Tea May Lower LDL

Published Online: Monday, December 1, 2003

    Results of a study, published in the Journal of Nutrition (October 2003), showed that black tea consumption may lower ?bad? cholesterol levels and someday may help lower heart disease for those at risk. Scientists with the US Department of Agriculture found that consumers who drank black tea for 3 weeks experienced a decrease of between 7% and 11% in their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. The study involved 15 participants who were placed on a 6-week, doubleblind study. Approximately half received 5 cups of black tea daily for 3 weeks, while the other half were given colored water that tasted like tea. After 3 weeks, both groups switched.

    The scientists discovered that LDL levels dropped by an average of 7.5% during the 3 weeks when the participants consumed tea rather than the nontea blend. In a separate study to rule out the effect of caffeine, 12 of the original 15 participants were given water-flavored-like tea with caffeine levels similar to those found in tea.Participants who had regular tea had their LDL level fall by about 11%, compared with those who had the caffeine placebo.

    ?This may indicate that drinking tea regularly could have a beneficial effect if consumed regularly as part of a mixed diet for most people,? said lead investigator Joseph Judd, PhD.

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