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    Tea for Two: The Two May Be Cancers and Heart Disease

    continued...

    Sung's study -- published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition-- looks at the antioxidant capacity of green tea and also indicates that the amount consumed is important. Specifically, they found that a single cup of tea didn't affect antioxidant activity at all, while increasing amounts had more impact -- and the more, the better.

    Sung stresses, however, that "the roles of each component of green tea in the increase of antioxidant capacity still needs further investigation."

    Lenore Arab, PhD, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, notes that there have been a lot of very encouraging research on the potential effects green tea may have in preventing and limiting cancers.

    "I am becoming increasingly impressed with the amount of information that is coming out that supports an effect for green tea in particular," Arab says. "Our analysis shows that it might well have a protective effect on cancers. I have been encouraged to pursue this further."

    In fact, she recently has switched from coffee to green tea as her beverage of choice. She does stress, however, that this has been based on her interpretation of studies that haven't clearly proven that there is any effect in humans.

    And as a boost to those who like to brew, there is very little information to suggest there are any serious side effects of drinking green tea.

    "The studies that have been done so far show benefits from consuming green tea," says Hasan Mukhtar, PhD, from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. "There is a reasonable amount of good data that show green tea consumption could have beneficial effects on the onset and progression of certain cancers and [heart] disease. None of these studies have provided any evidence that these amounts would be harmful."

    The next question would be how best to brew the tea?

    In Korea, the tea manufacturers recommend placing a bag with 2 to 5 grams of tea into hot water. Remove the bag, then repeat two to three times. Enjoy.

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