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Friday, March 7, 2008

Drink This Every Day. Live Longer

Whether it's iced or steaming hot, tea may be the ultimate elixir for your good health.

Previous research has shown it can do a wonder of medical miracles, from helping to prevent cancer to slowing down the aging process to even curing bad breath. Now researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center say there is a direct relationship between consuming tea and lowering cholesterol levels, reports Reuters.

Lower cholesterol can help prevent heart disease. Drink tea every day and you may just live longer.

The study: The Vanderbilt researchers tested their theory using a "tea pill"--a 374-milligram tablet that contained extracts from green tea and black tea that was enriched with the antioxidant theaflavin. Some 240 men and women in China, all of whom had elevated cholesterol levels, participated in the study. Every day for 12 weeks they popped either a tea pill or a placebo. The ingredients in the pill were the equivalent of drinking 35 cups of high quality black tea and seven of green tea.

The results: The researchers called it a "robust" reaction. There was a 16 percent drop in the so-called bad cholesterol--low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol--among the subjects who took the tea pill. Mind you, cholesterol-lowering drugs work better, but this is quite impressive considering tea is not a drug.

But there is a mystery.
Reuters notes that because the tea pill was actually a "cocktail" of antioxidants, it's not known which ingredient in the tea or combination of ingredients is responsible for the effect on cholesterol. That means more testing is needed.

If you want to get the most health benefits from tea, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta recommends green tea over black tea since green tea is richer in antioxidants. Also, be sure to steep the tea at least 5 minutes.

Here's the gotcha: Just drinking tea every day is not enough to lower your cholesterol. You need to have healthy lifestyle habits as well. Mind the alcohol, cigarettes, and weight gain or the tea won't help.

The study findings were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.


source: Netscape.com


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In Japan over a millennium ago, an unassuming monk returned from China with seedlings of a remarkable plant. Its leaves rendered a wondrous beverage that healed the body and eased the mind. That plant was Camellia sinensis—green tea.

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"Mellow Monk imports natural green tea directly from traditional family farms in Japan. Our growers are certified ecologically friendly, as are we." they say.

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