Reduce Cholesterol with Oolong Tea and Green Tea
A traditional tea popular in China since ancient times, oolong is produced by drying and oxidizing tea leaves under the sun, after which the leaves are curled and twisted. Although used in China and Taiwan for centuries as a treatment for various ailments, western scientists have just recently become interested in the health benefits of oolong tea. Containing a wide variety of antioxidants, this fragrant tea is purported to help prevent cancer, diabetes, eczema, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Recent studies have found that oolong tea carries compounds that help to dissolve triglycerides, thereby possibly lowering cholesterol levels. A 2006 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the consumption of oolong tea might lower cholesterol through the prevention of the absorption of fat.
Note: Oolong tea and green tea actually come from the same tea leaves. The difference in Oolong tea and green tea is processing. That being said, many of the Oolong tea benefits listed in this article are the same one would see when consuming green tea or taking a green tea extract.
Twelve healthy adults consumed a high fat snack of potato chips after lunch and dinner, along with 750 milliliters of oolong tea or water over the course of several 10-day treatment periods. Researchers collected waste samples on the last 3 days of each treatment period to measure the excretion of lipids. Results showed significantly higher levels of cholesterol in the waste samples of subjects who consumed oolong tea.
In another more recent study, scientists examined 1651 patients in Shantou, southern China, with dyslipidemia (abnormal amounts of fats or cholesterol in the blood) and 1390 control subjects. The researchers hoped to determine if there was a link between tea consumption (particularly oolong) and risks for developing dyslipidemia. The study showed that individuals who drank more than 600 ml of green, oolong or black tea daily experienced the lowest risks for developing dyslipidemia. Further, subjects who consumed oolong tea over the longest period experienced the lowest total blood cholesterol.
Additional Health Benefits Of Oolong Tea
In addition to the many health benefits already mentioned, oolong tea may promote good health in even more ways.
Research at Kyoto University in Japan showed that drinking one to six cups of oolong tea each week may help reduce risks for cardiovascular disease. Female subjects showed a reduction in risks of 22 percent, and males showed a reduction of 38 percent.
Bones and Skin
Studies show that prolonged consumption of oolong tea may boost the mineral density in bones, which helps prevent osteoporosis. Powerful antioxidants in oolong tea may also be helpful for dermatitis and removal of toxins that can contribute to age-related spots and wrinkles. Oolong tea may also help shield the skin from ultraviolet radiation present in sunshine.
Polyphenols found in oolong tea have shown anti-obesity effects in tests with mice in the laboratory. The combination of these unique polyphenols and caffeine in the tea works to boost the metabolism for up to two hours following tea consumption. Higher metabolism means more body fat burnt. Also, the powerful polyphenols help block fat-building enzymes. According to Dr. Oz, studies have shown that drinking oolong tea may lead to continued weight loss and reduced belly fat.
With the rich history of oolong tea and its many proven health benefits, it makes sense to add it to the grocery list. Not only does it improve the health but the floral fragrance and pleasing taste oolong tea makes having a cup a wonderful alternative to a coffee break.
Finally, you can also try adding green tea supplements to your daily life. This, along with regular consumption of Oolong tea, can do wonders to support your immune system and heart health.