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Fighting Heart Disease with Tea

It may seem like an unlikely medication, but more and more research indicates that tea may be one of our most effective weapons in preventing and even treating heart disease. There have been many studies that have shown ways in which tea can be effective in protecting health.

In some studies, green tea has been shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, preventing it from turning to arterial plaque. This is vital news, since arterial plaque (atherosclerosis) is one of the most significant risk factors for heart attack and stroke.

When the arteries become full of plaque, they are narrower, and blood flow is restricted. When the arteries are narrow, it only takes a small blood clot to completely obstruct an artery. If an artery leading to the heart becomes obstructed, a heart attack occurs. If an artery leading to the brain is obstructed, a stroke occurs.

Another vital area in preventing heart disease is controlling endothelial dysfunction, one of the precursors to atherosclerosis and heart disease. Endothelial dysfunction can appear years before more serious heart disease symptoms, and it is estimated that it affects approximately 50% of those over the age of 40.

The endothelium lines the inner surface of all blood vessels including arteries and veins. When the endothelium is functioning properly, it is responsible for mediation of coagulation, platelet adhesion, immune function, and control of volume and electrolyte content of the intravascular and extra vascular spaces.

Several things can cause endothelial dysfunction. The most common are cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes. Endothelial dysfunction makes it hard for the veins and arteries to properly dilate. Eventually this leads to atherosclerosis and then, heart disease.

There are several ways to reverse endothelial dysfunction. The most vital is believed to be eating a healthy diet. Lower your saturated fats and choose most of your foods from plant products. In particular, watch the trans fats, as these seem to lead to endothelial dysfunction more than other fats. You should also watch the red meat and egg yolks. And, steer clear of any food whose mark shows that it contains anything hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.

Keep your weight under control. Excess weight increases your chances of having high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If your blood pressure and cholesterol are high, see your doctor. You may require medication in addition to diet and exercise to get these factors under control.

Another vital factor in reducing endothelial dysfunction is controlling your weight. Eat right and get regular exercise to ensure that your weight falls within a normal range.

If you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, you should treat these in order to protect endothelial function. Exercise and proper diet can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. But, if diet and exercise don’t prove to be enough, your doctor may prescribe medication to help get these numbers under control.

At least one study has shown that you may also be able to reverse endothelial dysfunction by drinking tea. This study, reported by the UK Tea Council, looked at 66 participants, and evaluated their blood plasma levels of catechins, as well as their body’s overall anti-oxidant protection and level of inflammation. Some of the participants consumed black tea and others only water.

Because tea contains catechins, a form of anti-oxidants, it was thought that this would lead to a reversal in endothelial dysfunction. Other studies have shown that tea catechins have incredible healing and preventive abilities. Tea is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties, as well.

The study concluded that the tea consumption did raise the catechin level in the body. But, this higher catechin level did not appear to correlate to the reversal of endothelial dysfunction. In addition, the tea also increased the anti-oxidant levels in the body and reduced inflammation, though there was no direct relationship between these levels and the endothelial dysfunction either.

But, the participants who drank tea over water did show a decrease in endothelial dysfunction. Therefore, this particular study concluded that while tea does appear to be responsible to improving endothelial function, but not for the reasons they thought.

So, while tea is a fantastic source of anti-oxidants, and its catechins are healthy, there’s something else about tea that we don’t quite know. But, researchers believe that the benefit comes from a chronic exposure to all of tea’s flavonoids in their particular combination, rather than from any one element of tea’s properties.

This is fantastic news for the tea drinker. Your favorite beverage is even better than you thought! Not only are you drinking something tasty and healthy overall, but you may be able to prevent serious diseases with something you’re already drinking.

If you’re not a tea drinker, don’t you reckon it’s time you got started? Bottled or brewed, hot or cold, tea is excellent for you. As time goes on it’s likely that we’ll learn even more ways that tea can help prevent disease and protect our health.

Jon M. Stout is the Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. Golden Moon Tea carefully selects the finest rare and orthodox teas, which are processed slowly and handcrafted with extreme care. At their website, you can learn more about their current

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