Tea Mail – June 2004
The Big Health News in May
There was a rash of reports in May that all made good links between drinking tea and dramatically improving your health. Specifically, the antioxidant EGCG, which is the main flavonoid in green tea, has shown to keep arteries clear, helping prevent heart disease , as well as cutting ventricular arrhythmias after a heart attack . Also, the powerful antioxidants, which make up a third of the dried weight of tea leaves, help to lower the prevalence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma, one of the fastest growing cancers in the west .
A really eyecatching story concerned one of the first serious comparisons between green tea and white tea . Almost all the health research in recent years has concentrated on green tea, but in Asia, where the healing properties of the drink have been well known for centuries, different types of tea are used to aid in different situations. In this new study, white tea was shown to be significantly more effective than the green at fighting germs. This is good news for our many white tea drinkers, especially as the new crop will be arriving fresh from the famous farms in China (including the ORIGINAL white tea farm, exclusive to Seven Cups) in the next few days (see below).
But our favorite story  was one that is close to our hearts as importers of top quality certified organic tea. The article was featured on Yahoo, and took extracts from a new book by nutritionist Michael Barbee, provocatively entitled “Politically Incorrect Nutrition: Finding Reality in the Mire of Food Industry Propaganda“. It carried the disturbing warning that tea is “often contaminated with fluoride, aluminum and DDT, and regular consumption can lead to serious health problems”. The conclusion? “If you want green tea’s benefits, buy good quality organic green tea and use filtered or spring water”. This is music to our ears! All our tea is fully guaranteed and comes from the first farms in China to ever gain genuine organic certification from internationally recognized authorities such as the USDA and the most stringent of them all, the Swiss IMO certification [click here for more information about our organic certifications]. The book, published by Vital Health Publishing, is priced at $13.95 and available at Amazon.com.
Green Tea Component Keeps Arteries Unclogged
Powerful antioxidants make up a third of the weight of dried tea leaves. The main one of these good-for-you compounds is called EGCG (or, if you’re good at tongue twisters, epigallocatechin-3-gallate). New mouse studies show that EGCG can slow the build-up of artery-clogging plaque. Yes, you’ve heard something like this before. Animal studies often show that antioxidants keep arteries from clogging. Human trials, however, are often disappointing.
That may soon change. What’s different about this study is that it indicates the timing of green-tea-extract treatment makes a world of difference. Cardiologist Kuang-Yuh Chyu, MD, PhD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and colleagues report the findings in the May 25 issue of Circulation.
“Most animal experiments evaluating the effects of antioxidants are started when the animals are young. Randomized clinical trials typically enroll adult patients with varying stages of plaques,” Chyu says in a news release. “This discrepancy supports speculation that antioxidant treatment affects early but not later stages of plaque development.”
Chyu’s team studied mice fed a high-cholesterol diet and then given a plaque-inducing injury to their main heart artery. After the plaque-induced injury, some of the animals started getting injections of the green tea extract EGCG. It worked. On day 21, the animals had 55% less plaque than those animals not given green tea extracts. By day 42, they had 73% less plaque. But the treatment had no effect when given to animals with fully mature plaque.
White Tea Beats Green Tea at Killing Germs
When it comes to tea, white may be the new “in” color. A new study shows white tea beats green at fighting germs and may help prevent common infections. Researchers found an extract derived from white tea inactivated and slowed the growth of bacteria that cause streptococcous (strep) infections, pneumonia, and cavities in teeth.
“Past studies have shown that green tea stimulates the immune system to fight disease,” says researcher Milton Schiffenbauer, PhD, a microbiologist and professor Pace University, in a news release. “Our research shows white tea extract can actually destroy in vitro the organisms that cause disease.” Schiffenbauer presented the study this week at the 104th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in New Orleans.
White Tea Kills Germs
Researchers say the findings show that white tea extract may have antiviral and antifungal effects and may be used in the future to develop treatments to help prevent disease.
Green tea could prevent cancer of the oesophagus
The team from the Harvard Medical School reported that EGCG inhibits the growth and reproduction of cancer cells (SEG-1 and BIC-1) associated with Barrettâ€™s oesophagus, a condition caused by stomach acid creeping back up from the stomach. The acid causes the cells lining the oesophagus to change and raises the risk of oesophageal cancer by 30 to 40 times.
â€œResearch suggests that drinking green tea may be both a valuable chemopreventive therapy as well as a treatment for oesophageal adenocarcinoma,â€ said Howard Chang, an investigator of the study.
In the UK 7,200 people a year are diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus, up 65 per cent in the last 30 years. A recent study, also presented at Digestive Disease Week, has linked this increase to growing consumption of fizzy drinks.
Green Tea Flavonoids May Help Heart
“This is an interesting development in the battle against these serious and life-threatening disorders,” Michael E. Cain of the Heart Rhythm Society, said Monday. Cain is presenting his findings at the Heart Rhythm Society’s 25th Annual Scientific Sessions.
This study examined the link between Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate, a type of flavonoid with high concentrations in green tea, on “Human-Ether-A-Gogo Related Gene,” a potassium channel shown to be present in a form of Long QT Syndrome — a disorder of the electrical system that can be inherited, acquired after taking certain medications, or caused by a combination of heredity and medications.
Ventricular arrhythmias are life-threatening irregularities of heart beats associated with coronaries or scarring of the heart muscle from a previous heart attack. Flavonoids anticarcinogenic, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, antibacterial and antiallergic properties.
Politically Incorrect Green Tea?
Preventative medicine expert Dr. Stephen Langer suggests that as much as 40% of the population may have sub-clinical hypothyroidism, of which symptoms include carpal tunnel syndrome, loss of libido, arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia and weight gain. The fluoride that pervades our food and water supply must surely be considered a culprit, with tea drinkers at higher risk. To make matters worse, some samples of green tea recently analyzed were contaminated with cancer causing DDT and Dursban, which are not banned in the tea growing countries China and India.
If you want green tea’s benefits, buy good quality organic green tea and use filtered or spring water.
Politically Incorrect Nutrition, $13.95, available at Amazon.com and by request at your local bookstore or health food store.
Green Tea Science
â€œWe 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,â€ said toxicologist Thomas Gasiewicz, Ph.D.
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 teaâ€™s potent chemical compounds, abbreviated EGCG and EGC, shut down the toxic protein in the cancer cells of mice. Now thereâ€™s some evidence it may work the same in human cells.
Make no mistake, green tea is not an antidote for smoking. The best thing for your health is to quit. but until then, researchers suggest drinking three to four cups of green tea per day. A little protection from lung cancer could be in the bag.
New look Seven Cups website launched
As you can see, our website has a new look and several new features. We are still working hard on getting all the new pages filled with information, so please bear with us while we go through this exciting transition. So why have we changed the site? There was nothing wrong with the old version, we hear you cry! Well, we think that the new layout, whilst retaining the character of the old website, is clearer to read, has bettetr navigation, and leaves us more room to add new pages, which is something that happens all the time as we add more information on tea, tea drinking and tea culture. It is our mission to provide the most informative tea website on the net, and we’re well on the way to fulfilling that. The pages that have yet to be completed will give you an idea of what we will have in store soon. As always, we rely heavily on your input and feedback – please let us know what YOU want to see on our website!See the Contact Us section for details of the many ways to get in touch and get involved with the Seven Cups website.
This year’s white tea crop will be with us very soon. Our outstanding Silver Needle and Special White Peony are amongst our most popular teas, as is our delicious Jasmine Pearls white tea, so be sure to get your order in soon.
Also, our very special, Meng Ding teas will be with us shortly. Why are they so special? Meng Ding, in Szechwan Province, was the first place that tea was ever cultivated 2000 years ago – the original tea farm! Sweet Dew and Green Bamboo are two of the finest green teas we’ve ever seen, and the amazing, rare, Yellow Buds variety is the first genuine ‘yellow tea’ (between green and white) that even the most ardent tea conesiuer will have ever encountered. Very few people in the western world have ever tried these magical teas from this legendary tea farm – they were previewed at the Take Me 2 Tea Expo in Las Vegas in March, which was the first time these varieties have ever left China. For many of those lucky enough to try them, they were simply the best teas they’d ever tasted!
We will also be receiving our fresh deliveries of our four famous WuYi Mountain Oolong teas, and we will also be introducing some new teas to the range – several superior puer teas that we have not stocked before. Check the tea selection pages to see if they have arrived yet!
Authentic Chinese Tea Wares to be added to the Seven Cups range
You will see that our website is now equiped with a tea wares section, but as of yet there isn’t anything there! Don’t worry – this will soon be rectified as we start to put the first of our extensive range of authentic Chinese teapots, tea sets and tea accessories online for you to buy. If you just can’t wait that long, and you’re close to Tucson, Arizona, then come and visit us in our tea house and see them for yourselves!