Sunday, March 12, 2006

Green Tea: Is it REALLY Beneficial?

The Food and Drug Administration recently ruled that "it is highly unlikely that green tea reduces the risk of breast cancer" after looking at several studies conducted on patients who had cancer. Soon after the FDA's take on tea a new study claimed green tea reduced the risk of Alzheimer's and slows the aging process.

The journal Neuroscience says that an antioxidant is found in green tea and may prevent the buildup of plaque in the brain that is linked to Alzheimer's. In a study on mice, the rodents were given injections of the same antioxidant and were found to have 54 percent fewer of the proteins that are the plaque that block memory in the brain. Herbalists have long believed in the health benefits of drinking teas.

And studies on other types of teas are reporting positive effects. A study conducted by Dr. Joseph Vita at Boston School of Medicine found positive effects of tea drinking. The study, conducted on 66 men who drank four cups of tea per day or took a placebo found that drinking black tea can help reverse abnormally functioning blood vessels that can contribute to heart attacks or strokes.

Jane Higdon, a research associate for the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University says tea research is still relatively new, and it will probably be a while before the positive effects of drinking tea can be confirmed. "Although numerous observational studies have examined the relationships between tea consumption and the risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer, there is no conclusive evidence that high intakes of black or green tea are protective in humans," she said.

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