There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of scientific papers researching tea, but the results are often split. While one study might find that tea boosts immune function, another often shows no effect. The research is hampered by the fact that most of the studies have examined effects on animals, and little research has been done on the differences between various types of tea.
Nonetheless, a growing number of studies have suggested potential health benefits from tea, and this has attracted a great deal of interest. Research has indicated that tea could have beneficial effects including:
- Improved mental alertness
- Lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Reduced blood pressure
- Lower risk of ***, colon, lung, ovarian and prostate cancer, and
- Protection again Type 2 diabetes
In 2006, a Japanese company petitioned the FDA for permission to label green tea as offering protection against heart disease. The agency denied the request, saying that the research on the subject was "supportive but not conclusive."One component of tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), could help prevent psoriasis, prostate cancer and colon tumors. It is now being used as an ingredient in health foods, beverages and dietary supplements.
The Washington Post July 17, 2007