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Discover The Health Benefits of Tea

Did you know that we Brits drink a staggering 165m cups of tea between us single day and are you aware of the health benefits of tea?

Transcript of the Tea Advisory Panel Video

Well one group of people who are the Tea Advisory Panel, they’re a specialist group of Scientists, Doctors and Nutritionists, who meet regularly to talk about the health benefits of tea. Here’s a sum up of what they talked about at their last meeting….

Dr Carrie Ruxton, Independent Nutritionist, Tea Advisory Panel.
Today we’ve been looking at the anti-microbial effects of tea and what that means is that all of the bugs that we get exposed to, that cause colds and flus and infections, scientists have found that if you put these bugs into a test-tube and add tea polyphenols to them, that’s the anti-oxidant compounds of tea, you can reduce the effect of these bugs as an anti-microbial effect and this has actually been known for a very long time, as early as the early 1800s Mrs Beeton was advising that we put tea on sties and an army surgeon in the early 1900s was suggesting that soldiers have tea in their water bottles to fight against Typhoid, so a very interesting historical context.

Dr Catherine Hood, General Practitioner, Tea Advisory Panel.
What a lot of people don’t realise is that tea can have anti-bacterial properties in the mouth too. Ithas been shown that the catechins in tea which are a form of anti-oxidant found in tea can last in themouth for up to an hour after rinsing. And these particular catechins the particular type in tea are called catechin-polyphenols and they come under a group of chemicals called the flavonoids. Polyphenols are thought to work, by inhibiting bacteria in that they thicken the cell wall of the bacteria which inhibits the bacterial growth but also in vitro studies have shown that they can aid the action of antibiotics as well, so that the antibiotics will work better with those polyphenols around.

 

There was also news regarding tea and weight management so can a cuppa help you to shift a few extra pounds?

Dr Lynne Garton, Independent Nutritionist, Tea Advisory Panel.
There has been a lot of interest recently as to whether or not tea can help to lose weight, so much sothat we are seeing a lot of products that contain green tea being promoted as aiding weight loss, so I’ve been investigating the evidence as to whether or not, there’s actually any truth in this. Unfortunately there’s only been a few studies that have been published in this area and the majority of these studies have used green tea. So as Dr Hood as mentioned tea contains catechins and green tea is a particularly good source of catechins and it is thought that catechins may help to stop the absorption of sugar and fat into the body and it may help boost metabolism and they also help to stop producing fat in the body. Now when you look at the human studies there’s only a very few number of studies which have been published in this area and from these studies it does seem to suggest that green tea may be beneficial in weight loss but the effect is very small. However, when you look at black tea and when you take it without anything it doesn’t have any calories but if like the majority of us in this country have some semi-skimmed milk with it, it’s only has 13 calories per cup and when you think about this, if you were to swap a daily latte made with semi-skimmed milk for tea made with semi-skimmed milk, over the course of the year you could end up losing 8lbs in weight so whether you drink green tea or black tea, with or without semi-skimmed milk, they are both low calorie drinks that you can enjoy when you are watching your weight.

Finally the panel discussed emerging evidence that tea can help mental function in other words, concentration and alertness.

Dr Carrie Ruxton, Independent Nutritionist, Tea Advisory Panel.
We’ve also been discussing the effects of tea on cognitive function and mood and mental processing. There are two components in tea that can have effect, one is caffeine, which probably everyone knows about and that boosts alertness, mental processing but there’s also something else in tea called delphinium which is an amino acid, what that does is calm you down and improve your mood. Now they both have effects independently but when you put them together, as you find in tea, the effect is dynamite and delphinium boosts some of the effects that caffeine has. SO what you are getting in tea is an excellent combination of both of these components that can help to keep cognitive functioning going throughout the day.

Dr Tim Bond, Technical Expert, Tea Advisory Panel.
Caffeinated drinks have been unfairly demonised in the past, when you look at it, caffeine containing drinks such as tea actually deliver a lot of potent health benefits, not only do they have a moderate amount of caffeine, which we actually try and position as the right amount of caffeine for a drink butthey actually contain other health giving constituents. Black tea contains flavonoid antioxidants, now, there are actually a lot of studies out there linking flavonoid intake to decreased events like heart attacks so cardiovascular disease and also we are beginning to see evidence to show link between improved brain mental function.

It’s amazing all of the health benefits of tea and tea advisory panel have today explained just a few of these facts. Drinking tea is also associated with other health properties such as heart, stroke andcirculatory health. SO the message is clear. Make tea, preferably 4 cups a day part of your daily diet needs and enjoy some of the many benefits that tea has to offer.

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