Antioxidant Power of Tea

Posted on August 7, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , |

Do you think water is the most consumed drink in the world? Well, think again! The big winner is tea and it’s well ahead of coffee, beer, wine and carbonated soft drinks.

There are several studies that suggest that black and green tea beverages may have positive health benefits. Black or green teas, but not herbal teas, have antioxidant capabilities due to their flavonoids content. Flavonoids prevent oxidation – are antioxidant in their effect – and they may have an anticlotting effect as well. One study found that among people who’d had heart attacks, those who drank 14 or more cups of tea a week were 44 percent less likely to die in the 3 1/2 years following their heart attacks than those who didn’t drink any tea. In another study people who drank about 1 1/2 cups of tea daily had roughly half the risk of heart attack of those who didn’t drink tea.

Bag it. When Consumer Reports tested the antioxidant power of 15 brewed, bottled, and instant teas, it found most teas brewed from tea bags scored highest in antioxidant content. Consumer Reports stated, “Brewed tea appears to have more antioxidant action than almost any whole fruit or vegetable — and more than most commercial fruit or vegetable juices, too.” But iced teas from mixes and bottle are a decent second choice; they contain a “good deal” of antioxidants, according to the magazine. Just watch the sugar content.

Dunk the bag. Continuously dunking the tea bag as the tea steeps seems to release far more antioxidant compounds than simply dropping it in and leaving it there.

Add lemon. One study found that the addition of lemon to plain tea increased its antioxidant benefits. That makes sense, since lemon itself contains antioxidants.

Brew a batch. To make a day’s supply of iced tea, bring 20 ounces of water to a boil, then remove from the heat. Drop in three tea bags, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and refrigerate.

Try green tea. Because it isn’t fermented, green tea has even more antioxidant power than black tea does. It also has less caffeine. And it may provide some protection against certain cancers. Experiment with brands until you find one you like. Don’t let green tea steep for more than a couple of minutes or it may become bitter.

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Green Tea and Fat Oxidation

Posted on July 2, 2008. Filed under: Weight Weight Weight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

I’m reproducing this article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and note, especially, the “Conclusions” at the bottom.  Green Tea is not only a treat but a benefit, too.  Enjoy! 

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American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 6, 1040-1045, December 1999
© 1999
American Society for Clinical Nutrition


Original Research Communications

Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans1,2,3

Abdul G Dulloo, Claudette Duret, Dorothée Rohrer, Lucien Girardier, Nouri Mensi, Marc Fathi, Philippe Chantre and Jacques Vandermander

1 From the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva; Geneva University Hospital; and Laboratoires Arkopharma, Nice, France.

 

Background: Current interest in the role of functional foods in weight control has focused on plant ingredients capable of interfering with the sympathoadrenal system.

Objective: We investigated whether a green tea extract, by virtue of its high content of caffeine and catechin polyphenols, could increase 24-h energy expenditure (EE) and fat oxidation in humans.

Design: Twenty-four–hour EE, the respiratory quotient (RQ), and the urinary excretion of nitrogen and catecholamines were measured in a respiratory chamber in 10 healthy men. On 3 separate occasions, subjects were randomly assigned among 3 treatments: green tea extract (50 mg caffeine and 90 mg epigallocatechin gallate), caffeine (50 mg), and placebo, which they ingested at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Results: Relative to placebo, treatment with the green tea extract resulted in a significant increase in 24-h EE (4%; P < 0.01) and a significant decrease in 24-h RQ (from 0.88 to 0.85; P < 0.001) without any change in urinary nitrogen. Twenty-four–hour urinary norepinephrine excretion was higher during treatment with the green tea extract than with the placebo (40%, P < 0.05). Treatment with caffeine in amounts equivalent to those found in the green tea extract had no effect on EE and RQ nor on urinary nitrogen or catecholamines.

Conclusions: Green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content per se. The green tea extract may play a role in the control of body composition via sympathetic activation of thermogenesis, fat oxidation, or both.

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