Regular tea consumption can prevent cancer and improve overall health
During a recent symposium on the health benefits of tea, researchers from across the globe shared evidence suggesting that tea consumption may improve cardiovascular health, immune function, cognitive health, and reduce the risk of cancer.
The researchers advocated that people incorporate 2-4 cups of unsweetened tea into the daily diet as a source of flavonoids, which are responsible to a large extent for these beneficial effects.
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water. The four primary types of tea include white, green, Oolong, and black. All four teas are derived from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, but differ in how they are processed after harvesting.
Tea contains a wide array of components that have biological activity, including flavonoids, L-theanine, and caffeine. Many of the beneficial effects of tea are due to the high levels of flavonoids, such as catechins, which have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.
A number of observational studies suggest that tea consumption is associated with improvements in cognitive function. A few small randomized controlled trials have suggested tea intake may result in short-term improvements in attention.
Each cup of tea contains about 35-60 mgTrusted Source of caffeine, which may contribute to the increase in attention and improvements in mood some people experience after consuming tea. Tea also contains theanine, which has been suggested to enhance attention while reducing anxiety and stress.
The flavonoids present in tea may also exert protective effects against common age-related cognitive decline and dementia.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women around the world.
A higher intake of dietary flavonoids present in tea is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and other metabolic conditions, including diabetes.
Based on studies using a variety of scientific research designs, having two cups of unsweetened tea per day has the potential to reduce the risk of cardiometabolic disease.
After cardiovascular disease, cancer is the second leading cause of mortality. Modifying lifestyle factors such as diet, physical inactivity, smoking, and obesity can prevent 30-40% of all cancers.
Thus, adopting healthier lifestyle choices that increase levels of flavonoids could reduce the risk of cancer incidence, although the evidence for tea reducing cancer remains limited.
Tea and immune function
Tea consumption may also improve immune health, with studies suggesting a potential role of green tea in preventing bacterial and viral infections. For instance, a number of human studies, including randomized controlled trials, suggest that green tea consumption could reduce the risk of incidence of influenza infection.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea may also help prevent tissue damage caused by excessive inflammation in response to an infection. Given its anti-inflammatory properties, green tea could also help alleviate symptoms of autoimmune diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Source: Medical News Today