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The Benefits of Drinking White Tea and Green Tea


The Benefits of Drinking White Tea and Green Tea

Most of the modern studies researching the benefits of tea have been applied to green tea or black tea. According to the results of the Linus Pauling Institute study it would be fair to assume that all health benefits of green tea and black tea apply to white tea as well, if not more so, as white tea is less processed than all other teas.

Arthritis Professor Dedan Naughton, from the School of Life Sciences at Kingston University in South West London, and one of the country’s leading specialists on inflammation researched the effects of white tea on inflammation stating, “The early indicators are that white tea reduces the risk of inflammation, which is characteristic of rheumatoid arthiritis, and some cancers as well as wrinkles”.

Asthma Relief Green tea contains a substance called theophylline. As a muscle relaxant, it can cause the muscles supporting the bronchial tubes to relax for normal breathing.

Bacteria Studies conducted at Pace University show that White Tea may have prophylactic (acting or defending against) applications in retarding the growth of bacteria that cause Staphylococcus infections, Streptococcus infections, pneumonia and dental caries.

According to “Molecular Nutrition and Food Research,” the polyphenolic flavonoids in tea inhibit microbial activity to prevent foodborne illnesses and other bacterial, viral and fungal infections in humans.

Bone Density A study done by Dr. Ping Chung Leung and colleagues, from the Institute of Chinese Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that chemicals in green tea may help strengthen bones. Bone is a living dynamic metabolic system that relies on a delicately maintained balance between bone formation and bone resorption in where cells called osteoblasts make bone while cells called osteoclasts resorb it.

In a laboratory experiment the scientists exposed a group of cultured osteoblast-like to three major green tea components for several days. They noted that one in particular, epigallocatechin (EGC), boosted the level of a key enzyme that promotes bone growth by nearly 79 percent. They also found that EGC increased the density of bone minerals in the cells, which strengthens bones. The scientists also showed that high concentrations of ECG weakened the activity of osteoclasts (which break down and weaken bone), tipping the delicate bone metabolism balance away from resorption to formation. The study suggests that green tea has the potential to help prevent and treat osteoporosis and other bone diseases, and also noted that green tea components did not cause any toxic effects to the bone cells.

Brain Health Researchers from UCLA have established a link between tea consumption and cognitive function in individuals over 65 years old, showing that regular tea consumption reduces the likelihood of developing memory disfunction by 17 to 37 percent.

The catechins in green tea are known to provide a wide spectrum of protection to the brain. These include free radical scavenging and regulation of cell activity and mitochondrial function in the brain cells. The end result is a significant lessening of damage to brain cells from free radicals.

The amino acid L-theanine, found almost exclusively in the tea plant, actively alters the attention networks of the brain, according to results of human trials announced in September 2007. It has been proposed that theanine is absorbed by the small intestine and crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it affects the brain’s neurotransmitters and increases alpha brain-wave activity. The result is a calmer, yet more alert, state of mind.

Epicatechin is abundant in white and green tea and has shown to increase blood flow in the brain. Henriette van Praag, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Salk Institute showed that the combination of exercise and diet with epicatechin promoted structural and functional changes in the dentate gyrus, a part of the brain involved in the formation of learning and memory. The findings, published in the 2007 May issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that a diet rich in flavonols may help reduce the incidence of severity of nerodegenrative disease or cognitive disorders related to aging.

Mark Mattson, PhD, at the National Institute on Aging, states, “This finding is an important advance because it identifies a single natural chemical with memory-enhancing effects, suggesting that it may be possible to optimize brain function by combining exercise and dietary supplementation”.

Drinking tea may delay Alzheimer’s Disease (Newcastle University’s Medicinal Plant Research Center study, Phytotherapy Research, 2004).

Cancer According to the American Cancer Society, “Green tea contains chemicals known as polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. Catechins are the major group of polyphenols in green tea. The most important catechin seems to be epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG may cause cancer cells to die like normal cells do. It may also work by stopping new blood vessels from forming, a process called angiogenesis, thereby cutting off the supply of blood to cancer cells.”

Other research has suggested that the polyphenols in green tea can kill tumor cells and may starve cancerous growths by limiting blood vessel growth around them, without harming healthy tissue.

A group of American and German scientists discovered that tea extracts offer an effective treatment of skin damaged by radiation in cancer therapy. The study found that tea extracts inhibit inflammatory pathways, thereby reducing inflammation and reducing the duration of skin damage caused by radiation treatment by up to five to ten days. The researches also noted that green tea showed higher anti-inflammatory properties than black tea in human white blood cells.

Research at Kyushu University, in Japan, shows that growth of human lung cancer cells, with a cell receptor called 67 LR, is slowed significantly after drinking just two or three cups of green tea. Interestingly, research at the University also showed that 67 LR is involved in the propagation of prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob, related to mad cow disease in animals. This is not evidence of tea’s effect on prion diseases, but a hint that EGCG’s effect on 67 LR is a lead in the search for treatments.

Blood Cancer Japanese scientists have shown that green tea may cut down the risk of developing blood cancer. Drinking 5 cups of green tea daily was found to slow down the growth of cancer-causing viruses and microorganisms. The study, carried out on more than forty thousand adults in Japan, suggests that those who regularly consume 5 cups of green tea have a 42 percent lower chance of developing all types of blood cancer than those who drink one cup daily.

Colon Cancer Green tea and white tea fight colon cancer (Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University study, Carcinogenesis, 2003). Chinese scientists discovered that epigallocatechin gallate inhibits angiogenesis (the production of new blood microvessels) in mice inoculated with human colon cancer. This blocking of new blood vessel growth may be an important part of the overall anti-cancer action of polyphenols, since it impedes tumor growth (Jung 2001).

The ability of green tea polyphenols to reduce the damage of nitrites in the acidic environment of the stomach has been found to be much stronger than that of vitamin C. An early study showed that green tea extract significantly inhibits the development of gastrointestinal tumors in animals and humans by blocking the formation of carcinogenic compounds containing the nitroso- group, such as N-nitroso-proline (Yan 1993).

Breast Cancer According to studies done at Rutgers University, black tea may aid in prevention of breast cancers. TF-2, a chemical found in black tea, causes cancer cells to die, while normal cells remain unaffected.

One study looked at 472 women in various stages of breast cancer (labeled 1, II, or III, depending on how far the cancer had progressed). Increased green tea consumption was associated with a decreased risk of lymph node metastasis in pre-menopausal women with stages I and II cancer. The researchers also found that if women with these stages of breast cancer consumed 5 cups a day of green tea on a long-term basis, they were more likely to be in remission 6 months later when the follow-up study was done. (The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies by Mark Stengler, N.D.)

In test tube studies, green tea shut down the tumor promoters involved in breast cancer. Green tea inhibits the formation of cancer-causing agents in the stomach, including nitrosamines. The antioxidants protect immune cells, inhibit metastasis, and inhibit the breakdown of connective tissue via collagenase, which is the primary mechanism for the spreading of cancer cells. Beating Cancer With Nutrition by Patrick Quillin, Ph.D., R.D., C.N.S.

Endometrial Cancer A Chinese review of studies found that tea may help prevent endometrial cancer, the fourth most common cancer in American women. The researchers noted that consumption of two cups per day was associated with a 25 percent reduced risk of developing the disease. The association was significant for green tea, but not black tea.

Esophageal Cancer The 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent.

Green tea could help reduce esophageal cancer. (Harvard Medical School, 2004).

Leukemia A team from the Mayo Clinic, after a 2004 test tube study of green tea extract, revealed that leukemia cells were killed by the substance and found that three out of four leukemia patients who were given green tea extract seemed to experience regression.

Ovarian Cancer According to a Swedish study, women who drink at least two cups of tea per day have a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. The study, carried out on 61,057 women, aged 40 to 76, found that those who drank two or more cups of tea per day benefited from a 46 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer compared to non-drinkers. Furthermore, each additional cup was associated with an additional 18 percent drop in risk.

Prostate Cancer A Chinese study, published online on October 7, 2003 in the International Journal of Cancer (Volume 108 Issue 1, Pages 130-135) showed that drinking 5 cups of green tea daily may slow prostate cancer growth. More recent research by the Japan health Center –based Prospective study, 2007, showed that men could cut their risk of developing prostate cancer by half. Research also shows that black tea also has profound benefits in that it reduces prostate enlargement.

Green and black tea can slow the spread of prostate cancer (Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, 2004).

Skin Cancer Tea may lower risk of some cancers (University of Arizona study, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention ((Vol. 9, No. 7), 2001).

Santosh K. Katiyar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Dermatology at University of Alabama at Birmingham claims that green tea can reduce the risk of skin cancer. The rich tumor inhibiting polyphenols found in green tea including the potent antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation induced damage, and prevents skin cancer tumor formation as the antioxidant properties can cancel out damage caused by free radicals which are molecules that damage cells resulting in a process of turning a cell cancerous.

Dr. Katiyar, who has devoted 20 years of research in finding ways to prevent skin cancer states, “Green tea prevents UV radiation induced suppression of the immune system, which has been considered a risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Based on epidemiological and mouse models, we can say drinking four or five cups a day may be very helpful for protection”. But he cautioned that green tea was a preventive step, not a cure, for skin cancer. “It is a prevention…. as long as I take it, I am protected,” said Katiyar, who drinks two to five cups of green tea daily.

Dr. Kitayar’s green tea research was published in the May 2007 edition of the Journal of Nutrional Biochemistry as well as the Archives of Dermatology, a journal published by the American Medical Association.

Stomach Cancer Green tea consumption may help lower stomach cancer risk University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Public Health study, International Journal of Cancer (Vol. 92: 600-604), 2001).

A study, (Setiawan, Zhang 2001) published in the May 2001 issue of The International Journal of Cancer, strongly indicates that the more green tea people consumed and the longer the period, the lower the risk of gastric cancer.

Cardiovascular Health Research, conducted at the University of L’Aquila in Italy, showed that drinking just one cup of regular black tea per day improved blood vessel reactivity, and reduced blood pressure and arterial rigidity, thereby improving the elastic capacity of the blood vessels. Professor Claudio Ferri, the principle investigator of the study and one of the lead researchers in this field, explained: “Our study demonstrates that commercially available black tea can affect vascular function in normal individuals. We clearly demonstrated that vascular function improvement exerted by black tea starts with one cup per day and further improves by increasing the number of daily cups of tea.” A full copy of the research, Black tea consumption dose-dependently improved flow-mediated dilation in healthy males, was published in the Journal of Hypertension in April 2009.

Green and oolong teas reduce risk of hypertension patients (National Cheng Kung University study, Archives of Internal Medicine, 2004).

In a test done by Dr. Joseph Vita, of the Boston University School of Medicine, he had some heart patients drink plain water, and the others black tea. After a month, the patients who drank the tea showed impaired blood vessel functioning had improved by 50 percent.

In a 10 year study done in the Netherlands, men who consumed 3 cups of black tea daily decreased their chances by 50% of dying from heart disease.


A study conducted by scientists at the Lipton Institute of Tea in the Netherlands, investigated the mechanism of action underpinning the cholesterol lowering effects of black tea theaflavins, which had previously been poorly understood.

Micelles found in the gut are formed from a mixture of cholesterol, other fats and bile salts and are involved in the transport of cholesterol and other fats from the gut into the blood stream.

The study results show that black tea can reduce the uptake of cholesterol into micelles in vitro, indicating that the tea prevents less cholesterol to be absorbed from the gut to the blood. This may explain the mechanism underlying the cholesterol lowering effect of black tea, which has been frequently reported.

Colon Health According to Dr. Gary Null’s book, “The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing,” green tea decreases inflammation in people suffering from Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis.

Diabetes White tea and green tea are beneficial for controlling the symptoms of diabetes as it helps in reducing the blood sugar to a significant extent. Population studies suggest that green tea consumption may help prevent type 2-diabetes and another study suggests that green tea may improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in individuals with diabetes.

Eyes Scientists have found that the anti-oxidant properties of green tea penentrate into eye tissue and are absorbed by the lens, retina, and other tissues. A study conducted on rats showed, beyond a doubt, that eye structures absorbed significant amounts of individual catechins and that the effects in reducing harmful oxidative stress in the eye lasted for up to 20 hours, suggesting that green tea may protect against glaucoma and other eye diseases.

Fungus Infections Studies conducted at Pace University shows that White Tea was found to fight fungi such as Penicillium chrysogenum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and so may be helpful to people suffering from yeast infections.

According to “Molecular Nutrition and Food Research,” the polyphenolic flavonoids in tea inhibit microbial activity to prevent fungal infections in humans.

Hair Loss Green Tea Extract has been recommended for many years and for a number of reasons for helping to prevent and treat hair loss. In addition to its ability to regulate androgen activity, and increase Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), levels of which are inversely correlated with hair loss), it is also a potent tgf-b1 inhibitor.

Heart Links are being made between the effects of drinking green tea and the “French Paradox”. For years, researchers were puzzled by the fact that, despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans. The answer was found to lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol, a polyphenol that limits the negative side effects of smoking and a fat rich diet.

A study, conducted in 1997 at the University of Kansas, researchers determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why the rate of heart disease is low among Japanese men.

Drinking green tea represses angiotensin II, which leads to high blood pressure.

Immune System Tea is believed to boost the body’s defenses (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2003)

Brigham and Women’s Hospital carried out a research project to compare the immune system response to fight against bacteria of tea drinkers and coffee drinkers and blood sample analysis showed that production of anti-bacterial proteins was up to five times higher in tea drinkers when compared to coffee drinkers, showing that immune response against bacteria is stronger in tea drinkers.

Liver Fibrosis At the 2006 Annual Association for the Study of Liver Diseases meeting, researchers revealed proof that EGCG contributes to the inhibition of two liver disease progression indicators, oxidative stress and inflammation. Based on the results of two studies, the researchers suggested that green tea polyphenols may be a useful therapeutic agent for hepatic fibrosis and a useful supplement for NAFLD. In the October 2005 issue of International Journal of Molecular Medicine, Japanese researchers found that EGCG inhibited collagen production and suppressed collagenase activity, making it of therapeutic potential for treating liver fibrosis.

In the November 2003 edition of American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, researchers concluded that polyphenols from green tea scavenge oxygen radicals and prevent activation of stellate cells, thereby minimizing liver fibrosis.

In the September 2004 edition of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers concluded that green tea polyphenols reduce the severity of liver injury in association with lower concentrations of lipid peroxidation and proinflammatory nitric oxide-generated mediators. Oral Health Rinsing with tea may prevent cavities and gum disease. Studies funded by the Tea Trade Health Research Association found that drinking black tea every day not only reduced plaque build-up but also helped to control bacteria. It is the bacteria in the plaque that promotes cavities and affect tooth surfaces according to Christine Wu, Professor of Periodontics at the University of Illinois. Dental plaque contains more than 300 species of bacteria that adhere to tooth surfaces and produce cavity-causing acid. Plaque is also a leading cause of gum disease. It is the polyphenols in tea which kill or suppress cavity causing bacteria from either growing or producing acid according to Wu’s study. The tea also affected bacterial enzymes and prevented the formation of the sticky material that binds plaque to teeth. Participants in the study rinsed with tea for 30 seconds, 5 times, waiting 3 minutes between each rinse. Similar results were obtained in a Goeteborg University study.

Japanese doctors have found that drinking a cup of tea after meals helps prevent cavities and gum disease because the polyphenols kill the bacteria that cause dental problems.

Skin Professor Declan Naughton and colleagues, from the School of Life Sciences at Kingston University in South West London teamed with Neal’s Yard Remedies to test the medicinal properties of 21 different herbs and plant extracts. They found all 21 had benefits but were surprised to find that white tea outshone them all due to the very high levels of antioxidants found.

Naughton states, “We’ve carried out tests to identify plant extracts that protected the structural proteins of the skin, specifically elastin and collagen. Elastin supports the body’s natural elasticity which helps lungs, arteries, ligaments and skin to function. It also helps body tissue to repair when you suffer wounds and stops skin from sagging. Collagen is a protein found in connective tissues in the body and is important for skin, strength and elasticity.”

His results showed that the use of white tea prevented the enzymes from breaking down the elastin and collagen, which often leads to wrinkles.

Dr Pauline Hili, Technical Director for Neal’s Yard Remedies, said: “We are really excited by this research as it helps us to remain innovative and at the cutting edge of natural skin care. The Kingston University research program helps us to create safe, highly effective and cutting-edge products so it’s an ideal partnership for us.” In addition to the white teas, the researchers tested eight other plants and herbs to see their effects on elastin and collagen. The results were as follows: after white tea, bladderwrack performed well then followed by extracts of cleavers, rose, green tea, angelica, anise and pomegranate.

The same process of oxidative stress in skin cells that leads to immune system damage promoting skin cancer can also lead to photo damage such as wrinkling or mottled pigmentation and the aging factors of rough coarse skin, poor elastic recoil and bruisability. Researchers believe that the anti-oxidant properties of white tea and green tea are the reason they are so effective in preventing skin cancer and skin cell damage.

A study funded by Origins Natural Resources, a division of The Estee Lauder Companies offered promising results in white tea extract’s anti-aging benefits as the results found that the DNA damage that can occur in cells after exposure to sunlight was limited in the skin cells protected by white tea extract. They also found that immune function was restored by the extract.

“Supplementation of skin care products with green tea may have a profound impact on various skin disorders in the years to come, as it may protect against damage from environmental pollutants, especially ultraviolet radiation from the sun”, says Santosh K. Katiyar, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Dermatology at University of Alabama at Birmingham

Smoking and Other Toxic Chemicals Detoxification John Weisburger, Ph.D., senior researcher at the Institute for Cancer Prevention in Valhalla N.Y., states, “I was the first American researcher to show that tea modifies the metabolism to detoxify harmful chemicals.” His lab discovered that both green and black tea blocks DNA damage associated with tobacco and other toxic chemicals.

People in Japan consume green tea on a daily basis and this may explain why heart disease is low among Japanese men even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers.

Tea may help against cancer caused by smoking. (Journal of Nutrition, 2003).

Stamina Green tea extract given to lab rats increased the amount of time the animals could swim before becoming exhausted by as much as 24%.

Stress According to a study by UCL researchers, drinking black tea lowers stress hormone levels. A large-scale study in Japan determined that green tea can relieve stress due to overworking. The study was carried out on over 40,000 individuals and proved to beneficial for those who suffered from psychological stress. Those who drank five cups of green tea daily showed considerably less distress than those who drank one cup daily.

Stroke Twenty million strokes occur annually on a global scale and are the second most common cause of death as well as a major cause of disability. Ischaemic strokes, where vessels become clogged, account for approximately 83 percent of all strokes, and hemorrhagic strokes, which is when vessels rupture and cause blood to leak into the brain, are responsible for just 17 percent.

Study results conducted by UCLA researches and published in the online edition of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association and presented at the American Heart Association’s annual International Stroke Conference in San Diego, found, as stated by lead author Lenore Arab, a professor of medicine and biological chemistry in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA that “By drinking three cups of tea a day, the risk of a stroke was reduced by 21 percent. It didn’t matter if it was green or black tea.”

And extrapolating from the data, the effect appears to be linear, Arab said. For instance, if one drinks three cups a day, the risk falls by 21 percent; follow that with another three cups and the risk drops another 21 percent.

Developing medications for stroke victims is particularly challenging, as the drug has to get to the stroke-damaged site quickly as damage occurs rapidly and by the time a stroke victim gets medical care, it’s often too late to impede the damage. “That’s why these findings are so exciting,” she said. “If we can find a way to prevent the stroke, or prevent the damage, that is simple and not toxic, that would be a great advance.”

Though no one is certain which compounds in tea are responsible for this effect, researchers have speculated that the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) or the amino acid theanine may be what helps. Antioxidants are believed to help prevent coronary artery disease.

“And we do know that theanine is nearly 100-percent absorbed,” Arab said. “It gets across the blood-brain barrier and it looks a lot like a molecule that’s very similar to glutamate, and glutamate release is associated with stroke.

“It could be that theanine and glutamate compete for the glutamate receptor in the brain,” she added.

Although a randomized clinical trial is needed to confirm this effect, the findings suggest that drinking three cups of green or black tea a day could help prevent an ischemic stroke.

Sunburn Researchers found that ingredients in green tea decreased the direct effects of sunburn. This newest study is the first of its kind involving white tea.

Ulcers Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium, which earlier this decade was discovered to be the cause of the majority of stomach ulcers – because it burrows into the stomach lining, causing inflammation which becomes chronic, eventually causing an ulcer. Some research has also linked the bug to gastric cancer.

Green tea is useful for fighting infection by the bug, which is found in the stomachs of about 40 per cent of people. Dr Yoshimasa Yamamoto, of Showa University school of medicine, says green tea contains chemicals called catechins that “show strong antibacterial activity” against H.pylori. “The level required for such activity … is easily reached in the stomach after drinking a cup of green tea,” he told the American Society of Microbiology’s conference on antimicrobial agents.

Viruses Research done at Pace University by Milton Schiffenbauer suggests that drinking black or green tea can help “deactivate” viruses like herpes and help prevent diarrhea, pneumonia, cystitis, and other skin infections.

According to “Molecular Nutrition and Food Research,” the polyphenolic flavonoids in tea inhibit microbial activity to prevent viral infections in humans.

Weight Control A study conducted at Fudan University, in Shanghai, China, and funded by the Lipton Institute of Tea, supports existing evidence that green tea helps reduce body weight, body fat mass, and waist size in moderately overweight individuals.

Dr. Niels Boon, who led the research program, explained: “In this latest research, green tea providing significant catechin levels helped promote weight loss and positively affected body shape. During the investigation, participants drank green tea that contained as many catechins as found in between six to ten regular cups of green tea. Using state-of-the-art measurement techniques, we analyzed the effect of the green tea consumption on body fatness and the distribution of fat across the body. We observed significant decreases in body weight and fat mass. These effects were more pronounced in the group consuming the highest amount of catechins and the results also suggest that the effects were particularly strong on fat located in the abdominal region. In addition, they did not consume any other beverages containing catechins or caffeine during the intervention period – so we can be confident that the effects seen are a consequence of the green tea intervention.”

Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary ~ Chinese Proverb