Black tea is a very popular drink that is associated with various health benefits. Black tea can prevent, among other things, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases and premature death. However, the type of tea production seems to play an important role in the effect.
A new study from Universitas Pembangunan Nasional Veteran Jawa Timur in Indonesia not only described the four main groups of chemical compounds in black tea and the health benefits of consuming it, but also examined the effects of different production methods on black tea’s ingredients. The results are published in the journal “Nusantara Science and Technology Proceedings”.
Tea goes through fermentation
Black tea is a type of tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis tea plant. Black tea goes through a complete fermentation process called oxidation. This not only gives the tea its dark color, but also its strong taste and aroma.
Black tea is a popular wake-up alternative to coffee, especially in the morning, because it also contains caffeine, but not in as high quantities as coffee. According to the team, consuming black tea is also believed to have a number of health benefits, some of which are influenced by the manufacturing process, which affects the chemical compounds in the tea.
Depending on the production process, black tea can generally be divided into two categories: orthodox tea and so-called CTC tea, with the latter tea appearing to be the healthier alternative.
What is CTC tea?
The CTC method of making black tea essentially consists of three different steps: crushing, tearing and curling, hence the name.
Black tea made in this way contains a particularly high number of healthy ingredients, the experts report. The compounds in tea can be divided into four different main groups: phenolic groups, non-phenolic groups, aromatic compound groups and enzymes.
Reduces plaque and can prevent obesity
According to the team, drinking black tea has already been shown to be associated with a range of health benefits. Not only does it reduce the accumulation of plaque, but it can also prevent obesity and has an antibacterial effect.
Further advantages of black tea consumption include its preventive effect against cardiovascular diseases, its anti-cancer properties and the prevention of osteoporosis, the researchers explain. The effect is attributed to the ingredients.
The team adds that a key ingredient in black tea (epigallocatechin gallate) also has a proven insulin-boosting effect, and another compound even inhibits the entry of HIV-1 into the body.
Protects against premature death
Another independent study last year found that tea consumption also affects the risk of premature death. Participants who drank tea regularly, 89 percent of whom preferred black tea, had a lower risk of dying prematurely compared to people who did not drink tea.
The most significant effect was seen in people who drank at least two cups of tea per day. They had a nine to 13 percent reduced overall risk of death. Daily consumption of black tea could support a healthy diet and provide many health benefits, although the method of preparation does not seem to play a real role, the team reported.
However, according to the new study, the production method does seem to play a role, as it also influences the content of healthy ingredients, and CTC tea obviously offers certain advantages here. (as)