Recent Research on Tea and Health

Tea for your health?
Tea for your health? (Photo source: stock image)

If you’ve been tuned into this blog for a while you’ve probably noticed that we’ve featured quite a few articles that highlight possible links between tea and improved health. If you’ve missed those articles, do not despair. They’re still around and you can access them right here.

One of the topics we reported on previously was how tea might aid in guarding against MRSA, a so-called “superbug” that is resistant to many regular antibiotics. More recent research on a related theme has found that tea might be of some help in preventing a type of superbug that’s particularly problematic in hospital settings.

Welsh researchers tested the effects of 33 different single-estate teas from around the world on 79 strains of the bacteria, which is known as Clostridium difficile, or C.diff, and which is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections in the UK. They found that green tea was somewhat more effective than black in fighting the bug. They attributed this effect to the polyphenols that are contained in all tea but which are more numerous in less processed types such as green.

As I noted in a previous article on tea’s ability to effect high cholesterol levels, this is a problem that plagues an estimated 42 million people just here in the United States alone. That article looked at a study by a Chinese research team, but more recently Australian researchers put in their two cents on the issue. They found, as previous researchers have, that a polyphenol in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) helped bring about significant reductions in LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.

We’ve also reported on tea and diabetes in these pages in the past, but it’s worth making a mention of some recent research on that front. It comes to us courtesy of a group of German researchers who found that drinking four or more cups of tea a day could reduce the risk of diabetes by as much as 20 percent. Heavy tea drinking seems to be the key here as researchers found that drinking one to three cups of tea a day had no significant effect.

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