Monthly Archives: December 2006

Milking tea of all its goodness


That dash of milk in the morning cuppa nullifies all the goodness of the tea.
Studies have shown that drinking green or black tea can be good for you because both types contain an abundance of antioxidants called flavonoids. These improve blood-flow and help to prevent heart disease, and are also thought to protect against some cancers. But German researchers discovered that adding milk to a cup of black tea counteracts the beneficial effects.

The study, published in the European Heart Journal, found that when black tea is drink on its own, cardiovascular function improves. But it suggests that certain proteins in milk appear to negate the effect of catechins, the particular flavonoids in tea. The findings are bad news for manufacturers who have promoted the health properties of the beverage to Australians who add milk as a matter of routine. The study involved 16 healthy post‑menopausal women who were given either 500 ml of black tea, black tea with 10 per cent skimmed milk or with extra boiled water as a control. They drank it on three occasions but refrained from drinking tea for four weeks before and after the study. The drink itself was made from 5g of Darjeeling tea leaves brewed for three minutes.

In a healthy artery, blood vessels able to relax if the blood flow increases. A process called flow mediated dilation. The researchers measured FMD levels in the forearm before the tea was drunk and at several intervals afterwards. They wrote: “Black tea significantly improved FMD in humans compared with water, whereas addition of milk completely blunted the effects of tea.”The culprit in milk appears to be a group of proteins called caseins, which interacted with the tea to decrease the concentration of catechins.

The Times

So perhaps this means that by switching to soy milk which like all soy products doesnt have dairy based casein in it, you are not going to lose all the goodness that tea possesses?