Now there is more reason than ever to drink tea. A new study, published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness, discovered that a specific type of tea, called “Pu-erh tea” from China, may protect against oxidative stress. Many age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular (heart) disease and Alzheimer’s disease (and more) are thought to be linked to oxidative stress. Another condition impacted by oxidative stress is called fatty liver. Fatty liver can result from too much fat in the diet. It can lead to a very serious fatal condition called cirrhosis (a condition in which the liver does not function properly due to long-term damage, characterized by the replacement of normal liver tissue by scar tissue).
What is Pu-erh Tea?
Pu-erh tea is from China. It’s an herbal tea, specially formulated via a fermentation process, in an environment of high temperatures and high humidity. The tea has very high levels of antioxidants called flavonoids, catechins and theaflavin. Fermenting gives the tea beneficial microorganisms that have many health benefits. Fermenting also enables the tea to neutralize the effects of a high fat diet, providing protective factors for the liver.
The study (conducted by authors from China) involved 50 rats, divided into 5 different groups including, the normal fed group, high fat fed group, Pu-erh extract-treated group (with 3 different does levels). The rats were weight 2 times each day.
The researchers discovered that the Pu-erh extract lowered body weight and fat index, while increasing liver function, over a 12- week time-span. The changes in the rats, which were fed the Pu-erh extract, were indicative of protection of the liver against damage caused by oxidative stress.
Other benefits of Pu-erh tea extracts include:
- Protects the liver from diseases linked to type 2 diabetes
- Regulates glucose levels in the blood
- May lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol
- Helps cleanse the blood of toxins
- Supports healthy bacterial floral in the gut such as Lactobacillus, and Bacillus, (which helps digestion and promotes a strong immune system)
- Prevents fatty acid synthesis (blocking the body from producing fat and promoting weight loss)
- Prevents visceral fat accumulation
- Mobilizes stored fatty acids in the fat cells by stimulating production of epinephrine and norepinephrine.
- Lowers stress levels as a result of GABA and theanine in the tea
Stabilizes mood and promotes a healthy sleep pattern from natural Melatonin (present in the tea)
The study proves there are more reasons than ever to drink tea for your health and wellness—particularly Pu-erh tea. “Therefore, Pu-erh tea can be used as a potential healthy drink for prevention and/or treatment of fatty liver disease and many diseases associated with oxidative stress,” said the study authors.