Bottled Tea May Not Produce Health Benefit

BOSTON, Aug. 23 (UPI) — People who buy commercial bottled tea may not be getting the healthful doses of antioxidants, or poylphenols, they expect, U.S. researchers found.

Shiming Li, a chemist at WellGen Inc., a biotechnology company in North Brunswick, N.J., and colleagues said tea drinking in the United States has increased significantly largely because of the research linking tea to a boost in immunity via poylphenols — a group of natural antioxidants associated with anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.

The researchers measured the level of polyphenols of six brands of tea purchased from a supermarket.

The study found half of the teas contained what Li described as “virtually no” antioxidants, while the rest had so little Li said they probably would carry little health benefit. Specifically, the six teas Li contained 81, 43, 40, 13, 4, and 3 milligrams of polyphenols per 16-ounce bottle of commercial tea, compared with one average cup of home-brewed green or black tea contains 50-150 mg. of polyphenols.

“I was surprised at the low polyphenol content” Li said in a statement. “I didn’t expect it to be at such a low level.”

The findings were presented at the 240th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston.

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