Shopping Basket

Your basket is empty
Studies in mice suggest that green tea antioxidants may have a powerful effect in reducing the incidence and severity of rheumatoid arthritis. Polyphenols (antioxidants found in green tea) possess much more potent antioxidant activity than well-known antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E. A research team from Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio has now focused on the effect of these polyphenols in rheumatoid arthritis. Mice used in the Cleveland study were fed either plain water or water enriched with green tea polyphenols, with dosages roughly equivalent to a human drinking four cups of green tea per day. Each of the mice were then injected with collagen, rendering them vulnerable to collagen-induced arthritis - a condition very similar to human rheumatoid arthritis. The study showed that mice fed green tea polyphenols "were significantly less susceptible to the development of collagen-induced arthritis, and if they developed arthritis, the disease was late in onset and mild in comparison to mice not given green tea polyphenols". (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 1999;96:4524-4529). Meanwhile a US study has shown that drinking at least one cup of tea a day can reduce the risk of heart attack by 44%. The health benefits are thought to be derived from ingredients known as flavanoids, a type of antioxidant found in all types of tea. Flavanoids are thought to neutralise the effect of free radicals, a highly reactive molecule which travels around the body causing chemical reactions which can damage cells, including those in the heart tissues. A previous Dutch investigation of more than 800 men between 65 and 84 showed that drinking even more tea - between three and four cups a day - decreased risk of death from coronary heart disease by 58%. In 1991 there were just 153 studies on tea, while in 1998 there were 625 published papers. In a further Japanese study, tea without sugar has been found to be good for teeth and gums. Tea contains tannin fluoride which appears to help prevent plaque. "An increase of just one cup a day could prove invaluable in the fight against gum disease," said the British Dental Health Foundation.