Tea News: EGCG Kills Antibiotic-resistant A. baumannii
Antibiotic resistance to drugs is increasing worldwide. Acinetobacter baumanni is no exception. A. baumannii can cause pneumonia and is a growing problem for hospital intensive care units.
A preliminary study has found that EGCG from green tea killed 21 different isolates of multidrug-resistant A. baumannii.
In addition, synergy was noted for EGCG and topical mafenide acetate (Sulfamylon) for one isolate (Osterburg A, Highly antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumanni clinical isolates are killed by the green tea polyphenol (-)-eipgallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), Clinical Microbiol Infect., April 2009).
A. baumannii may become invasive after surgeries, increasing length of stay in hospitals as well as health risks.
Tea News: Avoiding Sugar In Your Tea
If you're looking for long-term weight loss, you may want to limit the use of sugar in your tea and other beverages.
A new study has found that reducing beverages sweetened with sugar was significantly associated with weight loss at 6 months and 18 months.
In a survey of 810 adults participating in an 18-month behavior modification trial (PREMIER), researchers found that reductions in sugar-sweetened beverages were more effective for weight loss than reductions in calories from solid food (Chen L, Reduction in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight loss: the PREMIER trial, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2009).
Sugar-sweetened beverages included soft drinks, sweetened fruit drinks, fruit punches, high calorie beverages with sugar, and even zero calorie tea or coffee with sugar added.
Worried about the taste of tea without added sugar?
There are hundreds of green tea tastes to explore. Check them out and start your lifetime green tea adventure!
Tea News: Tea Reduces Diabetes
Diabetes type 2, or adult-onset diabetes, is a deadly disease expected to reach epidemic proportions worldwide in the next few decades.
A new study has found that long-term consumption of green or black tea is associated with lower fasting blood glucose levels and a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes in a group of 300 elderly Mediterranean people.
Participants reported drinking tea for at least 30 years of their lives.
Results showed that drinking tea was associated with dose-dependent benefits regardless of age, smoking, body mass index or weight, physical activity levels, sex, or dietary habits. The higher levels of tea consumption provided greater risk reduction.
Even moderate tea consumption of 1-2 cups daily was associated with a 70% reduction in risk of diabetes 2 (Panagiotakos DB, Long-term tea intake is associated with reduced prevalence of (type 2) diabetes mellitus among elderly people from Mediterranean islands: MEDIS epidemiological study, Yonsei Medical Journal, February 2009).
Here is information about diabetes type 1, juvenile onset diabetes
Tea News: Presidents Tea
Today is President's Day for the United States, originally combining George Washington's, Franklin Roosevelt's, and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays.
Most U. S. presidents were regular tea drinkers. Washington, FDR, and Lincoln were no exceptions.
George Washington's tea was frequently Hyson, Young Hyson, and Gunpowder Green. The Lincolns served the best tea both in Springfield, Illinois and at the White House. The Roosevelts always served tea, frequently offering eight formal teas a week.
President Obama enjoys Honest Tea.
The White House refrigerator is stocked with Green Dragon Tea and Black Forest Berry, his two favorite bottled flavors made by Honest Tea, according to CEO Seth Goldman.
While all U. S. presidents have served teas, some recent presidents have preferred other beverages.
Green Dragon Tea contains organic green tea and Black Forest Berry is a fruit infusion which includes phytonutrient-rich blueberries.
Tea News: Green Tea Blocks Helicobacter pylori
A new study has found that the water extract of green tea blocks the adhesion of dangerous bacteria to both human and mouse cell walls.
Helicobacter pylori (ulcers), Staphylococcus aureus (staph), and Propionibacterium acnes (acne) were blocked while beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus (used in yogurt) were not damaged.
The researchers used a special green tea preparation without catechin antioxidants. They found that tea carbohydrates containing uronic acids were effective in preventing the adhesion or attachment of the pathogens to the cell walls (Lee JH, In vitro anti-adhesive activity of green tea extract against pathogen adhesion, Phytotherapy Research, December 2008).
Pathogenic bacteria must attach to cell walls to generate disease effects. When they are blocked from doing this, cells can avoid damage and the immune system can work more easily to eliminate the bacteria.
Learn more about green tea and Helicobacter pylori gastritis
Tea News: Green Tea And Osteoporosis
A new animal study has found that green tea polyphenols (GTP) can help protect bone structure from osteoporosis for middle-aged female rats.
Green tea helped protect bones even after the rats had their ovaries removed.
Over a 16 week period, rats receiving green tea daily had increased bone trabecular volume and thickness, increased new bone formation, and reduced bone erosion, among many other positive findings compared to those rats receiving plain water (Shen CL, Green tea polyphenols mitigate deterioration of bone microarchitecture in middle-aged female rats, Bone, December 2008).
This is considered a preliminary study.
Osteoporosis and other bone mass problems affect over 28 million American women and men, as well as hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
Osteoporosis accounts for approximately 70% of fractured bones in people over the age of 45 (National Osteoporosis Foundation 2004).
Tea News: Green Tea And Lung Cancer
Many preliminary studies have shown that green tea may reduce the risk of lung cancer.
Now a new meta-analysis shows a small but statistically significant reduction in lung cancer with green tea but not with black tea.
Reviewing 22 studies from 1966 to 2008, researchers found a significant 22% reduced risk of lung cancer with the highest levels of green tea consumption. In addition, they found an 18% reduced risk of lung cancer for every additional 2 cups of green tea consumed daily.
The relation between black tea consumption and lung cancer was not statistically significant (Tang N, Green tea, black tea consumption and risk of lung cancer: A meta-analysis, Lung Cancer, January 2009).
Tea News: Ideas For A Holiday Tea
One of the easiest ways to bring people together is with a tea party.
Here are some ideas for holiday teas or a special Christmas tea--
Tea News: Green Tea For Astronauts
Japanese space food in an unmanned cargo ship has been sent to the International Space Station. The menu includes space noodles, rice balls, curry, mackerel in miso, seaweed soup, and, of course, green tea.
A Japanese astronaut, Koichi Wakata, is expected on the space station in February, 2009, for a three month duty tour. While he will enjoy this menu with the other astronauts, it will also be rotated with Russian and American food.
But how do they drink green tea on the International Space Station?
With chopsticks, of course.
Don't believe me?
Drinking tea with chopsticks in microgravity onboard the International Space Station.(March 15, 2003) --- Expedition Six NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit demonstrates ho...natural peristalysis
Also, we'll have to wait longer for astronaut ice cream made with green tea.
Tea News: Protecting Tooth Enamel With Tea
A new study has found that both green and black tea are safe for your tooth enamel.
Tooth enamel can become eroded from soft drinks loaded with sugar and from some fruit juices (straw recommended). This loss is apparently irreversible. It inevitably leads to decay, tooth loss, and deadly infections.
Researchers in Philadelphia studied the effects of soda pop, fruit juice, and tea on tooth enamel over 20 weeks. They compared the results to vinegar (maximum erosion) and water (no erosion).
In a three part report, they found that sodas eroded the teeth almost as much as vinegar (acetic acid), fruit juices showed moderate erosion, and both black and green tea were the same as water with no erosion (Bassiouny M, Topographic and radiographic profile assessment of dental erosion. Part III: Effect of green and black tea on human dentition, General Dentistry, July-August 2008).
This study used plain tea--no sugar, lemon, or additives. Remember, it is customary to drink green tea plain to enjoy the unique flavors. Plain tea also is a great calorie reducing habit with only 0-2 calories per cup for anti-aging advantages.
Tea News: Caffeine And Memory
A recent study examined the effets of caffeine usage on cognitive failures such as errors of memory and attention.
Researchers used an existing UK database of 3223 adult non-working participants age 17 to 92 years old from the combined Bristol Stress and Health at Work and Cardiff Health and Safety at Work studies. 57% were female.
Caffeine consumption ranged from 0 to 1800 mg. daily (see effects of too much caffeine) and the mean was 140 mg. daily.
After removing the influence of other lifestyle and demographic factors, there was only one significant finding--a reduced risk of depression.
The positive finding of lower levels of depression was significant whether the source of caffeine was coffee or tea (Smith A, Caffeine, cognitive failures and health in a non-working community sample, Human Psychopharmacology, November 2008).
Here's a seven-part series on caffeine in green tea, including 21 tips on how to change your green tea caffeine levels.
Tea News: Harry Potter Tea
Hope you didn't miss this--
Lucky Harry Potter fans won a ticket to Edinburgh, Scotland to participate in a tea party with J. K. Rowling.
Anyone age 8 to 17 entered a 200 word essay contest and traveled with an adult to celebrate the December 4, 2008 launch of The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
If you didn't make it this time, check your official Harry Potter Scholastic site for more exciting events.
Remember, you can always have your own Harry Potter tea party at home!
Tea News: Green Tea And Rheumatoid Arthritis
A new animal study shows that drinking green tea polyphenols reduces the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
Researchers from Maryland and New Jersey used a rat model of rheumatoid arthritis. They gave half the rats green tea polyphenol extract (including EGCG) in all their drinking water and compared them to rats drinking plain water.
Within 9 days, the rats receiving green tea had significantly less arthritic severity.
The green tea rats also had less cytokine interleukin (IL)-17, but more cytokine IL-10 than the water-only rats. Green tea also suppressed the antibody response of anti-Bhsp65 (Kim HR, Green Tea Protects Rats against Autoimmune Arthritis by Modulating Disease-Related Immune Events, Journal of Nutrition, November 2008).
This study is considered preliminary and more research is needed to determine if green tea would help humans with rheumatoid arthritis.
Tea News: Japanese Tea Festival In Missouri
Some people have waited 10 years to go to the Japanese Tea Ceremony in the St. Louis, Missouri Botanical Gardens.
Each year about 200 people out of 40,000 visitors will be able to visit the Tea House Island which is normally closed to the public. The tickets sell out within three minutes.
Lucky visitors cross an earthen bridge to enter a world of beauty protected from the outside world. They follow a stone path through bamboo hedges to enter the garden Seiwa-en, landscaped carefully with stones, miniature waterfalls, raked gravel, Japanese maple, and star magnolia.
The Tea House was constructed by St. Louis' sister-state Nagano Prefecture, Japan. It was dismantled and re-assembled on Nakajima Island at the Botanical Gardens, dedicated in 1977 with a traditional Shinto ceremony.
Visitors for the Tea Ceremony wash their hands and mouth at a fountain before entering the Tea House through a 3 X 3 foot door.
They kneel on rice straw tamami mats and sip matcha tea during a "thin tea" ceremony that lasts about 20 minutes.
The ceremony centers on spiritual virtues of peace, harmony, purity, and respect rather than religious values.
The entire Japanese Festival focuses on "ichi-go, ichi-e" or one encounter, one chance. This ephemeral quality of life gives us one moment to achieve something, to appreciate something, to increase our understanding of the world. Then that moment is gone and another moment will be different.
The Missouri Botanical Gardens holds this festival on Labor Day weekend, the first Monday in September (September 1, this year).
Did you miss it?
There's only one thing to say...
Next year in Missouri.
Tea News: Green Tea And Leukemia
Leukemia is a form of cancer that strikes the blood and bone marrow cells. It has been associated with smoking, radiation, and benzene exposure.
Over 21,000 children and adults die of leukemia every year in the United States, and over 44,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.
A new study has found that catechin antioxidants from green tea are associated with lower incidence of leukemia in young adults.
In a case-controlled, population based study, researchers compared 252 cases of childhood (0-15 years old) and young adult (16-29 years old) leukemia with 637 matched controls in Taiwan. They measured the intake of catechin antioxidants from green tea consumption.
After adjusting for smoking and medical radiation, results showed that those in the young adult group who drank the most green tea reduced their risk of leukemia by 51%.
The results for childhood leukemia were not significant, which may be related to lower consumption of green tea in children (Kuo YC, A population-based, case-control study of green tea consumption and leukemia risk in southwestern Taiwan, Cancer Causes & control, August 2008).
While the death rate for leukemia has decreased in the United States, the number of new cases continues to climb steadily.
Tea News: Green Tea Seed Oil
Although the green tea diet is very popular, there has been no research on the effects of green tea seed oil.
Now, a new animal study compares the effects of a high fat diet with shortening or green tea seed oil with animals on a normal diet for 85 days.
The animals on green tea seed oil showed significantly less weight gain than those on shortening, 32.4% lower cholesterol than those on shortening, and fatty tissue inhibited through the suppression of several transcription factors related to fat cell differentiation (Kim NH, Green tea seed oil reduces weight gain in C57BL/6J mice and influences adipocyte differentiation by suppressing peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, Pflugers Archives: European Journal of Physiology, August 2008).
This study is considered preliminary. While there were no side effects reported, more studies are needed to determine the usefulness of green tea seed oil.
Tea News: New Green Tea Producer
Conversion is usually a matter of changes in tea harvest and tea manufacture.
Now, the island of Sri Lanka, in the Bay of Bengal of India, which has produced primarily black tea, is starting to convert to green tea production.
Hapugastenne Plantations, part of the Finlay tea group in Sri Lanka, is working with tea exporters Imperial Tea Exports and Tea Tang to produce green tea.
Learn more about different green tea varieties
Tea News: A Movie About Tea
Keep an eye out for the 2007 documentary about tea "All In This Tea."
Running 70 minutes, this film by Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht follows American tea importer David Lee Hoffman as he travels through the far reaches of tea-growing regions in China.
Hoffman seeks quality, fair trade, and organic practices to assure the exquisite taste of green tea. His journeys lead him through diverse business practices and language problems.
The movie contrasts time-honored hand manufacture of tea with agribusiness cultivation of tea, modern high rise apartments with tea street vendors.
Here's a YouTube video trailer about the film "All In This Tea:"
This fascinating film has shown in some theaters in the U.S., and also has been offered by the Sundance channel.
Tea News: Smoking, DNA Damage, And Green Tea
A recent study compared DNA damage in heavy smokers after drinking green tea, black tea, and water.
Researchers used urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) as the marker for oxidative stress DNA damage and repair levels.
They found that DNA damage was significantly reduced only with green tea consumption at the level of four cups of green tea. Neither black tea nor water (placebo) provided protection.
In addition, green tea significantly reduced DNA damage regardless of the genetic type (GSTM1 and hOGG1 genotypes) of heavy smoker (Hakim IA, Green tea consumption is associated with decreased DNA damage among GSTM1-positive smokers regardless of their hOGG1 genotype, Journal of Nutrition, August 2008).
Tea News: Tea Extracts Help Radiation Damaged Skin
One of the side effects of radiation used to treat cancer patients is skin toxicity. A slow recovery from this skin damage can delay future treatments, increasing the risk to the cancer patient.
A study tested the application of inexpensive green tea extract on head and neck cancer patients being treated by radiation. The tea extract helped shorten the skin toxicity recovery period by 5 to 10 days.
The tea extract application tests showed that it was effective by inhibiting inflammatory chemical pathways rather than antioxidant action. Green tea was more effective than black tea extract for many patients (Pajonk F, The effects of tea extracts on proinflammatory signaling, BMC Medicine, December 2006).
Tea News: Green Tea Protects Skin Grafts
Preserving donated human tissue until it can be used for transplants is difficult.
However, new research has shown that green tea polyphenol antioxidants (for example, EGCG) can improve preservation in a variety of tissues, including blood vessels, corneas, nerves, heart cells, pancreas cells, and cartilage.
A new preliminary study tested skin grafts on animals both with and without green tea polyphenols for up to 8 weeks.
The skin grafts were successful with green tea preservation for up to 7 weeks when kept at 4 degrees C. (39.2 F, or slightly above freezing) but were not successful when preserved at that temperature without green tea polyphenols.
All skin tissue kept at 37 degrees C (98.6 F) were unsuccessful regardless of green tea polyphenols (Kawazoe T, Green tea polyphenols affect skin preservation in rats and improve the rate of skin grafts, Cell Transplantation, 2008).
Improving the preservation of tissue for transplants could help parts of the world with less reliable capacity for freezing, or during emergency situations.
Tea News: Green Tea, White Tea, Black Tea, And A Parasite
A protozoa parasite called Trypanosoma brucei is transmitted by the tse-tse fly and can cause fatal sleeping sickness in people. Currently, there are an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 cases, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa (WHO, 2005).
A new animal study has tested the action of tea against Trypanosoma brucei.
Using mice infected with T. brucei, researchers found that all animals (untreated controls, green tea, white tea, and black tea groups) showed the same levels of infection for the first 8 days.
However, from day 9 to 13, parasite levels decreased significantly more in tea-treated animals.
By day 11, all teas also showed significant protection against red blood cell destruction. All teas showed significant protection against inflammation by reducing parasite-induced hypoalbuminemia.
Both green tea and white tea were superior to black tea. However, black tea was significantly protective, and by some criteria, approached the protective levels of green tea.
In addition, all teas were more protective than an established anti-inflammatory drug called dexamethasone (Karori SM, Different types of tea products attenuate inflammation induced in Trypanosoma brucei infected mice, Parasitology International, February 2008).
This is a preliminary study, and more research is needed to know if there would be similar results with T. brucei-infected humans.
For more research on green tea and infections, see
Tea News: Green Tea And Hepatitis B
A new preliminary study found that green tea extract could effectively inhibit hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the laboratory.
Using a stabilized HBV cell line, researchers tested green tea extract and EGCG and the expression of viral antigens, extracellular HBV DNA, HBV mRNA, and other replicative intermediates.
In this test, whole green tea extract was more powerful than isolated EGCG (Xu J, Green tea extract and its major component epigallocatechin gallate inhibits hepatitis B virus in vitro, Antiviral Research, June 2008).
Hepatitis B is a major health problem worldwide. It is transmitted through blood, sexual contacts, needles, and childbirth. It may be asymptomatic, or cause liver failure and death.
Vaccines are the best protection against hepatitis B and are used routinely up to age 18, and in high risk groups or travelers (Center for Disease Control).
Tea News: Tea Vs Anthrax?
One of the events after the 9-11 World Trade Center attack in the United States was anthrax spores sent through the mail to members of Congress and the press.
Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. Contagion occurs when anthrax spores are inhaled and it can be lethal, as it was for five people in the 9-11 anthrax event.
Normally anthrax infection occurs from spores on infected cattle or deer, especially their hides, and has become rare in most areas.
But if you are preparing a general emergency kit and want to make it more complete, you might consider adding tea.
A new study has found that English Breakfast black tea could kill anthrax more effectively than American coffee. The polyphenols in the tea were able to considerably inhibit the activity of anthrax.
However, adding milk, as is the custom for many black tea drinkers, completely stopped any antibacterial action of black tea (Baille L, Microbiology, March 2008).
An earlier study found that EGCG from green tea inhibited the lethal metalloproteolytic activity of anthrax so well that it prevented the death of macrophage cells and animals (Dell'Aica I, Potent inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor from green tea, EMBO Reports, April 2004).
These studies are considered preliminary.
Tea has shown remarkable protective activity against infectious diseases including
Tea News: New Immune System Tea Chemical Discovered
Research shows that green tea helps the immune system protect the body by fighting bacterial and viral infections.
Green tea accomplishes this in ways that are now described as broad-spectrum. Many of the beneficial results have been associated with the chemicals in green tea called catechins, a group of polyphenol antioxidants which includes EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate).
Now a new preliminary study has discovered that green tea polysaccharides also help the immune system.
Researchers found that green tea polysaccharides extracted from young tea leaves stimulated immune cells called macrophages. Macrophages are white blood cells that engulf and devour bacteria, protozoa, and even cancerous cells.
The study found that green tea polysaccharides from younger tea leaves were the most effective. Older tea leaves were not as effective (Monobe M, Immunostimulating Activity of a Crude Polysaccharide Derived from Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) Extract, Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, February, 2008).
For green teas that use younger leaves, try
Tea News: Improving Protection Against E. coli And Listeria
Industrialized societies are always looking for better ways to protect food from contamination, but would you have suspected adding jasmine tea and wildflower honey would help?
Researchers have now found that either jasmine or green tea mixed with honey and sprayed on meat products will reduce both Listeria by up to 20% and E. coli 0157 on turkey breast slices and hot dogs.
And when the hot dogs had already been pretreated with sodium lactate, potassium lactate, and sodium diacetate, there was a synergistic effect with the tea and honey spray that kept bacterial contamination lower even 14 days later (Fung D, Food Safety Consortium, 2007).
These studies are preliminary and need further review before widespread implementation.
But the benefits from improved food protection techniques could be great.
E. coli contamination has caused approximately 73,000 illnesses annually and cost over $400 million for health care, not including the economic cost of product recalls. Listeria accounts for the majority of deaths annually from contaminated food in the U. S. (CDC).
Tea News: Lemon Or Milk In Your Tea?
A preliminary laboratory study has shown that combining green tea with citrus juices like orange, grapefruit, lime, or lemon increases the stability of precious antioxidant catechins like EGCG up to five times greater than plain green tea.
Even the addition of cow's milk, soy, or rice milk showed an increase in catechin stability (Green RJ, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 2007).
But previous researchers on the stability and bioavailability of green tea catechins have checked whether the catechins are stable not only in the laboratory, but also if they show up in the blood stream of human volunteers after drinking.
That research has created the controversy over milk in tea. Some blood tests from human volunteers show less catechins after drinking tea with milk and some show the same as plain tea. Adding a little citrus has not been controversial.
So, if you're buying bottled green tea mixed with some citrus juice, you might have a better chance of getting some of green tea's catechins. Or not. Other factors like shelf life, sugars, and other additives were not tested here.
In any case, the vast majority of research into green tea health benefits has intelligently been based on creating a model comparable to standard human usage called "cup of tea strength."
And that body of research shows most of green tea benefits become statistically visible when humans drink around five cups of green tea daily.
So, if it's appropriate for your particular health condition, enjoy a cup of freshly made plain green tea.
And try it plain. Like fine wine, a premier green tea should be enjoyed for itself.
Tea News: New Sources Of Organically Grown Tea From China
While increased pollution and industrialized lifestyles are affecting the health of some provinces of China, other provinces are dedicating large areas to organic tea plantations.
Far from Shanxi coal mining, Guizhou province has the desired warm, damp climate for tea production.
A local history of low industrialization combined with agricultural poverty preventing the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers have created a unique opportunity in China for organic cultivation.
Already, over 18 square miles of tea gardens have passed verification for non-pollution tea and nine square miles have been verified as organically grown.
By 2020, this green tea belt in Guizhou could cover up to 334 square miles.
Favorite Guizhou tea include Meitan green sprouts, Meijiang green leaf, Yaolao silver sprouts, Zunyi Mao Feng, and Fenggang organic green tea.
Thank goodness for organically grown green tea!
Tea News: Good News For Decaf Lovers
Do you look for decaffeinated green tea, but worry about losing those wonderful antioxidant catechins?
Now there may be a new decaffeination process that can retain over 80% of the catechins.
Researchers examined cosolvent-modified supercritical carbon dioxide, or SC-CO 2 for short, and found specific parameters that allowed the removal of 91.5% of the caffeine while retaining 80.8% of the green tea catechins (Huang KJ, Journal Agriculture Food Chemistry, 2007).
This technology will probably undergo more testing before being implemented in decaffeinated tea manufacture, so here's some tips while you're waiting:
Tea News: Supplements Vs Gargle?
A recent study on cold and flu prevention in healthy adults compared using green tea supplements to placebo for three months.
The researchers found that taking two green tea supplements daily was safe and over 32% fewer people became ill (Rowe C, Journal American College Nutrition, 2007).
A study in Japan found that gargling with green tea three times daily reduced illness due to flu by 87%.
Gargling can diffuse substances through the mucous membranes, protecting the areas of first contact from airborne infections.
Taking supplements helps after the infection has begun to multiply inside the body.
Tea News: Matcha, Matcha Everywhere
Matcha tea is showing up everywhere.
Ice cream, sodas, cakes, cookies, candy, chocolate, even sunflower seeds.
Matcha tea, a powdered version of the most tender green tea leaves, has grown from a ceremonial drink to everyday tea to the latest food fashion.
While everyone will choose their own favorite matcha preparation, science certainly provides evidence about its benefits.
Researchers from Colorado, USA, tested matcha tea for catechin polyphenol antioxidants and compared it to other green teas. Using micellar electrokinetic chromatography, they found that matcha tea had 137 times more EGCG than China green tea (Weiss D, Journal Chromatography A., 2003).
EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, is the most powerful antioxidant in all the preparations of tea: green, oolong, or black. Green tea normally has 5 times more EGCG than black tea.
While matcha is made from green tea, the selection of the youngest leaves for matcha, and the unique preparation concentrates the antioxidants even more than regular green tea.
Antioxidants are important to defend all body tissues from damage from free radicals (unattached oxygen) that is associated with aging and many diseases, including heart disease and cancers.
Tea News: Theanine--Keep Your Cool With Hot Green Tea
A recent study in Japan found that theanine from green tea helped human volunteers keep their cool during a stressful experiment.
Researchers found that high stress symptoms mediated by the sympathetic nervous system were reduced after theanine was used (Kimura K, Biol Psychol, 2007).
Theanine studies with animals have shown that theanine affects serotonin, dopamine, GABA levels, and reduces high blood pressure. Theanine from green tea also preserves brain cells in the hippocampus and striatum which improves memory and learning.
Theanine is an amino acid found only in tea, mushrooms, and a few rare plants. Drinking green tea is the richest natural source of theanine available, although you can find it in supplement form.
Tea News: Infection--Green Tea Attacks Bird Flu
They've finally tested green tea against one of the bird flu viruses.
Researchers in South Korea synthesized several derivatives of EGC, one of its primary catechin polyphenols. All derivatives worked against the H9N2 avian bird flu virus, as well as human influenza A and B viruses.
The derivatives prevented all the flu viruses from attacking red blood cells. Also they were effective in preventing viral growth in amounts far smaller than anti-viral drugs.
While this study is preliminary, the researchers believe that the broad spectrum performance of green tea catechin derivatives against these influenza and bird flu viruses could be helpful for pandemic management. (Song JM, Antiviral Research, 2007)
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