Tea's CVD Protection

June 9/Islamabad, Pakistan/Right Vision News -- High consumption of tea protects Asians from cardiovascular diseases and cancer, usually caused by smoking, even though people tend to smoke more heavily there than in other countries, says a study.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), smoking-related diseases are killing four million people a year worldwide, and this number will rise to 10 million a year in the next 25 years.

However, there is a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases and cancer in Asia because of the high consumption of tea, particularly green tea, found researchers at the Yale School of Medicine.

Bauer Sumpio, the lead author of the study, said he and his colleagues reviewed more than 100 experimental and clinical studies about green tea and found that the average 1.2 liters of green tea consumed daily by many Asians provides them with antioxidant protective effects, reported science portal EurekAlert.

"EGCG is a component found in green tea, which reduces the amount of platelet-small cells in the blood that are responsible for clotting, aggregation, regulates lipids and promotes proliferation and migration of smooth muscle cells. These are all factors that reduce cardiovascular disease," he said.

According to Sumpio, other reports show that EGCG also prevents the growth of certain tumors. Tea can also improve gastrointestinal function, alcohol metabolism, kidney, liver and pancreatic functions, protect the skin and eyes and alleviate arthritis, he added.

Sumpio further said that tea has been used in managing and preventing allergies, diabetes, bacterial and viral infections, cavities, reduce or cure inflammatory diseases.

However, he said more studies are necessary to fully elucidate and better understand green tea's method of action, particularly at the cellular level.

"The evidence is strong that green tea consumption is a useful dietary habit to lower the risk for, as well as treat, a number of chronic diseases. However, smoking cessation is certainly the best way to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer," said Sumpio.

From the June 21, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition