12 Health Benefits of White Tea

#1. Potent antioxidant

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White tea is the least processed tea and it has been  ascribed to contain the most phenolic compounds, that is antioxidant agents (see Table 1). White Tea is especially rich in catechin, a phenolic compounds’ derivatives, which are powerful antioxidants that remove free radicals and can prevent various diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic inflammation, neurodegenerative disorders and certain types of cancer. Numerous studies have demonstrated that tea catechins and polyphenols are effective scavengers of several free radicals which can damage DNA, membrane lipids, lipoproteins, and functional and structural proteins. (1,10)

 

Table 1: Antioxidant Activity

Table Link

“The antioxidant power of water extracts of different tea samples measured by DPPH assay. All values are means (±SD) of triplicate measurement for two separate runs (n=6)”

SourceScientific and Academic Publishing


#2. Exhibits anti-aging properties

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White Tea was shown to demonstrate anti-aging effects. Researchers from Kingston University revealed that White tea prevented the breakdown of elastin and collagen, a process which leads to the formation of wrinkles. Other researches had shown that White Tea was highly effective in this process as it ranked the highest out of 23 plant varieties in preventing breakdowns of these two compunds. Results has shown that White Tea prevented activity of elastase (enzyme that breaks down elastin) and collagenase (an enzyme that breaks down collagen) in over 89% and 87% respectively (in comparison, a green tea which was  9.99% and 47.17% respectively). Results from Kingston University showed that even small amounts of White Tea induced anti-breakdown effects. (2,3)

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University also believe that White Tea has anti-aging properties. Results of their study suggested that White Tea may provide anti-aging benefits as it reduces oxidative stress associated with aging and sunlight. Kevin Cooper, MD, a researcher from Case Western Reserve University stated that “the white tea extract also appears to build the skin’s resistance against stresses that cause the skin to age.” (4)

Scientists also believe that polyphenols found in White Tea may be contributing to tea’s anti-aging properties. They seem to significantly increase proliferation of cells that synthesize collagen, a protein that is essential for structure and function of skin and that plays an important role in preventing wrinkle formation and aging. (5,6,7)


#3. Helps to prevent acne

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Acne may occur  due  to presence of significant amount of toxins. Antioxidants found  in  White  Tea  eliminate  these toxins and  help to keep  the skin clear and free from acne. In addition, antioxidants found in White Tea help the skin to stay rejuvenated and look healthy. (8)


#4. Fights germs

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White tea exhibits antimicrobial properties. Studies had shown that White Tea extract slowed down the growth of bacteria that cause Staphylococcus infections, Streptococcus infections, pneumonia and dental caries. Milton Schiffenbauer, Ph.D., a microbiologist and professor in the Department of Biology at Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts & Sciences had stated that in vitro White Tea can destroy organisms that cause disease. He also said that “tea extract proves that it has many healing properties”. (7,9)

White Tea has been also shown to fight viruses. In particularly, it has been very effective at inactivating bacterial viruses. Results suggests that it has the potential to have anti-viral effect on viruses in humans. (7, 9)

Anti-fungal effects of White Tea have been also observed. Studies have shown that Penicillium chrysogenum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells can be completely inactivated by a White Tea extract. The anti-Candida activity of White Tea has also been reported. (7,9)


#5. May help treating age-related neurodegenerative disorders such Parkinson or Alzheimer

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White Tea may prevent neurodegenerative disorders. It is believed that these disorders are triggered by an oxidative damage. In fact, some studies had shown that an oxidative stress has been found to be one of the most important factors that contribute to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. It was observed that White Tea reduces oxidative stress, as such, it prevents an onset of neurodegenerative and age-related diseases. (9,10)

It is believed that antioxidants found in White Tea protect nerve cells and diminish effects of oxidative stress. Results from one study “suggested that WT[white tea] consumption may have beneficial effects on neuronal cells contributing to reduce OS[oxidative stress] associated with age-related brain disorders.” Research had shown that as little as 2 cups a day of White Tea may contribute to these beneficial outcomes. One  epidemiologic study indicated “that the risk of Parkinson’s Disease was reduced if tea consumption was ≥ 2cups/day.” (9,10)


#6. Helps to maintain healthy heart

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White Tea contains powerful antioxidants that help to support healthy heart and can prevent many cardiovascular diseases. One study conducted in Europe had shown that higher concentrations of a natural antioxidants were associated with lower incidence of a coronary heart disease. It is believed that high antioxidant content gives White Tea capability to lessens an oxidative stress that produces onset of various conditions such as thrombosis, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, hypertension, cardiomyopathies, cardiac hypertrophy and congestive heart failure.(8,10)

White Tea reduces bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol. It is believed that catechins, abundant natural antioxidants found in White Tea, give this tea such ability. White Tea also can lower the blood pressure as it is capable of thinning the blood and improving the artery functioning. (8,10)


#7. Exhibits anti-cancer potential

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Regular intake of white tea may reduce risk of cancer. Several components of White Tea had displayed anti-cancer effects. Polyphenols found in White Tea were shown by several sources to decrease DNA damage and reduce “the activation of cancer that leads to malignancy.” EGCG components were shown to have antimutagenic effects since they were found to be capable of intercepting carcinogenic agents and reducing oxidant agents before DNA damage occured. Catechins were found to protect cell membranes against oxidation and block cell membrane receptors required for cancer cell growth. (7,9,10)

Limited research has also shown that White Tea displayed chemopreventive effects in lung cancer cells and inhibited the proliferation of colon cancer cells. However, more research is still needed to support these health benefits. (7,9,10,11)


#8. Protects the immune system

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White Tea strengthens the immune system. Research at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University demonstrated that extracts from White Tea protected the immune cells located in the outer layer of the skin against a destruction done by a sunlight. The researchers discovered that White Tea extract not only reduced the elimination of immune cells but it also helped to restore function of the immune cells and suppressed DNA damage. Despite the promising results of White Tea protection against a damage caused by sunlight more research is needed. (7,9)


#9. May protect eyes

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White Tea may help protect eyes and prevent vision problems. White Tea contains compounds called  EGCG that has been shown to protect eyes from harmful effects of light. White Tea also contains provitamin A that may form vitamin A. Vitamin A can help improve the vision in the dark and prevent nyctalopia, night blindness and xeroma. (8,12)


#10. May improve male reproductive functions

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White Tea may enhance sperm concentration, motility, morphology and viability.  One study had indicated that White Tea had improved sperm parameters in male rats injected with type II diabetes. The study showed that in male rats White Tea consumption improved sperm concentration and restored sperm functions including motility and viability. (12)


#11. Aids in weight loss

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White Tea has been found to increase metabolism and calorie burning rates, factors that may aid in weight loss. It is believed that high antioxidant content of White Tea is responsible for these outcomes. Research done by Bose et al. disclosed that treatment with White Tea’s EGCGs (tea’s natural antioxidants) for 15 weeks reduced weight gain by 33–41% in high-fat-fed male mice compared with high-fat-fed control groups. White Tea has also been found to induce other anti-obesity effects. Study done by Söhle et al. showed that White Tea extract effectively inhibits adipogenesis (a process that leads to formation of fat cells) and stimulates lipolysis-activity (breaking down fat cells). Although, the role of White Tea in the prevention of obesity has not been fully explained and more studies are needed, it is notable some promising outcomes have been shown. (8, 9,10,14,15)


#12. Anti-diabetic potential

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White Tea had shown to exhibit anti-diabetic effects. Several compounds found in White Tea were found to prevent occurrences that trigger diabetes.  For example, rat studies suggested that EGCC and other catechins ,both found in White Tea, help to prevent hyperglycemia, a disorder that may cause diabetes. Another study had shown that polyphenols reduce oxidative stress, another factor that leads to diabetes. (9,10)

Additional Resources:

Characterization of White Tea – Comparison to Green and Black Tea

White Tea (Camellia Sinensis (L.)): Antioxidant Properties And Beneficial Health Effects



References:

  1. http://scidoc.org/IJFS-2326-3350-02-201.php
  2. Kingston University. “White Tea Could Keep You Healthy And Looking Young.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810085312.htm
  3. http://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-9-27
  4. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030130081227.htm
  5. https://www.naturopathica.com/system/user_files/attachments/5/original/Naturopathica_Antioxidants.pdf
  6. https://mibellebiochemistry.com/app/uploads/2015/03/GSP-T-for-Skin_Collagen-glycation-and-skin-aging-CT-2002.pdf
  7. http://www.pastoreformulations.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/pastoreEGCG70.pdf
  8. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257536786_White_tea_Offering_something_new_to_your_health
  9. http://scidoc.org/IJFS-2326-3350-02-201.php#ref118
  10. http://scidoc.org/articlepdfs/IJFS/IJFS-2326-3350-02-201.pdf
  11. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814614010280
  12. http://www.molvis.org/molvis/v20/153/mv-v20-153.pdf
  13. https://ubibliorum.ubi.pt/bitstream/10400.6/1348/1/Gon%C3%A7alo%20Tom%C3%A1s.pdf
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15936931
  15. http://profiles.bu.edu/display/132998

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