A dozen new studies have shown that tea may be the healthiest beverage choice you can make. A dozen new articles from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown it promotes weight loss, prevents the progression of cancer and other chronic illnesses, and even improves mood.
The research, reported by Medical News Today
suggests it does not matter whether the tea consumed by more than 158 million Americans is iced or hot.
Experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, UCLA and the University of Glasgow — among others — contributed to the AJCN body of evidence.
"The scientists who contributed their original research and insights are among the best in the world," said Jeffrey Blumberg, the issue's editor. "And together, this body of research has significantly advanced the science of tea and human health."
Among the study findings:
- Researchers who looked at polyphenols — natural compounds in tea — found that they, along with the caffeine content, increased energy and fat burning, which resulted in weight loss and helped maintain a healthy body weight.
- People who consumed green tea and caffeine lost an average of 2.9 pounds over 12 weeks, all while maintaining their normal diet.
- Polyphenols in green tea help to stop the progression of certain cancers. In one study, scientists observed that after a year, 9 percent of tea-drinking men developed prostate cancer, compared to 30 percent of who were taking an inactive placebo. Other cancers tea helps combat include cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, lung, breast and skin.
- An Italian study showed that black tea reduced blood pressure in patients with hypertension and also neutralized negative effects of high-fat meals on arterial blood flow and blood pressure.
- Tea drinking was associated with improving bone quality and strength, particularly in the wake of osteoporosis. One study found a 30 percent reduced risk of hip fractures in tea drinkers aged 50 years or older.
- Drinking tea was also found to improve attention and facilitate better focus on tasks. Researchers note that the amino acid theanine and caffeine in tea are thought to confer psychological benefits to drinkers, strengthening attention, mood, and performance.