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Black Tea Benefits

Updated on March 5, 2013

Once upon a time, medical professionals and herbalists touted the black tea benefits. Then, green tea seemed to steal the limelight with its antioxidant content. In addition to green tea, many other types of tea have grown in popularity due to various health benefits. Does this mean that black tea isn't healthy? What are the black tea benefits?

Antioxidants in Black Tea

Like its green tea cousin, black tea contains antioxidants. Black tea contains the antioxidants theaflavins and thearubigens. Antioxidants are thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers. According to one study published by the Department of Pathology, VA West Los Angeles, a diet rich in black tea and green tea may help prevent prostate cancer.

Theaflavins may have other health benefits. Some studies have shown that theaflavins lower LDL "bad" cholesterol and raise HDL "good" cholesterol. The results of one study say that theaflavins in black tea are just as effective as antioxidants and the antioxidants in green tea.

Black Tea Benefits Diabetes

One study suggested that consuming black or green tea reduced the risk of diabetes. Another study says that the compounds in black tea slow the absorption of sugar in the blood. The study that discovered this stated that this benefit of tea is associated with black tea more so than green or oolong teas.

Immune System Benefits from Black Tea

Alkylamine antigens is a chemical naturally found in black tea. This chemical seems to boost the response of the immune system. Drinking five cups of black tea a day may help fight off infection, according to one study. Participants in the study had a stronger immune system response than people who drank coffee instead of tea for a four week period.

Oral Health and Black Tea

Another black tea benefit is improved oral health. The compounds in the tea can kill bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath. Some research has shown that consuming black tea may help prevent oral cancer.

Black Tea and Cardiovascular Disease

One study in Saudi Arabia found that people could reduce the risk of heart disease by fifty percent if they drink black tea. A study at Boston's School of Medicine found that drinking four cups of black tea a day helps to reverse the impaired functioning of blood vessels that put the patient at risk for heart attack or stroke. An amazing finding of that study was that improvement could be seen within two hours of drinking just one cup of black tea. And of course as mentioned above, the theaflavins reduce bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol.

What Does This Mean for Me?

I love black tea. Of all the teas I've tried, I strongly prefer the taste of black tea. I used to hate green tea. But because everyone was talking about how good it is for you, I used to drink it occasionally. I have found one green tea that I like. It's called Stash Premium Green Tea. However, I would drink black tea if given a choice.

Using loose teas is ideal, because you can mix the kinds of tea you would like. I would use mostly black tea, but add a pinch of green tea for good measure.

Despite these studies, there is no solid proof that black tea can be used as an effective treatment for a condition. I strongly urge people to seek professional medical advice if they have a health concern. Even though there are black tea benefits, drinking tea or consuming herbal remedies should not be used as a substitute for medical care.

Tea Preference

What is your favorite kind of tea?

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    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for this hub. With all the attention being paid to green tea, it does sometimes seem that black tea has been forgotten. It's good to know that black tea has health benefits too!

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 5 years ago

      I prefer black tea during the daytime and sometimes have a cup of green tea in the evening. Voted up and useful.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love to drink tea and black is good option, because it has so many advantages for health. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!