12 Health Benefits of Black Tea

Black tea is derived from the Camellia sinensis plant. (1) It is unique tea as it is prepared from fully fermented leaves. Black tea is used as base for making flavored teas like chai and some instant teas. (2) Also, it provides array of health benefits.


#1. Anti-obesity potential

anti-obesity, anti obesity, prevents obesity, weight loss, black tea, health benefits

Black tea extracts show to exhibit anti-obesity properties. Experimental studies had demonstrated that black tea promotes the reduction of lipids, enhances a blood flow, reduces triacylglycerol (a main component of fat), suppresses food intake, regulates protein responsible for weight loss and inhibits enzymes that play a major role in an obesity. (5)


#2. Reduces risk of mortality

black tea, health benefit, reduces mortality

A recent meta-analysis of revealed that theBlack Tea consumption was associated with reduced risk of mortality. In particular, “black tea consumption was linked to a 10% reduced risk of all-cause mortality risk”. (4) A study presented by the European Society of Cardiology had reveled that drinking tea had lowered non-cardiovascular mortality by 24% among smokers or ex-smokers. It is believed that tea’s antioxidants provide these ”survival benefits”. (15)


#3. Contains health-promoting particles

black tea, health benefits, leaves, antioxidant, health promoting

Black tea consists of many health-promoting compounds. Black tea has been found to be one of the prominent sources of polyphenols. Polyphenols are chemicals that have antioxidant properties. The long-term consumption of a polyphenol-rich diet has demonstrated a promise against cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. (9) European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, out of 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols has ranked black tea as number 52. (8) Interestingly, different types of Black Tea contain various amounts of polyphenols. See the table below for more.

TABLE 1: Polyphenols in Various Black Tea Types –  Chart

 

Chart Link

Source: Determination of Antioxidant Activity in Tea Extracts, and Their Total Antioxidant Content

One class of polyphenols found in a black tea are catechins. Studies had shown that catechins display anti-obesity effects. Catechins have been found to in inhibit fat absorption and proliferation of fat cells. (12) Another class of polyphenols found in black tea are called flavonoids. Scientists believe that flavonoids give a black tea beneficial health properties. Studies had shown that flavonoids help body to remove toxins and display protective effects against cancers, age-related diseases and cardiovascular diseases. (3) According to MDPI, flavonoids provide vascular protections as they:

  • reduce blood pressure
  • improve endothelial function
  • reduce platelet reactivity
  • modulate enzymes
  • display antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (10)

See More: Flavonoids: Antioxidants Against Atherosclerosis

In addition to polyphenols, black tea is a source of amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins and minerals including Chromium (Cr), Manganese (Mn), Selenium (Se) and Zinc (Zn). It also contains other compounds such as carotenoids and tocopherols (form of vitamin E) which enhance beneficial health effects of black tea. (3) Carotenoids are thought to decrease the risk of certain cancers and eye disease. (13) Tocopherol is a potent antioxidant that provides protection against free radicals. (14)


#4. Anti-oxidant

white tea, antioxidant, potent antioxidant, health benefits

Black tea is source of anti-oxidants. Antioxidants fight free-radicals which can damage cells and cause many health problems. Free radicals are produced as a result of stress, processed food, smoking, UV light and pollution. (16) Antioxidants have been linked to a number of potential health benefits, including protection against heart disease and cancer. (17)

The amount of antioxidants is not equal among tea varieties. Some tea varieties display high level of antioxidant activity and others do not. American Journal of Biomedical Sciences had found that out of 46 tea varieties Darjeeling Premium Tea displays the highest antioxidant level and Georgian has the least. (11See More RatingsDetermination of Antioxidant Activity in Tea Extracts, and Their Total Antioxidant Content and Table 2. 

TABLE 2: Antioxidant Activity of Various Black Teas

 

Bar Chart Link

Source: Determination of Antioxidant Activity in Tea Extracts, and Their Total Antioxidant Content

Interestingly, the amount of antioxidants delivered may be affected by tea bags and milk. Tea bags can prevent extraction of flavonoids and milk, a whole milk in particular, can block the affects of antioxidants. It is also worth noting that the brewing temperatures can have an impact on the antioxidant potential.  One study found that brewing black tea at near-boiling temperature, such as 90 degrees Celsius, can enhance antioxidant potential of black tea by tenfold. (18)

 


#5. Lowers the risk of type II diabetes

black tea, health benefits, diabetes

Studies demonstrate that Black Tea could act as preventive vehicle in fight with diabetes. Researchers had found a significant statistical correlation between a high consumption of Black Tea and low diabetes prevalence. Scientists believe that chemicals called phenols and theaflavins found in a Black Tea may be responsible for these beneficial effects. Phenols may play an important role in fight with diabetes as they positively effect lipid and glucose metabolism disorders associated with Type II Diabetes. (5)


#6. Prevents cavities

black tea, health benefit, prevents cavities

An increasing amount of evidence identifies Black Tea as a natural cure of periodontal disease and oral health. Studies had shown that Black Tea inhibits bacterial growth and wards off mouth infections thereby preventing formation of cavities. (5)


#7. Prevents bone mineral loss

mineral loss, health, black tea

Black Tea consumption was shown to positively affect bone mineral density (BMD). A 2007 year study suggested that “[bone mineral density] in tea consumers was 3% higher than in non-consumers”.  Data from another study showed that bone mineral loss over a 4-year period was lesser among tea drinkers indicating 1.6% loss in tea drinkers and 4% in non-tea drinkers. (7)


#8. Lowers the risk of chronic diseases

tea health benefits, chronic disease, black tea

Black Tea may attribute to reducing risk of chronic diseases. Consumption of Black Tea was linked to a lower incidence of neurodegenerative diseases associated with aging. Studies have shown that flavonoids found in Black Tea decreased the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. (5)


#9. Prevents cardiovascular diseases

cardiovascular benefits, health benefits, black tea

Some studies have demonstrated that consumption of black tea is associated with prevention of atherosclerosis and heart disease. A recent meta-analysis demonstrated that frequent consumption of tea, that is 3 or more cups per day, may lower the risk of heart attack. Black tea consumption has also shown to reduce the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and stroke. (2,5)


#10. Enhances cognition, neutralize free-radicals and toxins

black tea, health benefits, cognition enhancement

Black tea contains L-Theanine, a unique amino acid that has been found to provide many beneficial health effect. L-Theanine was found to induce Alpha waves which are are known for cognition enhancing properties and neuroprotection, relaxation and brain development. L-Theanine was also found to nullify free radicals and toxins derived from alcohol. Studies had demonstrated that L-Theanine helps even to prevent memory loss and stroke-induced damage to brain tissue. (5)

 


#11. Anti-caner potential

cancer prevention, black tea, health benefits

Black Tea appears to exhibit anti-cancer properties and may contribute to the prevention of cancer. Some limited evidence suggested that black tea may be helpful in reducing the risk of ovarian cancer as well as rectal, colon, stomach, lung, and breast cancers. Although more studies are needed, some claims had shown that “drinking tea can not only help prevent the onset of cancer but also help reduce the amount of cancer cells in the body”. (18)

Some experimental studies revealed anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of black tea to play a role against cancer formation. Polyphenols found in a black tea were found to induce an apoptosis (cell’s death) and protect against mutagenicity and genotoxicity. It is believed that these chemicals are responsible for tumor inhibition, including its initiation and promotion. (5)


#12. Shields lungs

protect lung, black tea, health benefits

Research have shown that Black Tea may protect lungs from damage. Studies done on guinea pigs demonstrated that damage to lungs caused by a cigarette smoke can be prevented by an infusion of a black tea. It is believed that a Black tea prevents an oxidative damage, the initial harm imposed by a cigarette smoke, thereby preventing subsequent harmful events from occurring. (6)


Side effects

black tea, side effects, adverse effects

  • Black Tea may inhibit absorption of iron. Some studies suggested that phenolic compounds in black tea could inhibit the bioavailability of non-haem iron.
  • Black Tea contains caffeine. Some studies suggested that caffeine is a risk factor for a number of conditions, including hypertension, dehydration, anxiety or insomnia. (7)

 


RESOURCES:

  1. http://www.longrichtea.com/2011/Research_Papers/4.Anti_Bacteria/medicinal_and_therapeutic_effects_of_tea_review.pdf
  2. http://www.healthmatters.idaho.gov/pdf/events/spotoftea.pdf
  3. http://www.panelamonitor.org/media/docrepo/document/files/flavonoids-in-food-and-their-health-benefits.pdf
  4. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/tea#types
  5. http://teaboard.gov.in/pdf/A_boon_for_healthy_living.pdf
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1802835/
  7. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2008.00691.x/asset/j.1467-3010.2008.00691.x.pdf?v=1&t=im4z22ox&s=23c4b6d5725dc0e1f850c34738e668171f565a3c
  8. http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v64/n3s/fig_tab/ejcn2010221t1.html#figure-title
  9. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiGmoP2yNnLAhXEFj4KHSQ7CaMQjB0IBA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mdpi.com%2F1422-0067%2F16%2F2%2F3350%2Fpdf&psig=AFQjCNH15NDcuRTu7IbgJNQXxSy1lfHtEg&ust=1458916046974591
  10. http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/2/8/889/htm
  11. http://nwpii.com/ajbms/papers/AJBMS_2011_4_09.pdf
  12. www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/2/7/737/pdf
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12134711
  14. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrients-health/skin-health/nutrient-index/vitamin-E
  15. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140831125253.htm
  16. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/why-are-antioxidants-important.html
  17. http://phys.org/news/2005-08-coffee-source-antioxidants.html
  18. http://www.healthline.com/health/know-your-teas-black-tea#2

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *