3rd October, 2006

Switching Coffee to Green Tea, a coffee lover’s view:

Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, other than water. Over 6.6 billion pounds of tea are produced each year. Protective antioxidant substance in green tea called polyphenols, especially flavonoids such as catechins, that may help reduce the risk of some of the most common chronic diseases.

A study was published two weeks ago in The Journal of the American Medical Association, suggesting green tea consumption was associated with a reduced mortality due to all causes except cancer. Interestingly, the effects of tea on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease were not caused only by changes in traditional risk factors such as cholesterol levels or blood pressure. The polyphenols in green tea appear to have powerful antioxidant properties and are scavengers for free radicals that otherwise could damage your cells. These polyphenols may directly and beneficially affect coronary artery blockages (atherosclerosis), dilate your arteries, and also help reduce the formation of blood clots. Green tea also has significant anti-inflammatory effects. Black tea and oolong teas were not found to be quite as protective as green tea. Some (but not all) studies with varying degrees of rigor suggest that drinking tea may reduce the risk of early-stage breast, prostate, ovarian and lung cancer.

In one study, green-tea extract was found to stimulate prostate cancer cell death. The evidence was strong enough to interest the National Cancer Institute in conducting a phase II study of green-tea extract in men with metastatic prostate cancer, which is now in progress. Other studies indicate that certain catechins in tea may reduce your risk of skin cancer. Animal studies have tended to show more value of tea in preventing cancers than in human studies, perhaps because of the differences in diet, environment and genetics in humans.

According to a recent study in the International Journal of Cardiology. The total concentration of the protective catechins in the blood after drinking green tea is three times higher than after drinking black tea. Still, while green tea is best, all teas have been shown to have health benefits. While not all studies have proven the health benefits of tea, the preponderance of studies show that tea may have significant health benefits. Clearly, more research needs to be done. However, the potential benefits of tea are so great, the side-effects relatively small (primarily, the effects of drinking caffeine), and the costs so low, I decided not to wait for more conclusive studies to be conducted. Coffee does not have the health benefits of tea. So, about 10 years ago, I switched. Real men do drink tea, buddy. So do real women. Healthy ones.

To view the original article online, please follow this link

Newsweek Web Exclusive, “Touting Tea”, Newsweek, 3rd, Oct 2006,

10th May, 2006

Food labelling for green tea:

A Petition, led by the Ito En Inc (North America), to allow tea labels to make claims that drinking green tea reduces the risk of heart disease was rejected by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States. FDA concluded there is no credible evidence to support qualified health claims for green tea or green tea extract and a reduction of a number of risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease after reviewing 105 articles and other publications submitted as part of the petition.

Nonetheless, the belief that drinking green tea confers health benefits has driven its popularity over the last decade, the Tea Association of the United States has said.
Editor’s note:  On the same page a poll was run with the title “Will you change your tea drinking habits?” 70% of the votes were for “No, I like drinking it anyway.”

For the full article, please follow this link

Associated Press, “FDA rejects green tea health claims”, 10, May, 2006