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Oolong tea may reduce risk for oral cancer

Jan 03, 2013

Oolong tea improves dental health, prevents tooth decay and offers preventative protection against oral cancer
Photo Source: kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com

If history and research are any indication, a good new year’s resolution might be to get along and go long with oolong. Oolong tea, that is.

Osaka University’s Department of Dentistry in Japan has published results stating that the high concentration of antioxidants in oolong tea can help improve dental health, prevent tooth decay and offers preventative protection against oral cancer.

This ancient tea is also renowned for sharpening thinking skills, improving alertness and treating obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, skin allergies and boosting the immune system.

Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea popular since the 1600’s. Made from the leaves, buds and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant, oolong tea is made from the same plant used to make black and green tea. 

The difference between oolong tea and black and green tea is in the processing method. Oolong tea is partially fermented by withering the tea under the sun and letting it oxidate before curling and twisting. Black tea is fully fermented and green tea is unfermented.

A key chemical contained in oolong tea is polyphenol. Polyphenol contains antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Also found in cranberries and pomegranates, it has been linked to a reduced risk for heart disease and certain cancers like oral cancer.

Caffeine is another beneficial ingredient found in oolong tea. The caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, heart and muscles. So does theophylline and theobromine, chemicals similar to caffeine also found in oolong.

The Japanese study noted that to obtain the healthful benefits of oolong tea, one to two cups should be consumed daily.

Sources: ToddandTea.com, Dr. Oz, LiveStrong.com, WebMD



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