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Tea Healthier Than Water, But Hold the Milk

July 16, 2007


Back in Fall 2006, the BBC reported that tea was a “healthier drink than water” based on research evaluated by UK public health nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton and colleagues at Kings College in London. According to the BBC report, findings indicated that “tea not only re-hydrates as well as water does, but it can also protect against heart disease and some cancers.”

Now German scientists caution that tea’s health benefits hold true, when consumers hold the milk.

While findings indicated that “drinking black tea significantly improved the ability of arteries to relax and expand to keep blood pressure healthy,” researchers have determined that proteins found in milk, caseins, blocked this effect.

Dr. Robert Vogel, a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland Medical School, commented on the recent studies on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Web site, “Tea is one of the greatest sources of antioxidants,” he says, noting that “in countries where they drink a lot of tea, heart disease is decreased, except for the British Isles. It is typical in Great Britain to add milk.”

His advice? “Add lemon not milk.”

For more details on the German study, view the abstract published in the Jan. 9 online edition of the European Heart Journal.

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