Tea May Improve Both Your Body and Your Mind
According to a new research published in a supplement of the Journal of Nutrition, (August 2008) drinking 4 -5 cups of tea a day may help maintain a healthy mind and body. One study suggests that it may improve both attention and focus. According to the July '09 issue of Townsend Letter for Doctors, this and other studies of tea polyphenols, including research on neurological health, genetic susceptibility to cancer, and insulin sensitivity are included in the Proceedings of the Fourth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health. Also provided is an update on the evidence in support of tea's role in cardiovascular health.
Theanine Effects Attention and Focus.
The results of a new human placebo-controlled trial published in the Proceedings, found that theanine, an amino acid found almost exclusively in the tea plant, including black, green, and oolong varieties, actively alters the brain's attention networks. What's more, it was discovered in new research from John Foxe, PhD, professor of neuroscience, biology, and psychology at the City College of the City University of New York that adding 50 mg of caffeine to the theanine equivalent of 5 - 6 cups of tea produced results greater than with either one alone in improving attention. Theanine may work synergistically with caffeine to help induce a relaxed, calm state but one that allows the mind to focus and concentrate on tasks better. A cup of brewed tea typically contains between 10 - 20 mg of theanine.
Protection from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases.
New Research from Israel points to the possibility that tea may offer aging brains protection from these neurological diseases. Animal studies using purified EGCG, the most abundant polyphenol in tea, equal to about 2 - 4 cups of green tea per day, appeared to prevent brain cells from dying and showed improvements in reducing compounds that lead to lesions in the brain. Studies have suggested that drinking tea, especially those rich in flavonoids called catechins, may support the aging brain.
Altering Cancer Genetics.
Results from a study on the cancer - prevention role of green tea provided insights into how gene susceptibility toward chronic disease can be altered through dietary intervention. Latest human clinical trials suggest that bio-active compounds in tea have a significant effect on genes that affect cancer susceptibility and repair from environmental insults. Recent preliminary data shows a beneficial effect of green tea on the lipid profile in smokers and former smokers. At least 4 cups of tea a day is recommended.
Tea Contributes to Overall Health. In summary, there is a growing body of evidence that points to tea as a contributor to healthfulness and reducing the risk of disease.
Learn More on Tea and Coffee Health Benefits
For more information and articles on tea's heath benefits, please go to our Explore section and click on The Health Benefits of Tea. For those also interested in the health benefits of coffee, you will also find it in our Explore section under The Health Benefits of Coffee. We will be rotating articles about tea and coffee's health benefits from the front page to these sections on a regular basis. Check in with us often.