One more study is added to the growing stock of evidence suggesting tea is beneficial for our health with scientists in the US finding tea could lower blood cholesterol.
Researchers led by research chemist Joseph Judd at the Agricultural Research Service's(ARS) Diet and Human Performance Laboratory assessed the effects of black tea consumption on blood lipid concentrations in adults with mildly high cholesterol.
Taking only a small pool of people - seven men and eight women - the researchers gave the participants five servings of black tea per day for three weeks, and a tea-flavored water for another three-week period. In a third study period, caffeine was added to the tea-flavoured water in an amount similar to that found in the tea.
"Overall, we found a 6 to 10 per cent reduction in blood lipids in black tea drinkers in just three weeks," said Judd. The study showed no effect on high-density lipoprotein, the HDL "good" cholesterol.
The study's authors concluded that drinking black tea, in combination with a 'prudent' diet moderately low in fat, cholesterol and saturated fatty acids, reduces total and LDL cholesterol by significant amounts and could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Findings from Judd's study appear in the October Journal of Nutrition among other proceedings from the Third International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health held at the United States Department of Agriculture last year in Washington, D.C.
Research on the effects of antioxidant phytonutrients in tea on coronary heart disease risk is ongoing at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center.