Tea Mail – February 2004
The Big Health News in January
Another busy month, with tea, especially green tea, in the news constantly. The biggest news will be of great interest to those suffering from arthritis and their families. The report ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ included a report indicating that antioxidants found in green tea, known as polyphenols, may effectively reduce the incidence and severity of rheumatoid arthritis. In countries such as India, China, and Japan, rheumatoid arthritis exists at a much lower rate than elsewhere around the world.
The author of the study, Dr. Tariq Haqqi of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and his team of researchers used mice to study the effect of polyphenols in rheumatoid arthritis. The disease is characterized by inflammation, pain, swelling, and joint destruction.
The mice in the study were given either plain water or water enriched with green tea. The dosages given were comparable to human consumption of four cups of green tea per day. The mice were then given collagen for the purpose of inducing arthritis. Collagen-induced arthritis is considered very similar to human rheumatoid arthritis.
The study results concluded that mice which were fed the green tea polyphenols were significantly less susceptible to developing arthritis than the mice not fed green tea polyphenols. For the mice fed green tea that did develop arthritis, it occurred as a late onset and was only mild. Only 8 out of 18 mice receiving green tea developed arthritis, while 17 out of 18 mice not receiving the polyphenols developed arthritis. Examination of joint tissue microscopically revealed marginal infiltration of joint cells in mice receiving the green tea in contrast with massive infiltration in the mice not fed green tea.
Green tea protection from cancer?
“We did experiments with concentrations that would be present, perhaps, in one cup of green tea. And that was very effective in blocking the effects of these tobacco smoke constituents,” said toxicologist Thomas Gasiewicz.
The researchers tested extracts of green tea on the AH hydrocarbon receptor – a key protein that tobacco relies on to cause cancer. Two of the tea’s potent chemical compounds – abbreviated EGCG and EGC – shut down the toxic protein in the cancer cells of mice. Now there’s some evidence it may work the same in human cells.
“It’s hard to say what…how effective these concentrations could be in humans. So, there’s still a lot more that needs to be done,” said research assistant Christine Palermo. “We don’t really know how many cups would be effective against how many cigarettes that are smoked, for example,” said Gasiewicz.
Morning cuppa good medicine
Research projects have lead to the conclusion that tea could help fight cancer and heart disease. It is also said to slow the ageing process and contribute to weight loss and a healthier immune system. The medicinal properties of tea come from its high level of antioxidants, especially a phytochemical called EGCG. These antioxidants repair cellular damage by neutralizing harmful oxygen molecules, called free radicals.
Through comparative diet studies between Chinese and Australian men, Australian researchers discovered that drinking green tea can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. Last year the same team uncovered links between green tea and prevention of ovarian cancer. A Dutch study has also revealed that green tea reduces the risk of heart attack.
Time for tea – Take time to rejuvenate with a soothing cup of tea
Some reports say tea appears to reduce the incidence of dental cavities and has shown promise as a weight-loss agent that can promote the burning of fat and help to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. Black and oolong teas also seem to have medicinal properties. However, nutritionists warn that medicinal effects of tea are only present in brewed teas. Instant tea and specially made teas for cold-water brewing do not contain the same healthful properties.
As of late, there has been a resurgence of tea popularity. Americans are drinking more tea for healthful reasons, and several teas of foreign origin such as Chai, a spiced milk tea from India, and Taiwanese bubble tea, which contain tapioca pearls for bubbles, have become popular drinks in many areas. Tea manufacturers now offer tea in a wide array of flavors to entice tea drinkers.
Herb Blurb – This year resolve to try some herbal teas
The more popular black and green teas come from the camellia sinensis plant . Whether they are called oolong, ceylon, formosa or assam, they all come from the same plant. So why do they taste different? As with fine wine, there are many variables: 1) The climate in which the tea is grown 2) How and when it is harvested 3) How it is processed or “fermented” 4) How the tea is stored/packaged.
Green tea is unfermented and often sold as a whole leaf. Oolong is partially fermented, and black tea is fully fermented and usually cut/sifted. Black and green teas carry a similar amount of caffeine, but green teas carry more anti-oxidants and chlorophyll, which help prevent degenerative diseases and cancer.
A true herbal tea is a good source of nutritious vitamins, minerals and protective phytochemicals — not to mention flavor and aroma. So take advantage of what is quickly becoming the energizing, creative and tasty replacement to the “cocktail.” Hot or cold, tea does a body good.
White Tea — Virtually unprocessed. This tea is made from the first new growth leaves that appear on green tea plants in early spring. The leaves are allowed to dry naturally on the plant. This tea is a natural wonder as it is made without much help from man. Prices reflect that it is considered a treasure. And the taste? Like a breath of fresh air!
Green Tea May Combat Arthritis
Dr. Tariq Haqqi of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and his team of researchers used mice to study the effect of polyphenols in rheumatoid arthritis. The mice were given either plain water or water enriched with green tea. The dosages given were comparable to human consumption of four cups of green tea per day.
The study concluded that mice which were fed green tea polyphenols were significantly less susceptible to developing arthritis than the mice not fed green tea. For the mice fed green tea that did develop arthritis, it occurred as a late onset and mild. Only 8 out of 18 mice receiving green tea developed arthritis, while 17 out of 18 mice not receiving green tea developed arthritis.
It is also interesting to note that in some countries such as India, China, and Japan green tea is regarded as healthful with the potential to prevent certain illnesses. Seemingly, rheumatoid arthritis in these countries exists at a much lower rate than elsewhere around the world.
Tea drinkers get health boost
“There are some pretty well-substantiated health benefits, particularly related to the green teas,” said Pat Kendall, a food specialist with Colorado State University. More recent research is finding similar benefits with black and red teas, Kendall added.
All three teas contain antioxidants, which, by reducing cell damage, lower the risks of cancer and heart disease, she said. No such health benefits have been found in coffee, Kendall said. In addition to numerous cancer and heart-disease studies, preliminary research suggests that the ancient beverage might tame bad breath, raise good cholesterol and help with weight loss. And for those leery of the approaching flu and cold season, a recent study found tea effective in warding off those bugs.
Legendary Lapsang Souchong teas the next to arrive at Seven Cups!
We know that everyone has been looking forward to it for ages, but hopefully our exclusive, original, legendary Lapsang Souchong tea should be available in February. It’s taken a while to put this landmark deal together and see it through to fruition, but now we can offer THE original smoky black tea from the famous farm of Lapsang Souchong. And there should be yet more new teas arriving at Seven Cups over the course of 2004.
Full shopping cart system on the way
During February, you should see the opening of our full online shopfront. You will soon be able to buy Seven Cups teas using our secure online credit card facilities, as well as by several other methods (including PayPal for those who currently buy our teas that way). Check the tea selection page to see if it’s up yet!
Our ‘winter warmer’ sale of fine Jinshan Green Sword and LongJing Dragon Well green teas has been very popular – so popular in fact that our stocks are running dangerously low! If you want to take advantage of this great value offer, you need to go to our green tea selection now. A 50g foil-fresh resealable pouch of the world’s finest green tea, for less than $12, is an offer that no genuine tea fans can pass up!