Tea Advisory Panel

Black Tea & Health

This area of the website covers a variety of health related information about black tea.

 

Did you know?

  • Approximately 40% of the nation's fluid intake today will be tea
  • Tea without milk has no calories. Using semi-skimmed milk adds around 13 calories per cup, but you also benefit from valuable minerals and calcium.
  • Four cups of tea with milk provides 21% of daily calcium requirement.
  • Tea is a source of the minerals manganese, essential for bone growth and body development, and potassium, vital for maintaining body fluid levels.
  • The average cup of tea contains less than half the level of caffeine than coffee. One cup contains only 50mg per 190ml cup.
  • Tea is a natural source of fluoride and drinking four cups makes a significant contribution to your daily intake. (Only 11% of UK water supply has fluoride added.)
  • Green and black teas are from the same plant, Camelia sinensis, and contain similar amounts of antioxidants and caffeine.

 

Background

Traditionally, black tea has been used for the relief of fatigue and weakness.1

 

Health properties

Black tea is associated with reduced cardiovascular risk. A 2001 Dutch study of 806 elderly men found that black tea intake was associated with a reduced risk of ischaemic heart disease mortality.2 A 2001 meta-analysis of tea intake (black and green) found that the incidence rate of myocardial infarction is estimated to decrease by 11% with an increase in tea consumption of 3 cups/day.3 Also, people who have been drinking black tea for at least a year before having a heart attack seem to be less likely to die after having a heart attack.

A 2013 trial in 111 men and women found that 3 cups of tea each day reduced blood pressure variation.4 A meta-analysis of 10 studies found that black tea significantly reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol.5

Black tea has also been linked with reduced risk of cancer. A 2015 meta-analysis found that black tea consumption is associated with reduced cancer risk and reduced cancer mortality.6

A 2014 study in 111 tea drinking men and women found that ingestion of black tea over 3 months can improve body weight and body fat distribution.7

 

Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis):

Early research shows that people who drink black tea seem to have a reduced risk of having their arteries become hardened. This link is stronger in women than men.

Low blood pressure after eating (postprandial hypotension):

Drinking beverages containing caffeine, such as black tea, helps increase blood pressure in older people who have low blood pressure after eating.

Kidney stones:

Women who drink black tea seem to have an 8% lower risk of developing kidney stones.

Brittle bones (osteoporosis):

some early research shows that older women who drink more black tea seem to have stronger bones. Drinking more black tea also seems to be linked with a lower risk of hip fracture in older men and women.

Ovarian cancer:

Women who regularly drink tea, including black tea or green tea, appear to have a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to women who never or rarely drink tea.

Parkinson's disease:

Some research shows that people who drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and coca cola have a lower risk of Parkinson's disease. The lower risk seems to be directly related to the dose of caffeine in men but not women. Drinking black tea also appears to be linked with a reduced risk of Parkinson's disease among people who smoke cigarettes.

Colon and rectal cancer:

Some early research suggests that drinking black or green tea might be linked with a lower risk of colon and rectal cancer. However, most research shows that drinking tea is not linked with a lower risk of colon and rectal cancer. In fact, some early research suggests that drinking higher amounts of black tea might be linked with an increased risk of colon and rectal cancer.

Diabetes:

Early research suggests that taking an extract of black and green tea does not improve HbA1C levels in people with diabetes. HbA1C is a measure of blood sugar control. Other early research suggests that drinking at least one cup of black tea per day is not linked with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes in Japanese adults.

Cavities:

Early research suggests that rinsing with a black tea extract might prevent cavities.

Stress:

Early research suggests that drinking black tea for 6 weeks does not improve blood pressure, heart rate, or feelings of stress ratings while performing stressful tasks.

Stroke:

Black tea contains chemicals called flavonoids. Early research suggests that eating a diet that contains flavonoids is linked with a lower risk of stroke.

 

References

1 http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Herbal_-_Community_herbal_monograph/2014/04/WC500165888.pdf

2 http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Herbal_-_HMPC_assessment_report/2014/04/WC500165886.pdf

3 http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Herbal_-_HMPC_assessment_report/2014/04/WC500165886.pdf

4 Hodgson et al. AM J Clin Nutr 2013; 97:543-50. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23553154

5 Zhao et al 2015. Clinical Nutrition 2015; 34:612-9 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24972454

6 Tang et al. Br J Nutr 2015, July 23: 1-11http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26202661

7 Bohn et al. Functional Food 2014; 5(17):1613-1620. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24889137

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