Fluoride in tea is not a health risk

Current tea consumption is unlikely to provide fluoride intakes that exceed safe limits for adults and children according to a new study just presented to the Nutrition Society by Dr Carrie Ruxton, independent public health nutritionist.


Commenting on the research study, author and member of the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP), Dr Carrie Ruxton notes: “Current tea intakes do not provide enough fluoride to meet the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) for this mineral, and the potential dental health benefits of fluoride cannot be accessed unless tea consumption increases to 3-4 servings/day from the current intake of 1-2 servings a day.

“This latest study helps to put the record straight in the context of a 2013 study that measured the fluoride content of 38 tea bags and concluded that economy versions of tea represented a risk to dental and skeletal health. These conclusions were somewhat surprising given that official bodies view fluoride as a means to deliver dental health benefits when recommended amounts are consumed. Public Health England (PHE), for example, is clear about the benefits of water fluoridation and recommends that the practice is extended.”

Dr Tim Bond from TAP adds: “The 2013 study was also flawed in several respects. Firstly, tea was brewed for 2 minutes – longer than the typical brewing time of 30-40 seconds. Secondly, 2g of dry tea was added to 100ml of water making the infusion more concentrated that a typical tea bag in a cup or mug. Thirdly, the study compared the fluoride intake with the US Dietary Reference Intake rather than the EU Safe Upper Level.

“This latest study replicated the situation of a typical cup or mug of tea in that a single tea bag was added to 240ml of boiling water and brewed for 40 seconds. Tea bags from 49 retail brands were analysed.

“Average fluoride content of black blended tea in this study was 4.91mg/litre and similar to the findings of the 2013 study. However, according to the 2014 NDNS figures, average tea consumption in the UK is 395ml daily and intakes at the safe upper level of intake are 1155ml daily. Fluoride intakes from tea (which is estimated to provide 70% of the UK’s fluoride intake) will likely be lower than the safe upper level of 7mg daily (5mg in children) even among those people with intakes of tea at the higher end of the population. Moreover, this latest study shows that current average intakes of tea do not provide the RDA for fluoride suggesting that tea intake should increase to access the benefits of fluoride for dental health.”

About the Tea Advisory Panel
The Tea Advisory Panel: The Tea Advisory Panel is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the UK Tea Council, the trade association for the tea industry. The Panel has been created to provide media with impartial information regarding the health benefits of tea. Panel members include nutritionists; dieticians and doctors

Drinking traditional tea helps prevent memory loss

Drinking as little as one to three cups a day helps older people’s brain function, according to a new study from Singapore.
The positive effects of tea drinking were particularly beneficial to woman, the study of 1,500 men and women revealed. And drinking more than four cups a day cut the odds of memory failing by three-quarters.
The study looked at the effects of Ceylon (Sri Lankan) tea and showed that just one to three cups of Ceylon tea a day had an effect, cutting the odds of cognitive decline by 43 per cent.
Anti-oxidant compounds in tea are thought to protect against the poisons that ravage the brain in Alzheimer’s.One plant chemical, theanine, is found only in tea and in mushrooms.
Experts in the US recently  analysed several studies on the effect of caffeinated drinks on memory and mental alertness. The thousands of men and women who took part logged how often they drank tea or coffee and did a memory test that is used in the initial stages of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. They discovered that tea was more beneficial than coffee which has more caffeine.
In another study which tracked 4,000 Americans for almost eight years suggested tea to be of particular benefit to women.
The University of California researchers who reviewed the studies said the weaker results for coffee mean caffeine is unlikely to be responsible for the cognitive benefits.
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Little Book of Tea reveals big health benefits

A new ‘little book’ has reviewed recent research on tea and its contribution to health. Published by the Tea Advisory Panel  (TAP), the ‘Little Book of Tea’ draws together reviews of studies conducted by this expert panel. It also provides additional information about how tea is used in the UK, which is mainly black tea, and offers tips for health and wellness.



Commenting on the ‘Little Book of Tea’, Dr Carrie Ruxton from TAP notes: “An increasing number of studies have linked regular tea drinking – both black and green teas – with benefits for heart health, cancer prevention, oral health and cognitive function. Natural plant compounds, called flavonoids, explain the beneficial impact of tea on health.


“This ‘little book’ highlights key benefits of tea in hydration, heart health, cancer prevention, oral health and cognitive function. It is a common belief that caffeinated drinks, such as tea, may adversely affect body hydration levels and advice is sometimes given in magazines that caffeinated drink consumption should be limited. In the ‘little book’ we explode this myth with evidence from clinical trials showing that drinking up to 6 mugs of tea daily actually has similar hydrating properties to drinking plain water. So, people can reach for a cup of tea whenever they feel thirsty.”

TAP report 12 front cover.jpg


Caffeine, in amounts of 30-400mg a day, equating to one to eight servings of tea daily, also has benefits in terms of physical and mental performance. In these amounts, caffeine is not dehydrating and helps to reduce fatigue. Negative effects of caffeine have been observed in studies looking at high dose caffeine pills, not tea, the new book points out.


Turning to other health benefits, the ‘little book’ says that three or more servings of black tea each day have been shown in research studies to have a positive impact on health, particularly a reduced risk of heart disease. Intakes in the range of one to eight cups each day are linked with health benefits and no adverse events.  The publication also points to emerging evidence from a small number of studies linking tea drinking with reduced risk of colon cancer and improved bone health and mental performance.


Benefits of tea in potentially reducing the risk of diabetes are also highlighted with benefit seen in the range of one to four cups each day. Tea could also reduce the risk of stroke, but the number of studies is still small.


Dr Ruxton adds: “Health benefits from drinking tea can be explained by the presence of its major active substances, the flavonoids, plant compounds from the polyphenol family. A further misconception about tea drinking – that milk reduces the availability of the beneficial flavonoids – is also laid to rest in our ‘little book’.  Adding milk to tea does not appear to influence bioactivity in the human body in the majority of studies which examines this issue.”


“Green tea often hits the headlines for its benefits but not everyone knows that all teas are in fact derived from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given their common origin, black and green teas offer similar health benefits.  In fact, both black and green tea have the potential to reduce the risk of dental caries, diabetes, heart disease and possibly cancer. “

In summery, the ‘little book’ demonstrates that drinking around four servings of black tea daily may help to protect against a range of conditions from heart disease to diabetes and dental caries while improving mental health. It also points out that tea is hydrating and intakes in the range of one to eight cups daily is linked with health benefits and no adverse events.


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Myths about hydration

Water We don’t actually need to drink eight glasses of water a day…

Elixir attended the British Nutrition Foundation’s conference on hydration last week and came away with a few very interesting facts about water.

1. The amount of water we need and use is different from person to person

2. We can survive more than a few days without water

3. Most of the water we ingest comes naturally from food

4. Most liquids add to our hydration, including fruit juice, milk, teas and coffee

In general, we are not very clued in about water and hydration – most people in the UK have a very loose understanding about the signs of dehydration.

We look for clues such as darker urine to decide whether or not we are dehydrated – the truth is that darker urine can be caused by a number of things – including vitamin supplements.

Thirst is just nature’s way of telling us our blood water concentration is dropping, not an indication that we are about to become dehydrated.

Serious dehydration is almost impossible to achieve – unless you are stuck in a desert or paralysed with no access to liquids. As mentioned above, it is possible to survive without water for some time; a woman who had been in a coma for years (in the US) survived for 13 days without any liquids after it was decided to turn off her live-saving machine.

The most shocking thing we learned was the truth behind the ‘eight glasses of water’ myth.

Research showed that over 70% of people can quote the recommended amount of water of six to eight glasses.

The truth is, the recommended amount of water is 2.5 litres per day and we ingest most of it in food. The less dense the food, the more water it contains – meaning fruit and vegetables contain the most. 

As we get older we are more susceptible to the marketing ploys of drinks companies – we start to buy into the ‘health’ drink to lower our cholesterol and raise the pro and prebiotic levels of our stomachs.

Beware of drinks advertising an increased level of antioxidants as well – a study found that drinking tea gives you a better level of antioxidants over 24 hours than many health/fruit based drinks. 




ELIXIR reader offer – get 10%+ off Tava organic green tea

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More about TavaSencha, Oolong and Puerh are types of tea just like Darjeeling and Earl Grey. But Tava Tea is a unique blend between organically grown Sencha, Oolong and Puerh species and is not found anywhere else.

These varieties of tea contain a vast array of powerful nutrients and have been used for health and healing in China for over 5000 years. Tava Tea Wellness Blend is a triple combination of the three most powerful blends of teas in the world.

Organically grown and using only the finest, most powerful leaves, makes this blend ultra powerful, for both weight loss and healing. Oolong (also known as Wu Long) and Puerh teas have been used for over five thousand years in China for their health promoting properties. But even these varieties can vary in quality, power and effectiveness.

Tava Tea Wellness Blend uses organically grown whole Sencha, Wuyi Cliff Oolong and Puerh tea leaves of the best grade possible, packed into high quality pyramid teabags. Our Oolong for instance, is the Cliff variant, which is one of the most treasured and expensive of the Wuyi family.

This means you’ll actually experience all the benefits of this unique and powerful tea blend. Wu-Long tea has been praised as the most powerful natural weight loss aid on the market. It’s gaining credibility daily with accolades pouring in from Hollywood stars like Oprah Winfrey and Rachael Ray.

This ancient Chinese tea has been used for thousands of years to increase energy and fight obesity in China and Japan. But now we’ve combined it with two other ultra powerful and effective teas, Sencha and Puerh.

This blend of these three mighty teas is unique and not available elsewhere. Oolong (Wu Long) All tea comes from a plant called Camellia Sinensis. Over time, the plant formed chemical compounds known as polyphenols to protect itself from photosynthetic stressors. Polyphenols, which include flavonoids, are antioxidants which protect against free radicals. All tea is green when picked but the difference in green tea and Wu Long tea is the processing. Green tea is heated to stop the leaf from oxidation. When they’re dried, green tea leaves are rolled to break the cell structure.

Wu Long tea leaves on the other hand, are plucked then kept in carefully controlled conditions where they are allowed to oxidize. The leaves are not broken, so most of the cell structure remains intact. It’s these processing differences that make each tea beneficially different from each other, even though they come from the same plant. The active ingredients in Wu-Long tea that are responsible for producing the many health benefits is a compound group called polyphenol, which is reported to activate the enzyme responsible for dissolving triglyceride. It has been confirmed that the continuous intake of Wu-Long tea contributes to enhancing the function of fat metabolism and to controlling obesity.

Benefits of drinking Tava Tea

A Department of Dentistry at Japan’s Osaka University study showed that regular drinking of oolong tea, strengthens teeth and helps prevent tooth decay by inhibiting the build-up of plaque. According to a study published in Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, test subjects who consumed Wu-Long were found to have stronger immune systems and a reduced risk for infections.

Researchers from Japan’s Shiga University of Medical Science found that drinking Wu-Long each day helps to clear up skin problems within one month.

 â€˘ Oolong Tea may help reduce cholesterol build-up in the bloodstream. • Oolong Tea may help burn fat and thus, may contribute to slimming. • Oolong Tea can help prevent heart ailments. • Oolong Tea can be used for treatment of digestive disorders. • Oolong Tea can promote longevity by stimulating bodily functions and strengthening the immune system. • Oolong Tea may promote healthier and stronger bones, protecting people from such diseases as osteoporosis. • Oolong Tea can also fight against tooth decay.

Puerh A large leaf tea variety or Dayeh, Puerh is grown and picked throughout the year. (Many other teas require a dormant season.) Puerh tea is named after Puerh city in the Yunnan province which was once the main trading centre for teas made in the area. Puerh tastes like black tea, but it falls into a category of its own.

One of the most significant things about this tea is that it gets better over time. That’s because it is picked, processed and partially fired to retain moisture. Then while slightly moist, the tea is piled and left to age in special rooms or caves. The aged teas this technique creates can be found in vintages just like wine. Some of them date back more than 50 years.

Puerh tea is often called the Wonder Tonic and the “Medicinal Tea” and has been hugely popular in China for over 1700 years. Offered as a tribute to Emperors and high ranking officials of the Chinese Imperial Courts, its high value and incredible health benefits gave it the title “Tribute Tea”.

The health benefits and medical use of Puerh tea have been documented in various ancient scripts and famous books throughout Chinese history. Puerh tea is often consumed by Chinese after a greasy or fatty meal. The fat digests faster and you experience far less bloating normally associated with a heavy meal.

Many studies have been published showing the health benefits of this amazing tea. A blind study was conducted in France several years ago with 500 hyperlipidemia patients (an advanced cholesterol condition, usually controlled with medication). Half of the controlled group consumed 3-4 cups of Puerh daily, the rest of the patients were given something else. After 30-days the results showed drinking Puerh on a regular basis could significantly lower cholesterol. • Puerh tea is known to help lower blood cholesterol levels. • Puerh tea may help boost the flow of blood and help enhance circulation. • Puerh tea may help inhibit the formation and growth of cancer cells. • Puerh tea aids in the proper digestion of food. • Puerh tea may help invigorate the spleen. • Puerh tea is known to help break down and thus reduce fat in the system. • Puerh tea may help remove toxins. • Puerh tea may help heal aches and pains. • Puerh tea is known to help lower blood cholesterol levels. • Puerh tea may help boost the flow of blood and help enhance circulation. • Puerh tea may help inhibit the formation and growth of cancer cells. • Puerh tea aids in the proper digestion of food. • Puerh tea may help invigorate the spleen. • Puerh tea is known to help break down and thus reduce fat in the system. • Puerh tea may help remove toxins. • Puerh tea may help heal aches and pains.

Sencha Sencha literally means “roasted (ç…Ž) tea (茶)”. However, the process by which sencha is created differs from Chinese green teas, which are initially pan-fired and could be more accurately called “roasted” teas. Japanese green tea is first steamed for between 15-45 seconds to prevent oxidization of the leaves. This also imparts a difference in the flavour between Chinese and Japanese green tea, with Japanese green tea having a more vegetable, almost grassy flavour (some taste seaweed-like flavours).

Then, the leaves are rolled, shaped, and dried creating the customary thin cylindrical shape of the tea. Finally, after drying, the leaves are fired to aid in their preservation and to add flavour. Infusions from sencha and other green teas that are steamed (like most common Japanese green teas) are also greener in colour and slightly more bitter than Chinese-style green teas. Very popular in Japan, Sencha is drunk hot in the winter and usually chilled in the summer.

Sencha has high levels of Catechin, a type of polyphenol and a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, which can damage the body at the cellular level and make it far more susceptible to cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative diseases.

 Although there are various kinds of polyphenols, catechins are the strongest. The most powerful catechin, Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), is abundant in green tea. Catechin has also been found to be anti-bacterial and to lower the risk of heart disease. Catechin fights the free radicals that help arterial build up. Catechin also stops the platelets from forming clots which can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, thereby reducing stress. • Green Tea lowers the risk of cancer • Green Tea lowers the risk of stroke and heart diseases • Green Tea lowers blood pressure • Green Tea prevents tooth decay • Green Tea inhibits viruses • Fighting viruses, including influenza • Lowering levels of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol • Battling cancer: Tea compounds have been shown to help prevent or alleviate cancers of the lymph nodes, bladder, breast, cervix, colon, esophagus, lung, bones, pancreas, prostate, skin and stomach. • Aiding endurance • Promoting weight loss in animal and human studies Clinical Studies

Tea may help to reduce the risk of stroke

Recent findings show that drinking 3 or more cups of tea a day may help to reduce the risk of stroke and death from stroke by 21%. Arab, L., Liu, W. and Elashoff, D. (2009). Green and black tea consumption and risk of stroke. A meta-analysis. Stroke, DOI:10.1161/STROKEAHA.108.538470.


Long term tea drinking is associated with a reduced prevalence of diabetes in an elderly population. Analysis revealed that drinking 1 – 2 cups of tea per day was associated with the greatest benefit on blood glucose levels; drinking more provided no further benefit. An increase of one cup per day was associated with a 70% lower likelihood of having diabetes (95% CI 41%-86%), after adjusting for confounding variables. Panagiotakos, D.B., Lionis, C., Zeimbekis, A., Gelastopoulou, K., Papairakleous,N., Das, U. N. and Polychronopoulos, E. (2009). Long-Term Tea Intake is Associated with Reduced Prevalence of (Type 2) Diabetes Mellitus among Elderly People from Mediterranean Islands: MEDIS Epidemiological Study. Yonsei Med. J. 50(1): 31- Green tea and cholesterol In a Taiwanese randomised controlled trial, 78 obese women who took 400mg of green tea extract three times a day for 12 weeks experienced significant reduction in LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and a simultaneous increase in levels of HDL-cholesterol, and the hormones adiponectin (promotes insulin sensitivity) and ghrelin (modulates hunger). (Effect of green tea extract on obese women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clin Nutr. 2008 Jun;27(3):363-70). Green tea expands blood vessels Researchers from Greece tested subjects after they consumed green tea, 125mg of caffeine and 450ml of hot water on three separate occasions. They measured the diameter of the brachial artery in each participant 30, 90 and 120 minutes after they consumed each beverage. Arterial dilation increased significantly with tea by 3.69%, peaking at 30 min, whereas it did not change significantly with caffeine or water. (The acute effect of green tea consumption on endothelial function in healthy individuals. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2008 Jun;15(3):300-5). Tea is good for the brain A cohort study of 2501 people from Singapore has found that regular tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cognitive impairment and decline. The effects were most evident for black (fermented) and oolong (semi-fermented) teas. In contrast, no association between coffee intake and cognitive status was found. (Tea consumption and cognitive impairment and decline in older Chinese adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jul;88(1):224-31). Green tea prevents fatty liver A US team fed groups of genetically obese and lean mice a diet containing zero, 1%, or 2% green tea extract for six weeks. At the end of the study, the obese mice fed green tea extract weighed 23-25% less than obese mice fed the non-supplemented diet and the lean mice fed green tea extract weighed 11-20% less those on the non-supplemented diet. Measurements of circulating levels of the enzymes alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase, which act as markers of liver damage, showed that green tea extract -supplementation was associated with 30-41% and 22-33% lower activities, respectively. No significant differences were observed in food intake between lean and obese animals in any group, suggesting that green tea extract works by decreasing intestinal fat absorption or altering liver fat metabolism. (Green tea extract protects leptin-deficient, spontaneously obese mice from hepatic steatosis and injury. J Nutr. 2008 Feb;138(2):323-31).

Drinking green tea before exercise could help burn fat.

In a study, 12 healthy young men took either green tea extract, equivalent to 3.5 cups of tea, or placebo, before taking part in cycling trials. Average fat oxidation rates were 17% higher in the green tea group and the contribution of fat oxidation to total energy expenditure was also significantly higher. In a second experiment, 11 healthy men took an oral-glucose-tolerance test before and after supplementation with capsules containing either green tea extract or placebo. Ingestion of green tea extract was found to increase insulin sensitivity by 13%, meaning that it could potentially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. (Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):778-84).

Tea reduces stress

A recent human study has found that people who drank tea four times a day, for six weeks, had lower blood cortisol levels and were able to recover more quickly after a stressful event compared with those who drank a placebo beverage. (The effects of tea on psychophysiological stress responsivity and post-stress recovery: a randomised double-blind trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007 Jan;190(1):81-9).

In another study volunteers were given theanine (an amino acid found in high proportion in tea leaves), a placebo or nothing, either at the start of a stressful mental arithmetic task, or midway through it. The results showed that theanine intake resulted in a significant reduction in the stress response (measured via heart rate (HR) and salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA)). Analyses of heart rate variability indicated that the reductions in HR and s-IgA were likely to be due to attenuation of sympathetic nervous activation.

The authors concluded that oral theanine could mediate anti-stress effects via inhibition of cortical neuronal excitation in the brain. (L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psychol. 2007 Jan;74(1):39-45). Green tea and cognitive decline According to a study of more than 1000 Japanese adults in their 70s, drinking green tea regularly seems to be connected to a reduced risk of cognitive decline.

People drinking two or more cups of green tea a day, were half as likely to show signs of cognitive impairment as those who drank three cups or less a week. Even though the study wasn’t able to show a clear connection between drinking green tea and maintaining mental acuity, it may help explain why there is less dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease, in Japan compared to Europe and North America. (Kuriyama S et al. Green tea consumption and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study from the Tsurugaya Project 1. Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Feb 2006; 83: 355-361).


Any healthy person can use Tava Tea – Wellness Blend, however we advice pregnant women, breastfeeding women, people with know medical conditions and those taking prescription medication to consult your local healthcare professional before using this product.

For example: This tea melange is based on the principle of antioxidants and the eradication of free radicals. Free radicals are believed to be causing many healthcare related problems, but are also used in some medical treatments (chemotherapy for example) that use these same free radicals. Drinking this tea during those treatments is therefore not advised!

Brewing Instructions

Like any organic substance tea is sensitive to temperature. Many beneficial substances will break down when exposed to high temperatures. Also the wrong temperature will spoil the taste of the tea. Incorrect temperature is one of the most common causes of the bitterness of tea.

1. Pour 600-700ml (3-4 cups) of fresh boiled water into a teapot. 2. Wait until the water is cooled to about 80-85 degrees Celsius. Add the tea. 3. Let the tea steep for 3-4 minutes for the first infusion. The colour of the tea should be warm golden brownish. You’re now ready to drink your tea. 4. Don’t throw away the teabag, you’ve only used it once, and you have not released all the flavours and healthy antioxidants yet! Make sure that the teabag is not kept in water, as the leafs will continue to release its flavours, which we don’t want until the second steeping. 5. For the second infusion, boil 500-600ml (2-3 cups) of water and pour this into a teapot. 6. Again, wait for the water to be cooled to about 75-80 degrees Celsius. 7. Let the tea steep for 6-7 minutes for the second infusion. The colour will be about the same as the first infusion, maybe a little bit lighter. This second steeping releases different tea oils and anti-oxidants, leading to a different taste of the tea. You’re not ready for your second tea session. Please drink no more than 6-8 cups per day to achieve the optimal effect.

Drinking more than 8 cups a day can cause some side effects as undesired bowel movement. Wellness Blend Ingredients – Organic Wu yi Cliff Oolong (30%) – Organic Steamed Green Sencha (40%) – Orcanic Green Pu-erh (30%)

Anyone for a cup of tea?

_MG_6396[1] [320x200].JPGThe menopause can be a very difficult time, but help may be at hand in the shape of a good cuppa.

Tava Tea Wellness Blend uses organically grown whole Sencha, Wuyi Cliff Oolong and Puerh tea leaves of the best grade possible.

These tea leaves contain a vast array of powerful nutrients and have been used for health and healing in China for over 5000 years.

The tea has also become popular amongst women keen to reduce the physical effects of the menopause in addition to promoting general well-being and soothe aches and pains.

The tea’s ingredients increase the drinker’s metabolism and reduce food cravings, which become a problem during heightened hormonal activity associated with the menopause.

Case study 1 – Trudy Leigh, 50, from Loughton, Essex

Trudy gave Tava Tea a try after gaining weight during the early stages of the menopause
She said: ‘I’d always been a slim woman at just over eight stone, but after starting the menopause I gained weight almost overnight. It was a new and uncomfortable experience and no matter what I did, including almost starving myself, I couldn’t shift the extra pounds.’

Trudy has been sipping four cups a day and lost half a stone in three weeks.

Case study 2 – Nicola Chapman, 51, from Bristol

Nicola was having a bad time with hot flushes, she ‘felt uncomfortable, short of energy and embarrassed at turning red and having to fan myself in public. Since drinking the tea I’ve seen my hot flushes decrease to once or twice a day, it’s made a world of difference.’

Dr Tim Thurlings, who developed the tea’s unique blend, said he’s delighted to be able to help women during what can be a particularly difficult time.

He said: ‘The blends of tea we use are proven to have positive effects when it comes to losing weight and promoting feelings of well being  – something which can be particularly important for women going through a time of substantial physical and emotional change.’

‘Not only does the tea speed up the metabolism and help with hot flushes, it also helps reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of developing some forms of lung cancer.’

This means anyone can benefit from a cup of this particularly saintly brew…. So, who’s going to put the kettle on??



Nescafé launches first anti-ageing coffee


London: A new type of coffee which contains high levels of naturally occuring polyphenol antioxidants has been launched in the UK by Nescafé.

The new coffee, Nescafé Green Blend, has a combination of traditionally roast beans for the traditional flavour and unroasted beans which contain exceptionally high levels of a plant antioxidant called polyphenols.

This antioxidant helps the body fight off degeneration caused by free radicals – damaging molecules which are a by-product of living.

Coffee, once a health paraih, is now credited with all kinds of health benefits including helping to prevent liver and Alzheimer’s disease.

The goodness of NESCAFÉ Green Blend lies within the unroasted green coffee beans. They are naturally rich in polyphenol antioxidants which can help protect the body’s cells from day to day damage. Polyphenol antioxidants are also found in green tea and cocoa.

The makers said that the new blend does not increase the caffiene content.

Gary Williamson, Professor of Functional Food, School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds and a world leading expert in polyphenol science says: “Coffee is included among my top 20 lifespan essential foods list – foods and drinks rich in polyphenol antioxidants. Polyphenols are a complex class of naturally occurring components of fruits, vegetables, and beverages made from plants. Many polyphenols are well absorbed by the body and help maintain the body’s defences against ageing processes such as free radical damage.”

All NESCAFÉ coffee is made from 100% pure and natural coffee beans and all coffee is rich in antioxidants.

Liz Read, Nestlé Nutritionist, explains: “Green coffee beans naturally contain high levels of polyphenol antioxidants. During the roasting process, some of the antioxidants are converted into antioxidants known as melanoidins. “A mixture of both types of antioxidants are present in all coffee and the amount present is dependent on the degree of roasting. NESCAFÉ Green Blend has a high content of the naturally occurring polyphenol antioxidant due to the fact that it contains unroasted green coffee beans”.

Latest research commissioned by NESCAFÉ Green Blend shows that consumers are increasingly aware of antioxidants and interested in the benefits that they can bring to their general health.

64% of those questioned have heard about antioxidants and know that they are good for their general health*
Over 50% of people asked know that antioxidants can make a different to their overall health*

Launched into the UK this month, NESCAFÉ Green Blend has joined the rest of the NESCAFÉ coffee family on supermarket shelves nationwide.


Black tea promotes healthy cardiovascular system


Black tea is as potent as green tea in promoting beneficial effects in the cardiovascular system, according to a new study.

Commenting on the study, independent nutritionist, Dr Carrie Ruxton from the Tea Advisory Panel notes: “Drinking tea has been linked with beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, including slowing the progression of atherosclerosis. However, many studies showing these effects originate in East Asia where green tea is the main type of tea consumed. Given that black tea accounts for 75% of tea consumption worldwide, it is important to find out whether black tea is equivalent to green tea in relation to heart health.

“In this laboratory study, the effects of black and green tea on nitric oxide production and dilation of the blood vessels were compared. (Nitric oxide production is associated with relaxation and widening of the arteries which is good news for heart health.) Both types of tea stimulated production of nitric oxide and relaxation of the aorta, the large artery through which blood leaves the heart..

“When individual ingredients in the two types of tea were investigated some very interesting findings emerged. The only ingredient in green tea to cause nitric oxide production and relaxation of the arteries was epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). However, ingredients in black tea – the theaflavins and thearubigins, which are produced during black tea manufacture – were far more potent than EGCG in stimulating nitric oxide production and relaxation of the aorta.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the UK’s biggest and most silent killer so this latest study is great news for black tea drinkers and demonstrates the mechanism by which tea may contribute to heart health. Other studies show that around 4 cups of tea a day is the optimal level to drink.”

Adding further comment regarding black tea consumption and heart health, guest advisor to TAP, Dr Sanjay Prasad from the heart and stroke charity CORDA notes in conclusion: “It should also be noted that several studies suggest that increased tea consumption is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis and vascular event.[2] Increased tea consumption is also associated with reduced carotid plaque, so suggesting a protective effect of drinking three or more cups a day on carotid atherosclerosis[3]. Further work is required to validate these findings.”

The Tea Advisory Panel: The Tea Advisory Panel is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the UK TEA COUNCIL, the trade association for the UK tea industry. For further information please call 0207 7058989.

2. CORDA was founded in 1976 to support clinical research into the prevention of heart disease and stroke using non-surgical methods. They have provided vital funding for the development of ultrasound and other non-invasive techniques used by the researchers at the Institute of Child Health to evaluate cardiovascular disease in the young. In fact, CORDA funded the worldÂ’s first cardiovascular magnetic resonance scanner at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) does not involve harmful X-rays. It provides the most powerful pictures of the body without surgery. As a result CORDA has enabled major medical advances in the understanding of the causes and development of heart disease and stroke. To find out more about CORDA log on to www.corda.org.uk


Just three cups of tea daily reduces stroke risk


London: Daily consumption of three cups of tea a day reduces the risk of stroke and death from stroke, according to the findings of a recent meta-analysis.[1]

The meta-analysis included 10 studies from 6 different countries: China, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands, Australia and the United States. Three of the studies included only women and three only men. Three studies combined the effects in men and women and one study presented its results for men and women separately. These 10 studies included seven populations that drank mainly or exclusively black tea and three that drank mainly green tea.

Commenting on the study from the Tea Advisory Panel, Dr Catherine Hood notes: “These latest health findings are really exciting for all of us tea drinkers. Despite different countries studied and the different tea drinking customs represented across the studies, the meta-analysis showed that tea consumption was associated with reduced risk for stroke and reduced risk of death from stroke. The risk of a fatal or non-fatal stroke in people drinking 3 or more cups of tea a day was reduced by 21 per cent compared to those who did not drink tea.

“Mechanisms by which the tea may protect against stroke could possibly be down to three mechanisms. Firstly, tea has been shown to reduce blood pressure in stroke-prone rats and blood pressure control is the key strategy to reduce risk of stroke in humans. Secondly, tea and the catechins it contains can improve blood vessel function. Thirdly, through the effects of theanine, tea has a protective effect on brain function and may reduce blood vessel damage in the brain.

“In this research, the beneficial effect was not specific to green or black tea, or to the Asian or non-Asian populations in the studies. Moreover, black tea was as effective as green tea in reducing stroke. The authors suggest that their findings may be one of the easiest lifestyle changes to make to significantly reduce the risk of stroke.”

The Tea Advisory Panel: The Tea Advisory Panel is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the UK TEA COUNCIL, the trade association for the UK tea industry. For further information please call + 44 (0)207 7058989.

Tea Tree Oil Family Healing Kit giveaway


The new Australian Tea Tree range is the first to harness the multi-functional healing powers of Tea Tree Oil, which can be used to tackle everything from sunburn to ear infections.

Grown from sustainable crop in New South Wales, every drop of Australian Tea Tree Oil is batch tested to ensure that it exceeds worldwide industry standards. The companyÂ’s strong environmental policies demand the natural environment from which the oil originates is maintained to keep the impact on the plantation to a minimum

we have five family healing kits to give away. Each one is worth ÂŁ30. If you would like one of these kits please email us with your name and address and “Tea Tree” in the email header to readeroffer@elixirnews.com. This offer closes on the 30 August 2008. Please note that no money substitute is offered and the Editor’s decision is final.

About the Family Holiday Healing Kits

Kits come in a colourful, striped wash bag that is fully lined and made from ethical Indian Fairtrade Cotton, ÂŁ15 (38cm high x 28cm wide)

Organic Tea Tree Soothing Lip Balm – SPF 18, £2.49 for 5.7ml

Australian Tea Tree Lip Balm combines the healing antiseptic properties of Tea Tree Oil with the moisturising benefits of Shea Butter and Vitamin E to promote soft kissable lips. A built-in SPF 18 sunscreen also provides effective protection from the sunÂ’s UVA and UVB rays.

Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil, ÂŁ3.99 for 10ml or ÂŁ7.39 for 25ml

Australian Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil is guaranteed to be of the highest quality, over and above industry standards. It is batch tested to ensure that it conforms to their strict guidelines and is the perfect addition to the modern medicine cabinet. It can be used for general first aid to treat cuts, burns, insect bites, rashes etc.

Organic Tea Tree Antiseptic Cream, ÂŁ3.99 for 50ml

Australian Tea Tree Antiseptic Cream provides soothing protection for the skin without causing irritation. The non-greasy formulation is easily absorbed by the skin and has a wide variety of applications – perfect for gentle relief from cuts and grazes.

Tea Tree Antiseptic Spray, ÂŁ4.49 for 30ml

Australian Tea Tree Antiseptic Spray is a non-greasy formula that combines the antibacterial properties of Tea Tree with soothing Aloe Vera, moisturising Coconut Oil and healing Vitamin E. It comes in a pump-action spray – perfect for gentle first-aid application on the go.

How to use the Australian Tea Tree products

For several hundred years, the Aborigines have used the natural antiseptic, germicidal and anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil to treat common ailments on the move. Word soon spread to the Western world and in 1920s tea tree was proved to be at least ten times stronger than the traditionally used antiseptic of the time – carbolic.

A trusted healing aid for many years, now its multi-functional healing powers can be found in the new Australian Tea Tree range providing the ideal holiday treatment

Bathe in a lukewarm bath with five drops of neat Australian Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil which has mild anesthetic properties that help to reduce pain and inflammation. Apply Australian Tea Tree Antiseptic Spray or soothing Australian Organic Tea Tree Antiseptic Cream directly onto the skin to provide further relief and to help reduce infection.

Protect your lips from the affects of the sun with Australian Organic Tea Tree Lip Balm which combines the healing antiseptic properties of tea tree oil with the moisturising benefits of Shea Butter and Vitamin E with a built-in SPF 18 sunscreen.

Insect bites and stings
Apply Australian Organic Tea Tree Antiseptic Cream or Australian Tea Tree Antiseptic Spray liberally to the affected areas to relieve itching and reduce inflammation. Australian Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil can also be used as an insect repellent – a few drops added to water to clean table tops, floors etc can help keep mozzies at bay.

Over traveled ‘trainer’ feet
Benefit from the anti-fungal properties of tea tree which will help banish the bugs that lead to athletesÂ’ foot and smelly feet by bathing your feet in warm water with a few drops of Australian Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil. A few drops sprinkled into trainers or a spritz of Australian Tea Tree Antiseptic Spray will freshen them up and help kill bacteria on inner soles.

Ear infection
Ear infections are commonly caused by bacteria in hotel swimming pools. Benefit from the antiseptic properties of tea tree by adding three drops of Australian Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil to warmed (not hot) olive or almond oil and apply into the ear with a stopper of cotton wool to stop it running out.

Minor cuts and grazes
Use five to ten drops of Australian Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil as a natural antiseptic in a small bowl of warm water to clean the affected area and apply Australian Organic Tea Tree Antiseptic Cream to soothe and provide a natural barrier to germs. Use Australian Tea Tree Antiseptic Spray for the on-the-go cleansing and protection against infection.

Nappy rash
Heat can make nappy rash worse. Add two drops of Australian Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil to half a pint of warm water and use as a skin wash to soothe nappy rash while allowing the skin to breathe as much as possible without a nappy.

The Australian Tea Tree range is available from Holland & Barrett, selected health food stores and all good pharmacies. For nearest stockist details please call 0870 850 7114.


Why your daily cuppa is good for your heart


London: Women who drink tea may be protecting themselves from building up plaque in their arteries, so reducing their risk for heart disease and stroke, according to the results of a study conducted in Paris.

Commenting on the study, Dr Catherine Hood from the TEA ADVISORY PANEL (TAP) notes: “This research study found that older women who reported drinking at least three cups of tea a day were less likely to have plaque in the carotid arteries in their neck than those drinking less tea. The build up of plaque in the arteries contributes to atherosclerosis, which is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

“This was a large study involving 2,613 men and 3,984 women, aged about 73 years old. Their carotid artery plaque was measured by ultrasound and assessed in relation to tea drinking and other dietary habits and medical and personal history, information about which was obtained during individual interviews with the study subjects.

“Carotid plaques were evident in 45% of non-tea drinking women, in 42.5% of women who reported drinking 1-2 cups of tea daily and in only 33.7% of those reporting drinking three or more cups a day. Findings in dietary studies are often confounded by other factors such as presence of disease in the subjects and other lifestyle behaviours. However, in this study, findings did not depend on whether the women were smoking or not, whether or not they took hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and whether or not they suffered from vascular disease.

“The same inverse association between drinking three or more cups of tea a day and carotid plaque was found in women aged more or less than 75 years, with a body mass index of less or more than 27, with or without hypertension. No significant interaction was found with level of education or fruit and vegetable intake. In short, the association between increased tea consumption and reduced carotid plaque was independent of dietary and lifestyle habits, age and major cardiovascular risk factors.”

Guest advisor to TAP, Dr Sanjay Prasad from the heart and stroke charity CORDA notes in conclusion: “Several studies suggest that increased tea consumption is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis and vascular event.[3] However, according to the researchers of this study, it is the first to show that increased tea consumption is associated with reduced carotid plaque, so suggesting a protective effect of drinking three or more cups a day on carotid atherosclerosis. Further work is required to validate these findings.”

The Tea Advisory Panel: The Tea Advisory Panel is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the UK TEA COUNCIL, the trade association for the UK tea industry. The Panel has been created to provide media with impartial information regarding the health benefits of tea. Panel members include nutritionists; dieticians and doctors. For further information please call + 44(0)207 8089756.

1. CORDA was founded in 1976 to support clinical research into the prevention of heart disease and stroke using non-surgical methods. They have provided vital funding for the development of ultrasound and other non-invasive techniques used by the researchers at the Institute of Child Health to evaluate cardiovascular disease in the young. In fact, CORDA funded the worldÂ’s first cardiovascular magnetic resonance scanner at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) does not involve harmful X-rays. It provides the most powerful pictures of the body without surgery. As a result CORDA has enabled major medical advances in the understanding of the causes and development of heart disease and stroke. To find out more about CORDA log on to www.corda.org.uk.

Green tea compound help body rid itself of toxins

An ingredient of green tea called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) helps increase the activity of detoxification enzymes, according to a new study.

In a clinical study, backed by the US body, the National Cancer Insitute, reearch was carried out to determine the effect of repeated green tea polyphenol administration on a major group of detoxification enzymes known as glutathione S-transferases (GST).

A total of 42 healthy volunteers underwent a 4-week “washout” by refraining from tea or tea-related products. At the end of the washout period, the study authors collected a fasting blood sample and measured levels of GST activity. Following this baseline evaluation, the study participants consumed green tea polyphenols on an empty stomach for four weeks. The amount consumed (800 mg EGCG once a day) was equivalent to consuming between eight and 16 cups of green tea. After four weeks of green tea supplementation, researchers again collected blood samples and assessed levels of GST.

After four weeks of consuming EGCG, activity of the detoxification enzyme GST in blood lymphocytes increased. Further analysis revealed that a statistically significant increase in GST activity (80 percent) occurred in individuals who had the lowest activity at the start of the study. On the other hand, a small but statistically significant decrease in GST activity was observed in individuals who had the highest levels of the detoxification enzyme at the studyÂ’s start. The scientists attributed this decrease to random variation.

According to the researchers, “This suggests that green tea polyphenol intervention may enhance the detoxification of carcinogens in individuals with low baseline detoxification capacity.”


Chow HHS, Hakim IA, DR Vining, Crowe JA, Tome ME, Ranger-Moore J, Cordova CA, Mikhael DM, Briehl MM, Alberts DS. Modulation of Human Glutathione S-Transferases by Polyphenon E Intervention. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 August 1;16(8):1662–1666.

Rooibos antioxidant tea – a healthy way to cut calories

London: The British are renowned worldwide for their love of tea, which has established a place in the country’s culture and heritage. However consumers are increasingly looking for a wider range of tastes and flavours, particularly healthy options to enhance hectic 24-hour lifestyles.

Consumers nowadays want more from the perfect cuppa. They want it to be reviving and thirst quenching but also stuffed full of healthy benefits. South Africans claim their national drink, Rooibos Tea, ticks all the right boxes. Naturally caffeine-free and low in harmful tannins, redbush tea, as it is also known, is incredibly hydrating and itÂ’s high level of antioxidants, nine trace minerals and low levels of oxalic acid make it a fantastic choice of drink to complement a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Consultant Nutritionist Jane Griffin comments: “Rooibos tea offers another way to keep you well hydrated with the added bonus that it can be also help increase your intake of a range of antioxidants and trace minerals. It is naturally caffeine free too so if variety is the spice of life then Rooibos tea certainly deserves a place in the UK tea drinker’s repertoire.”

The leaf can only be grown in the remote Cederberg mountain region of the country, known for its wild craggy peaks, clean air and pure mountain streams. South Africans have been enjoying the drink for centuries and us Brits will be happy to know many of the traditional ways in which the leaf is harvested and dried have remained the same for hundreds of years. The tea is considered so soothing it is even given to babies with feeding problems and is known locally in South Africa as the South African lullaby due to itÂ’s beneficial properties when fighting colic.

Countless tea companies, including Dragonfly Teas, Eleven OÂ’Clock, Redbush, Tick Tock, Tetley and Twinings stock Rooibos tea in the British market which means we can enjoy all the health benefits of this amazing South Africa cuppa in our own front room.

For more information: www.rooibosltd.co.za

Anti-ageing tea better than water

Drinking tea is more beneficial than drinking water, according to research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Tea not only rehydrates you as well as water does, but it can also offer protection against heart disease and cancer because it contains protective antioxidants known as flavanoids.

The researchers say their findings could benefit older members of the population, many of whom do not drink much water and so run the risk of dehydration.

Previous studies have shown that drinking just three a day can cut the risk of having a heart attack by 11 per cent.

It has also been shown to stave off some forms of cancer, including colorectal cancer.

Other health benefits include reducing tooth decay and possibly improving bone strength.

Some studies have suggested the caffeine in tea can also help concentration and improve your mood.

The key component is a group of antioxidants called flavonoids – a major component of tea – which help prevent cell damage.

Like fruit and vegetables, tea is a good natural source of flavonoids – three cups actually contain eight times the antioxidant capacity of an apple.

Herbal tea helps cut breast cancer risk

Paris: Herbal tea rich in antioxidants may halve the risk of breast cancer, according to research based on 4,400 women.

The women were all cancer-free at the start of the study, but by the end nearly 100 breast cancers had been diagnosed in the study by the French institute, Supplèmentation en Vitamines et Minèraux Antioxydants.

Analysis of the women’s diets found that those who had been drinking herbal teas, , had a 57 per cent lower risk than non-drinkers.

The study also showed that drinking ordinary tea, coffee, fruit juice or wine is not linked with risk for developing breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in developed countries with around one in nine women developing the disease.