Could White Tea Be Better Than Green Tea?

I've posted the results of a number of studies about the health benefits of green tea, as it fights cancer and protects fatty livers during transplants. The Los Angeles Times, one of the nation's best newspapers in terms of health news reporting, ran a short but interesting piece today about the merits of white tea.

Seems black, green and white teas are made from the same plant but are processed differently. To make black and green teas, leaves are dried before being fermented, crushed or steamed. White tea, however, is made by immediately steaming fresh leaves, then drying them. Some experts believe that process allows white tea to retain many more polyphenols, antioxidant phytochemicals that prevent or neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. Among the useful effects of white tea, according to one study:

  • Causing an anti-fungal effect on both Penicillium chrysogenum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
  • Killing bacteria, fungi and viruses.
  • Preventing cancer-causing mutations in DNA.

According to the experts, perhaps the key to the advantage found in white tea: Minimal processing.

Pace University May 23, 2004

Los Angeles Times March 21, 2005 Registration Required

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