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The Cup that Cheers, But does not Inebriate.

Not only will tea cheer, but black and green tea will enhance your overall health and well being. The differences between black and green tea lie solely in the manner in which they are processed after harvesting. The tea leaves (for both) come from Camellia sinensis, the tea bush. For black tea, the leaves are dried longer and undergo full fermentation and oxidation. This results in color change, as well as a more robust aroma and flavor.

Because black and green tea originate from the very same leaf, their benefits often parallel one another. Recent studies, published in leading medical journals, substantiate American Health Foundation researcher, John Weisburger’s observations, “Tea is beating all scientific expectations as the most potent health beverage ever. The many ways tea can promote health is truly astonishing.”

In a recent study, Joseph Vita, M.D. of the Boston School of Medicine, asked one group of heart patients to drink water, while the other consumed four cups of black tea daily. In a month, the latter group’s impaired blood vessel functioning improved by 50%, reducing their risk of heart attack and stroke.

Lab studies, conducted by researchers at Rutgers University, uncovered a compound in black tea called TF-2. TF-2 has been shown to cause colorectal cancer cells to “commit suicide” in droves, while leaving normal cells unharmed. In addition, Rutgers scientists discovered TF-2 suppresses Cox-2, the gene that triggers inflammation, thereby relieving symptoms related to arthritis, and other inflammatory disorders.

Catechin is a polyphenolic compound found in green tea and is an exceptionally powerful antioxidant. In fact, this compound is the one converted to TF-2 during fermentation for the preparation of black tea. This antioxidant is 25 -100 times more potent than vitamins C and E, which is why green tea can protect your body from free radical damage. Green tea has been shown to counteract the initiation and progression of carcinogenesis (creation of cancer). Cancer patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy have also been shown to more effectively maintain their white blood cell count when supplementing with green tea.

Catechin also inhibits the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, lowering LDL cholesterol and serum triglyceride levels. Green tea blocks the effects of ACE, an enzyme secreted by the kidneys known to cause hypertension. Because green tea impedes platelet aggregation and adhesion, the risk of blood clots is reduced, further decreasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Milton Schiffenbauer of Pace University believes catechin is effective at boosting your immune function because it sticks to proteins easily. This prevents bacteria and viruses from adhering to cells, thus disrupting their ability to destroy them. Additionally, because tooth decay and gum disease rely on the growth of bacteria, green tea provides a healthy proactive approach to oral hygeine. All in all, not bad for a lowly shrub soaked in hot water.


This information was provided by HealthQuest Physical Therapy and Wellness Centers: Return to Work, Return to Life, Return to Play.  To learn more about HealthQuest Physical Therapy services and how we can help you recover from an on-the-job injury, regain your independence and get back to living your life, or return to the physical activities you love visit our website at

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Written by Brooks Juneau

October 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm

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