keeps you awake. However, fairly high doses of caffeine consuming can cause addition and may have some level of toxic effect on nervous system. It has measured that a cup of coffee contains 80 – 100 mg caffeine while a cup of tea contains only 30 – 75 mg caffeine.
The study also shows when people drink coffee, the speed of caffeine entering brain is faster. When people drink tea, the speed is slower. There is three main reasons: Firstly, the tea contains less caffeine; secondly, tea polyphones bind with the hydrogen bond to catch some of the caffeine, making it hard for them to enter the brain through the blood-brain barrier. Thus, it offsets some of the toxicity of caffeine.
Better drink fresh tea, not excessive amount
No matter you drink tea or coffee, you can benefit from the refreshing effects brought by caffeine. However, there are relatively more side effects associated with drinking coffee for a long time, including causing palpitations, gastroesophageal reflux, and side effects of too much caffeine entering the brain. Comparatively speaking, tea contains substance inhibits caffeine, it a well-balanced drink.
It is better not to drink tea with sugar, and also better to drink freshly brewed tea. Because the tea polyphenols will change according to the time of brewing. It will benefit to your health for drinking freshly brewed tea over a long period of time. Thus, health tea drinking should drink fresh and not consume excessive amount. In this way, it will not create the burden to your body’s health.
Catechin is not that “Magical”!
Why is catechin always used to do the advertisements of weight losing? Mainly because Japanese has a long history in research on the health effects of green tea. Catechin has already been commercialized. They sometimes promote catechins at international seminars. Over time, catechin has been deified. In fact, catechin is not that “Magical”. Actually, there are many different types of tea polyphenols, each of which has different effects on slimming fat, beauty treatment, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and benefiting brain. Black tea or oolong tea is not worse. Also the number of people drinks black tea accounts to 80% of the world population, green tea drinkers only account for 15%.
Q: Is there recommend dose for the amount of tea intake in a day? Will it have the same effect if drink canned tea?
A: The reasonable amount of tea intake varies. If the person’s stomach feel upset when he drinks tea, then he should drink a lot. As for the canned tea, it is less effective than freshly brewed tea, because the tea polyphenols will be settled during the processing and then be filtered. Moreover, the benefit of canned tea is because it can be preserved longer. However, tea polyphenols are not stable; it will change for sitting there too long. Besides, canned tea may contain some other additive. Even you can still taste the flavor of tea, but there are not many health benefits.