Consuming 30-32oz of tea (the equivalent of 2.5 cans of soda) daily over a period of time may reduce Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) levels by more than 10 percent and decrease the risk of DNA damage caused by smoking, according to new research published as a supplement in the October 2003 issue of the Journal of Nutrition. These and other studies are included in the journal supplement titled Proceedings of the Third International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health: Role of Flavonoids in the Diet and provide further evidence of tea’s disease-fighting potential in the areas of cardiovascular health and cancer.
In a clinical trial conducted at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, MD, researchers found that five six-ounce servings of black tea per day reduced LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by 11.1 percent and total cholesterol by 6.5 percent in mildly hypercholesterolemic adult participants.
In another clinical trial, researchers from University of Arizona and Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson, Arizona, studied the effect on 143 heavy smokers of consuming four eight-ounce servings per day of decaffeinated green tea, decaffeinated black tea or water for four months. The results showed that the levels of 8-OHdG, an indicator of oxidative DNA damage, dropped by a significant 31 percent after four months in those in those drinking 32oz of green tea daily. Oxidative DNA damage is implicated as a contributor to cancer development.
The ongoing scientific exploration of the potential health benefits of drinking tea has led to a growing body of research that point to tea as a possible contributor to overall health. Since tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, tea’s potential health benefits could have important implications on human health and disease prevention. To this end, researchers plan to probe deeper into the various mechanisms by which tea flavonoids function in the body and their implications.
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