Cuppa that cheers, also helps health? Maybe!

April 6th, 2008 - 5:50 pm ICT by admin  

New York, April 6 (IANS) The many health benefits of tea - black, oolong, green or white - are often extolled. But is it all that it is made out to be? True, numerous studies have found “possible” benefits, but the “actual” benefits are not certain, according to the latest issue of the journal Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Most research about tea’s benefits is based on population studies. Findings are limited because factors other than tea consumption could influence the results.

So here, according to the Mayo journal, is what is actually known about tea’s potential benefits.

Cardiovascular: It’s still uncertain if drinking tea over long periods positively affects cholesterol levels, blood pressure and atherosclerosis. There’s some early evidence that regularly drinking green tea may reduce heart attack risk or atherosclerosis. But there’s conflicting evidence on black tea consumption and heart attack risk reduction.

Cancer: It’s still unknown whether regular black tea consumption influences cancer rates. Early lab tests with white tea indicate it may protect against colon cancer in particular. So far, well-designed studies haven’t proven this.

Bone and joint health: Early laboratory research indicates green tea could be beneficial in reducing inflammation related to arthritis and slowing cartilage breakdown. Some early data indicate that regular tea consumption might improve bone mineral density in older women.

Memory: Studies are limited, but a recent one found that older adults in Japan who drank green tea daily showed less risk of memory difficulty, compared with those who didn’t drink tea regularly.

There is still much to learn about tea’s health benefits. But one thing seems clear: potential benefits are in the cup, not in supplements or tea extract capsules.

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