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The following is a summary of the most widely held beliefs concerning the health benefits of tea (with links included). We all know research is ongoing (see Linus Pauling Institute button concerning white tea research) and we all can’t be sure where this wonderful research will end up, however, better to be an optimist no?

Regardless of what is being researched, if you smoke, don’t eat your fruits and vegetables, take vitamins, exercise and see your doctor regularly, all the tea in China (pun intended) won’t help!

Concerning cancer, many epidemiological studies suggest tea-drinking populations have a lower tendency towards cancer primarily due to chemicals found in tea called polyphenols. Some believe that one or two glasses per day are sufficient for good results.

Tea is also well known for containing Fluoride. This is not a big deal for city dwellers that have Fluoride in their municipal water supply but if you live in the burbs, well water won’t do the trick. (Best to brush everyday however!)

There are many more studies and observations and educational tidbits below. Stay healthy, we need your business!

A. A study regarding the high anti-viral and antibacterial properties of white tea from Pace University

B. A thorough look at ALL of tea's health benefits from the Tea Association of the United States of America

C. A primer on tea and cancer prevention from the United States National Cancer Institute

D. A study regarding tea as an immune system booster from Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital


Several reports indicate that tea flavonoids inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in vitro.

  • Vinson JA, et al (1995) Plant flavonoids, especially tea flavonols, are powerful antioxidants using an in vitro oxidation model for heart disease. J Agric Food Chem; 43 (11):2800-2802.

  • De Whalley, et al (1990) Flavonoids inhibit the oxidative modification of Low Density Lipoproteins by macrophages. Biochem Pharmacol 39; 1743-1750

  • Zhu QY, et al (2000) Interaction between flavonoids and alpha-tocopherol in human low density lipoprotein. J Nutr Biochem 11; 14-2

  • B.

    Tea polyphenols have been shown to inhibit DNA synthesis of leukaemia cells and lung carcinoma cells.

  • Yang GY, et al (1998) Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by tea polyphenols. Carcinogenesis 19; 611-6

  • Smith DM, et al (2001) Green tea induces polyphenols epigallocatechin inhibts DNA replication and consequently induces leukaemia cell apoptosis. Int J Mol Med; 7(6): 645-52

  • C.

    Several in vitro studies and one human trial have found that platelet aggregation can be inhibited by various flavonoids.

  • Corvazier E, et al (1985) Interference of some flavonoids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with oxidative metabolism of arachidonic acid by human platelets and neutraphils. Biochemica at Biophysica Acta 835; 315-321

  • Hodgson JM, et al (2001) Effects of regular ingestion of black tea on haemostasis and cell adhesion molecules in humans. Eur J Clin Nutr; 55 (10): 881-6

  • D.

    The antioxidant activity of tea flavonoids may account for the results of a number of epidemiological studies suggesting that they may have a protective role in conditions such as cardiovascular disease.

  • Conney H, et al (1999) Inhibitory effect of green and black tea on tumor growth. Proc Soc Exper Biol Med 220; 229-33

  • Yochum L, et al. Dietary flavonoid intake and risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. Am J Epidemiol, 149(10), 943-9, 1999

  • Geleijnse JM, et al (1999) Tea flavonoids may protect against atherosclerosis: the Rotterdam study. Arch Intern Med 159; 2170-4
  • E.

    Animal studies have shown that tea and its flavonoids protects against many types of cancer e.g. skin tumors in mice, lung cancer in mice and digestive cancer in mice and rats.

  • Conney H, et al (1999) Inhibitory effect of green and black tea on tumor growth. Proc Soc Exper Biol Med 220; 229-33

  • Landau JM, et al (1998) Inhibition of spontaneous formation of lung tumors and rhabdomyosarcomas in A/J mice by black and green tea. Carcinogenesis 19; 501-7

  • Steele VE, et al (1999) Preclinical efficacy studies of green and black tea extracts. Proc Soc Exper Biol Med 220; 210-2
  • Linus Pauling Institute

    We are very grateful to the Linus Pauling Institute for having the foresight and the courage to test white tea for its potential health benefits. While many a research organization focus on pharmaceuticals, LPI (in our opinion) thinks outside the box and examines what nature has to offer us.

    Following are studies and reports conducted by LPI. The first is what caught our eye back when we were first researching the viability of Inko’s White Iced Tea.


    "White tea" does not refer to black tea with milk, but rather to a specific form of tea in which the leaves and buds are simply steamed and dried. In this sense, white tea represents the least processed form of tea, since green, oolong and black teas undergo withering before various degrees of oxidation. White tea also contains a higher proportion of buds, which are covered with fine 'silvery' hairs that impart a light white/grey color to the tea. White tea brews to a pale yellow/light red color, and has a slightly sweet flavor with no 'grassy' undertones sometimes associated with green tea.

    Researchers at the LPI tested four types of white tea for their ability to inhibit mutations in bacteria, and subsequently examined the protective properties in a rat colon cancer model. In the former studies using bacteria, white teas were generally more effective than green tea in inhibiting mutagenicity (mutagenicity is a result of unrepaired/misrepaired DNA damage and an early step in the process leading to cancer). White teas contained many of the expected polyphenols, some of which were present at higher concentrations than in green tea brewed under the same conditions. Other constituents, such as caffeine, also were present at higher levels in white tea.

    Rats were given white tea (tea was brewed for 5 min, using 2g/100ml hot water) in the drinking water for up to 8 weeks. A second group was given the equivalent amount of caffeine alone. In weeks 3 and 4, animals were given a carcinogen from cooked meat ("PhIP"). After 2 weeks of treatment, and prior to PhIP dosing, enzyme changes were detected in the liver, white tea being slightly more effective in this regard than caffeine alone. Overall, the altered enzyme profiles, and profiles of metabolites excreted in the urine, suggested that the carcinogen was more rapidly metabolized and detoxified. At the end of the study, rats given white tea had significantly fewer PhIP-induced pre-cancerous lesions in the colon (called aberrant crypt foci, or ACF). However, rats given caffeine alone also had fewer ACF.

    These data are highly preliminary, and cannot be extrapolated to human cancer prevention or treatment. They indicate that white tea, like other forms of tea, can block the DNA damage caused by some compounds using a test tube assay with bacteria as indicator organisms. The animal studies scored pre-cancerous changes in the colon, not actual tumors, and raised the possibility that any potential extra 'benefit' from white tea (versus other teas) might simply be related to higher caffeine levels. Finally, animal studies in which inhibition of colon tumor formation has been demonstrated cannot be simply extrapolated to protection in people. LPI researchers are now planning further studies with white tea in animal models (rats, mice, trout), and in a pilot human trial.


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