tea & Cardiovascular Health
The reminder of a healthy life style has already somewhat become a cliché so I am not repeating it here. Sometimes I do myself skip exercises and stay up late, indulge my taste buds for that temptatious dessert or get irritated over trivial mishaps, though I have long been that age that I’d better stick onto that healthy route, and I do try. However, I always keep drinking my tea.
those nasty free-radicals
The reason why tea can be promoting cardiovascular health is its anti-oxidative characteristic. Tea flavonoids, such as theaflavins in finer black teas and the more potent tea polyphenols which are most abundant in green teas, are able to inhibit nasty free radicals from corrupting our cells, tissues and systems. These free radicals form in our body as we are exposed to contaminants, pathogens, and in the very processes of metabolism and aging themselves.
Flavonoids prevent these free radicals from oxidizing Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL, often labelled as the “bad” cholesterol). When LDL is oxidized, it becomes a viscous substance and tends to adhere to the inner wall of the blood vessel, causing the passage of the bloodstream to become narrow (i.e. atherosclerosis), and thus the condition for strokes. <read about flavonoids in tea>
Free radicals also cause blood platelets to adhere to other cells and tissues quicker, which can trigger blood clot within the blood vessel (i.e. thrombosis). Together with atherosclerosis, they are immediate antecedents to strokes. Minimizing the actions of free radicals prevents this from happening.
Drink tea: it lowers that blood lipid level
In a report published in an official journal of the American Heart Association in a 5-year study (2) following 1900 patients with history of acute myocardial infarction (i.e. heart attack), it was found that those who drank more than 2 cups of tea a day were 44% less likely to die in a recurrence. They were not even tracking the quality of tea.
Another substance of interest is statin, similar to those that are either natural extracts or synthetic used as a drug for cholesterol control, is present naturally in post-fermented teas such as puer. Although only in minute amount (3), regular drinking may render the effect accumulative. High blood lipid level can drop by an average of 22%, as shown in a small study in France where patients with the problem drank 3 cups a day (4).
44% lower risks of heart attacks
Interestingly, there is a medical understanding that every 1% drop of blood cholesterol reduces 2% of fatal heart attack risk; 22% drop in blood lipid level may agree with the American study of 44% lower risk factor for tea drinkers. This may be an interesting hint that tea from any category can be contributive to preventing mortality in cardiovascular diseases.
A lot more study is needed for using any tea scientifically as a therapy. However, there is more than enough evidence showing that it really is worth the effort to develop a fine tea habit to lower the risk of this most threatening health problem.
Here’s to a great heart!
4. Prof Bernard Jacotot, Henri Mondor Hospital, Creteil, France. 20 patients with high blood lipid levels were served 3 times a day with Yunnan Toucha tea. Jacotot reported a significant 22% drop in blood fat levels among the patients, while a control group served with a different tea showed no change at all.
TeaGuardian.com (Tea Guardian) is a self-financed, independent reference guide created with the initiative to promote the better understanding of tea, the daily beverage that so many have come to misunderstand. By sharing with the readers unbiased and in-depth information, we aim at empowering them with the ability to find and enjoy better quality tea for taste and for health. A lot of the information included can be helpful to people of the tea trade and the academics.
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