Archive for the 'Tea and Health' Category

Top 5 Take-Aways from the 5th International Scientific Symposium on Tea & Human Health

5th International Symposium on Tea & Human HealthArbor Teas attended the 5th International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health in September at the US Department of Agriculture in Washington DC. The daylong symposium included 11 presentations by world renowned scientists who are currently studying the effects of tea on human health. The presentations covered several topics including (but not limited to) tea and weight loss, tea and cancer prevention, and tea and cardiovascular health.

Last Friday, NPR’s All Things Considered featured a story based on research presented at the Symposium. NPR’s Allison Aubrey beautifully summarized part of Rick Hursel’s presentation on Tea and Weight Loss in her story “Health Benefits of Tea: Milking It or Not”. Allison Aubrey’s story explored Hursel’s findings that the mixture of caffeine and catechins found in tea can have a stimulating effect on energy expenditure in the human body (ie our bodies may burn more calories when we drink tea). However, Hursel found that milk proteins may inhibit this function. In other words, if you add milk to your tea it may inhibit or prohibit the caffeine/catechin mix from increasing your energy expenditure. This story provoked a great deal of response from readers on the NPR website. Check out the full story at: “Health Benefits of Tea: Milking It or Not” (Sept 27, All Things Considered)

While Hursel’s research on tea and weight loss explored the most popular health-related issue surrounding tea today, it was only one of several research papers presented at the Symposium. A plethora of positive findings linked tea with a healthy heart, increased cognitive performance, bone health and cancer prevention. Further, these findings represented only a small fraction of the thousands of peer reviewed studies that have been published in the past decade identifying and quantifying the bioactive compounds in the leaves of Camellia sinensis. While there were many highly specific findings presented at the Symposium, we prefer to zoom out and focus on the broader outcomes. Below, we list our top five take-aways from the Symposium.

Arbor Teas’ Top Five Take-Aways
from the 5th International Scientific Symposium on Tea & Human Health

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October 03 2012 | Miscellaneous and Tea and Health | 4 Comments »

Japanese Tea and Radiation: Update

As many of you may know, the 2011 tea harvest is well underway in Japan. With the devastating effects of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which badly damaged Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, there has been a lot of speculation in the marketplace regarding the safety of Japanese tea. While much of the fearful chatter over irradiated Japanese products has subsided in recent weeks, concerns still abound.

Arbor Teas has begun to receive Japanese tea from the 2011 harvest. We’ve pulled together some important facts which we hope will help our customers understand the status of this issue (and, without diminishing the significance of this event, perhaps relieve some concerns).

1) No Japanese tea – either freshly picked or packaged – has been discovered to be contaminated by radioactive particles. (Update 6/1/11 – Unfortunately this is no longer true.  Radioactive cesium in newly harvested tea has been detected. Shipments of all the tea from the area were suspended pending additional tests. Please see comments below for more details.  We are working with our suppliers to have samples of their 2011 crop tested for radiation and will post them when available.) continue reading »

May 16 2011 | Green Business and Miscellaneous and Tea and Health | 24 Comments »

Tea and Stress: Chill Out with Polyphenols and L-Theanine!

The holidays are behind us, and life if back to it’s usual (and often hectic) pace. Everyday stress is all around us:  busy schedules, deadlines, crying babies, etc.  Fortunately, our friend the tea leaf can offer a little relief! In the seemingly endless list of beneficial health benefits of tea, here’s a little bit about tea’s role in managing stress.

A Little Background on Cortisol & Stress

Cortisol is a hormone that is released by the adrenal gland when one experiences stress. This mechanism is an evolutionary response to help us mobilize our bodies to respond quickly to harmful situations. While small amounts of stress can be beneficial, prolonged periods of stress can be detrimental to your body. It’s important to monitor your stress levels and stay aware of stress-relieving remedies to maintain health cortisol level.

Tea’s Polyphenols to the Rescue!

Tea is full of polyphenols. As you may remember from previous posts, polyphenols are a class of antioxidant that help your body maintain homeostasis. These polyphenols also help lower the amount of cortisol in the body after a stressful event. Research suggests that with enough polyphenols circulating in your body, the negative effects of excessive cortisol can be counteracted!

And Theanine, too!

Tea is also full of L-theanine, an amino acid that also helps your body fight off stress. Theanine relies on its natural psychoactive abilities to not only decrease mental and physical stress, but also improve various cognitive abilities. And better yet, it’s also believed to strengthen the immune system! (There’s probably nothing more stressful than getting sick in the middle of the a stressful situation!)

So, next time you find yourself experiencing a little more stress than usual, turn to a trusty cup of organic tea for some relief! It’s a delicious way to keep cortisol levels in check, and keep you feeling mellow!

January 23 2011 | Tea and Health | 1 Comment »

Tea and Chocolate, a Terrific Pair!

With the holidays upon us, the urge to consume staggering quantities of rich, often unhealthy, food grabs hold of us all! But don’t worry, there is a healthy way to indulge: tea and chocolate together! Some may think that pairing tea with chocolate is a little strange, but actually, they have a lot of components in common, including caffeine and polyphenols such as tannins and flavinoids.

Here’s a rundown on why it makes sense to pair tea and chocolate – both for your palette, and your health!

Caffeine

As you probably know, tea and chocolate offer significant doses of caffeine. In addition to giving your a little “lift” after consuming them, a variety of new studies suggest that caffeine (in moderation), can help stave off many neurological disorders, such as Alzeheimers or dementia.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids are a class of polyphehols that are somewhat bitter in flavor.  There are many studies indicating that flavonoids are anti-allergic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-microbial. Happily, tea and chocolate are both fantastic sources of flavonoids!

Tannins

Tannins (a type of flavinoid) are an astringent, mildly-bitter molecule that lends both tea and chocolate that rich, somewhat puckery flavor we so enjoy! It could be these molecules that facilitate the pairing of chocolate with tea.

As it turns out, treating yourself to tea and chocolate is a great way to cater to that holiday snack hankering, but still maintain your healthy lifestyle. This winter, try pampering yourself with some of Arbor Teas’ Tea Infused Chocolate Truffles! Of course, they make fabulous gifts for those foodies friends of yours, too!


December 05 2010 | Tea and Health and Tea Facts | No Comments »

5 Compelling Benefits of Green Tea

What could be better than a warm cup of your favorite organic green tea? How about knowing that cuppa you just enjoyed is likely to bring you major health benefits today and into the future?! While there have been many studies linking green tea and healthy living, it can be hard to stay on top of all this information.  That’s why we’ve pulled together the following five studies from the past year that we found to be most interesting.

1. Green Tea vs. Breast Cancer

A recent study out of the biology department of East Carolina University published in Cancer Genomics Proteomics supports prior findings that the antioxidants in green tea may help protect against breast cancer. In the study, researchers found that treatment involving green tea extract decreased the development of the MCF-7 human breast cancer cells, which lead to a further decrease in cancerous tumor cells in the breast. The researchers concluded that green tea may be a strong tumor constrictor, hence, people with a family history of breast cancer may benefit from drinking green tea.

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November 21 2010 | Tea and Health | 1 Comment »

Get The Most Out Of Green Tea: Treat Your Skin To Some

As you probably know, there are tons of creams and ointments that claim to reverse and/or eliminate the aging of skin. Most of them are costly, and their effectiveness is questionable at best. But here’s some good news: a new study from the Mohave Skin and Cancer clinic corroborates past evidence that the use of green tea in skin treatments (sometimes called “cosmeceuticals”) may be a great way to limit the signs of aging skin!

Your Skin’s Best Friends: Antioxidants, Polyphenols and EGCG

While all teas contain a fair amount of antioxidants, researchers consistently agree that green tea has the highest concentrations. The principle benefit of antioxidants is that they remove free radicals and inhibit inflammation. Free radicals are agents in the body that start harmful reactions that damage your cells. The more antioxidants active in the body, the less damage is caused by free radicals.

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November 05 2010 | Tea and Health | No Comments »

Study From Portugal: Green Tea ‘Promising Agent’ in Kidney Cancer

Green TeaJust released by the World Tea News (Monday, April 12, 2010):

“Researchers at the University of Porto in Portugal have concluded a study indicating that green tea may be an effective anticancer agent for renal cell carcinoma (or RCC), the most common type of kidney cancer in adults and one of the most deadly.

The team noted RCC’s resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the resulting urgency to explore the potential of other therapies and the potential for managing other types of cancer that green tea and tea polyphenols have demonstrated in other studies.

With this in mind, the researchers set out to analyze the antiproliferative effect of an antioxidant-rich green tea extract on human renal cancer cell lines. They found that “green tea extract strongly inhibited the growth of both RCC cell lines in a concentration-dependent manner,” stated an abstract of the findings. “This is the first report showing that green tea is likely to be an effective anticancer agent for renal cell carcinoma.”

A report from the research will appear in the September 2010 issue of the scientific journal Food Chemistry.”

April 15 2010 | Tea and Health | 2 Comments »

COOKING WITH TEA RECIPE: Dragonwell (Green Tea) Chicken Noodle Soup

The health benefitsGreen Tea Chicken Noodle Soup of green tea seem to be popping up perpetually in the news these days. Just recently a published study found that drinking green tea increases the effectiveness of antibiotics. Good news for those suffering this flu and cold season! Another well-vetted remedy for these ailments is a humble bowl of chicken soup. Why not combine the two to give your immune system an additional boost? Yes, green tea can be incorporated into the broth of the soup, but did you consider for an extra-added health benefit that the steeped leaves could also be eaten—as a vegetable? Go ahead; incorporate some of the unfurled tea leaves within the soup instead of discarding them in the compost bin.

In developing this recipe, I played quite a bit with the ratio of green tea to chicken broth. The tea adds subtle notes of astringency as its smooth, light-bodied flavor competes with the aromatic celery, parsley and peppercorns on the palate. Be it your goal to boldly bring forward the tea’s flavor or to creatively incorporate more green tea in your diet, try playing with the ratios yourself to suit your taste preferences. A good starting point is 1 teaspoon of loose tea per 1 cup of chicken stock. Interestingly, the noodles absorb the green tea flavor and color as they cook in the soup, providing yet another vehicle with which to consume the tea. As for any soup or stew, homemade stock makes all the difference in this recipe, adding a level of clarity and richness to the flavor. It is well worth the extra time it entails.

Wishing you wellness this winter. Hope you enjoy this Cooking with Tea Recipe From the Kitchen of Olivia!

Dragon Well (Green Tea) Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 4-6

1 whole roasting chicken, rinsed well
1 large onion, quartered
6 carrots, divided
4 celery stalks, divided
One bunch of parsley, stems and leaves separated
6 ounces pappardelle (or other wide style) egg noodles
About 3 TBS loose, organic green tea such as Dragonwell (Lung Ching)
1 TBS (or to taste) salt
1 TBS (or to taste) whole peppercorns

In a large stockpot, combine the chicken with onion, 3 carrots and 2 celery stalks cut into two or three pieces, parsley stems, salt and peppercorns. Add 8 cups water (or just enough to cover chicken) to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Skim and discard impurities from the top frequently.
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January 21 2010 | Cooking with Tea and Tea and Health | No Comments »

Green Tea Boosts Antibiotic Effectiveness

It is flu and cold season again!  And if my son returning from day care with the sniffles and a cough wasn’t enough to inspire me, my own sore throat prompted me to read the latest edition of “Natural Health.”  I was excited to read an article written by Daniel Mazori that reported taking antibiotics while drinking green tea can make antibiotics nearly twice as effective and even weakens drug-resistant bacteria (December/January 2010).  Natural Health MagazineWhat great news not only for us here at Arbor Teas, but also for the entire tea drinking community!  This article was most likely referring to a study released in 2008 by researchers at Alexandria University in Egypt in which green tea was tested in combination with antibiotics against 28 disease-causing microorganisms. Dr Mervat Kaseem, of the University’s Pharmacy faculty, said “In every single case, green tea enhanced the bacteria-killing activity of the antibiotics. For example, the killing effect of chloramphenicol was 99.99 percent better when taken with green tea than when taken on its own in some circumstances.”  Kaseem and colleagues found in almost every case and for all types of antibiotics they tested that drinking green tea at the same time as taking the antibiotics appeared to increase the action of the antibiotics and reduce drug resistance in bacteria.

Yet, another reason to drink green tea this winter!

January 19 2010 | Tea and Health | 1 Comment »

Japanese Study Reveals Psychological Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

CalmAccording to a recent study published in the September 2009 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there appears to be an inverse relationship between green tea consumption and psychological distress. The study was conducted at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. It sought to clarify, through a large-scale study, whether green tea consumption was associated with lower psychological distress.

A team of medical researchers analyzed data gathered from 42,093 Japanese people age 40 and older. The participants answered questions about their lifestyle, including green tea drinking habits and psychological distress as indicated by the Kessler 6-item scale.  As it turns out, respondents who consumed five or more cups of green tea per day were 80 percent less likely to suffer psychological distress than those who consumed one cup or less of green tea per day.

More good news for drinking green tea!

November 09 2009 | Tea and Health | No Comments »

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