White Tea and Health

By William I. Lengeman III

When it comes to health benefits, there’s no doubt that green tea gets more than its fair share of press. But there’s evidence to show that benefits can be derived from any type of tea. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since all types of real tea are derived from the same plant – Camellia sinensis.

White tea is another variety that’s begun to attract more attention nowadays from tea lovers and anyone who would like to improve their health. Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute, which lays claim to being a world leader in the study of white tea, says, “only one topic draws as much interest as information about Pauling – inquiries about white tea.”

A 2000 study conducted by researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute examined the cancer-fighting potential of white tea. Researchers took a look at four varieties of white tea and measured their ability to inhibit mutations in bacteria. They found that white tea was typically more effective at doing this than green tea.

A more recent research study at the Institute took a look at the effects of green and white tea in relation to colon cancer. The results of the study were published in the journal Carcinogenesis. They showed that consuming moderate amounts of either of these types of tea could be nearly as effective in protecting against the disease as the prescription drug, Sulindac. It was also found that tea exerted “significant protective effects in experimental animal models” against other types of cancer.

Yet another study, also conducted at Pace University, found that white tea extract returned better results than green tea when it came to inactivating bacterial viruses. Researchers also discovered that adding this extract to toothpaste enhanced its anti-microbial effects. Additional research, conducted by researchers at the University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University found that elements of white tea helped boost the immune function of skin cells and protected them from the damaging effects of the sun.

See what else William’s up to on his blog, Tea Guy Speaks.

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