FDA warning about the herb; Stevia
Sept. 18, 2007
REUTERS - The FDA warned Hain Celestial Group about including the natural sweetener stevia in their tea products. The FDA considers stevia an unsafe food additive, as it might be dangerous to blood sugar, reproductive, cardiovascular and renal systems.
Flavonoids cut heart attack risk
(MSNBC NEWS SERVICES_ -- July 8, 1999 -- Substances called flavonoids found to be powerful preventive. Drinking at least one cup of tea a day could cut the risk of heart attack by almost half, a new study shows. The brew contains natural compounds called flavonoids that can neutralize harmful chemicals that damage cells leading to heart attacks, stroke and cancer. Flavoniods are one of the most powerful antioxidants, or substances that offset the damaging effects of oxygen in the body. Scientists have recently become excited about the potential benefits of the chemicals, which also are abundant in onions, apples and red wine.
Strongest Antioxidant Found in Tea
(REUTERS By E.J. Mundell) -- September, 1999 --Anyone for a steaming hot cup of antioxidants? One expert says tea leaves contain the strongest known form of the disease-fighting compounds.
"Our research shows that green tea contains a powerful antioxidant, known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG," said Dr. Lester Mitscher, distinguished professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. EGCG is the "strongest of all" the antioxidants he's aware of -- more than 100 times as effective at soaking up free radicals than vitamin C, and 25 times more powerful than vitamin E. Mitscher put various teas -- green, black, and oolong -- through tests designed to spot the presence of antioxidants. Green teas have, by far, the highest concentrations of active EGCG, Mitscher said. "Green tea is plucked at the appropriate time and then is immediately steamed," he explained. "That heat process prevents the internal oxidation of these compounds."
He said oolong and black tea leaves are allowed to oxidize during processing. This oxidization greatly reduces the amount of active EGCG in those teas. Black tea, for example contains just 40% of the EGCG of green tea. The daily tea consumption needed for optimum antioxidant effects has "not really been firmly established," Mitscher said. But he points out that in countries like China and Japan, "people customarily drink 4 or more cups (of green tea) per day." Studies in those populations reveal "a lower incidence of ...degenerative diseases," he said. "That's probably a healthy dose. We don't know that one cup (per day) wouldn't work, but that's really not been established.