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Caffeinated drinks can benefit health says new research

In this new research, which looks at the health aspects of caffeine, Dr Carrie Ruxton, a leading independent dietitian and member of the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP), debunks the myth that caffeine is harmful. Instead, she concludes that optimal intakes of drinks containing caffeine, like black tea, can deliver significant benefits in terms of improving mental function and heart health.
 
Such benefits relate not only to the caffeine content of these drinks, but also to the great variety of other helpful substances they contain. Black tea, in particular, contains natural plant substances called polyphenols, whose benefits in the body are well-known. They have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects which help tackle processes in the body that can lead to common conditions such as heart and circulatory disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritic conditions.
 
Flavonoids, which are a member of the polyphenol family, are particularly useful, says this new research, in that increased intakes of these beneficial substances are associated with a reduced risk of having a heart attack. Flavonoids also support brain and mental function, adds Dr Ruxton in her review.
 
Caffeinated drinks have long been consumed in the UK. Indeed tea has been drunk in Britain for 350 years. In the UK we drink more tea than anywhere else in the world – a massive 135,000 tons in the year 2006/7. On average, this amounts to 2.1 mugs a day, almost of which (95%) is black tea. For more information on the Tea Advisory Panel please visit www.teaadvisorypanel.com
 

 
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28 January 2010
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