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Tea and health

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INFLUENCE OF TEA ON HUMAN HEALTH

Science papers continue to be produced on this subject, so follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on the latest findings.

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Essential information from studies published in Tea & Coffee magazine:

Tea and the brain

A joint study performed by experts from Norway and Great Britain proved that drinking tea (and wine and eating chocolate) every day could lead to an improvement in older people’s cognitive functions. Scientists focused on links between the cognitive functions of the brain in older people and the consumption of chocolate, wine and tea, which are rich in flavonoids. They found that people aged 70-74 who consumed chocolate, wine or tea had a significantly better average test result and cognitive performance than a similar group of persons not doing so. One cup of tea or glass of wine was enough, and drinking more didn’t illicit a better response.

Tea and breast cancer

Women who are under fifty and regularly drink tea are less likely to get breast cancer. Nevertheless, according to one Florida study, tea doesn’t offer protection against the disease to older women. The study compared the medical records and lifestyle of 5,000 women aged 20-74 that’d been treated for breast cancer and compared them to data for women who hadn’t.

The results showed that women aged under 50 that drank three or more cups of tea a day had a 37% reduced probability of contracting cancer than those that didn’t drink tea at all. The effect’s appreciably higher for lobular breast cancer, which affects one woman in ten suffering from breast cancer. In this case, drinking tea reduces the risk of cancer by 66%. Regular consumption of tea, in particular in higher quantities, can reduce the incidence of breast cancer in young women. As tea is the most widespread drink across the globe, this makes it the best candidate to prevent breast cancer, says the study.

Tea and Bortezomib

Green tea can exert beneficial, positive effects against cancer, but when it’s combined with taking the common anti-cancer medicine Velcade, also known as bortezomib, it can suppress the medicine’s effect. Bortezomib (marketed as Velcade) is a substance that, in a quite unique way, inhibits the cloning of tumour cells. It blocks the proteasome, i.e. a cellular system, which is responsible for handling the liquidation of proteins not needed for a cell.

Experts from the University of Los Angeles found that some elements contained in green tea can prevent bortezomib from destroying malign tumour cells. However, they have pointed out that the negative effects of green tea only occurred in patients treated with bortezomib, not those who taking other anti-cancer drugs. Therefore, people using this medicine should refrain from drinking green tea and products containing it, especially if in concentrated form. The scientists found that some polyphenols and other elements of green tea didn’t allow bortezomib “to do its job”. Hence, the polyphenols in green tea had the potential to cancel out the therapeutic functions of bortezomib. However, according to the study, it’s not all bad for green tea. Green tea has been proved to boost the cancer combatting effects of other drugs.

Black tea and Parkinson’s disease

One Singapore study showed that drinking black tea reduced the risk of Parkinson’s disease in a Chinese cohort. The first study of its type in Asia, it’d commenced fifteen years previously and monitored the lifestyle and dietary habits of more than 63,000 Singapore Chinese. On average, one cup of black tea a day was linked to diminished risk of the disease, by up to 70%. In contrast, green tea was not found to exert any effect on the condition.