June 06, 2007

Tea As Cancer-Fighter: an Update

This is just a quick good-newsy post: at least if you like tea; and like it brewed strong, with milk.

Tea, though it seems a refined beverage, is nonetheless a scrappy bad-ass cancer fighter. Antioxidants, those nutritional Superheroes, are the reason. And in a previous post, Crabby reviewed some of the health benefits of various kinds of tea, but noted this disturbing caveat: drinking tea with milk seemed to negate some of the cardiovascular benefits.

At least this news was disturbing to Crabby, because she drinks her tea strong, and likes to dump in both milk and Splenda. And she feared that if milk somehow negated the heart-disease fighting properties of tea, that it might also mess with antioxidant levels and tea's cancer-fighting ability too.

But here's what a recent study on antioxidants and black tea just found:

Adding milk to a cup of tea had no effect on its cancer-fighting properties.

And the folks who drank tea that had been brewed for five minutes had blood antioxidant levels 60% higher than those who drank a one-minute infusion.

But brewing longer than five minutes yielded no extra health benefits.

There was also something about brewing tea in a pot being better than brewing it in a cup. Given that this was in the title of the article, Crabby was expecting a bit more information about what this meant exactly and why it might be true. She is a cup-brewer herself. However, there were no such details provided. Crabby was not willing, however, to forage around the web much herself to figure it out. As we've established, Crabby is lazy.

Cup or pot, could it really make all that much difference? Rather than worry too much about the question, Crabby resolved to use a bigger cup in the future with more room for the teabags to spread out and get comfortable. (And since she uses a frightening number of teabags per cup, steeps for longer than 5 minutes, and squeezes every bit of tea liquid from the soggy bags before tossing them out, she probably already has more antioxidants swimming around in her bloodstream than her body knows what do with).

Because this a short and boring post, but one that is actually health-related, Crabby plans to indulge herself in another post later today that has nothing whatever to do with health but everything to do with Blogs. So please check back later for further adventures in Cranky Fitness.

Bob over at Slashfood, a new favorite site of Crabby's, has even better news about tea. At least if it's Oolong. Looks like it might also help with weightloss!


  1. Ah, milk doesn't kill.
    Seriously, you must have been relieved to learn this. I'm curious about cup vs pot, too.

  2. Ooooh. My current addiction is green Earl Grey brewed in half water and half milk.
    And you say it's good for me?
    Well zipadedoo.

  3. Now I just wish it tasted better. I have to choke my way through about half a cup.

  4. Crabby, thanks for the info. I drink a lot of tea but often don't let it steep enough. I will try harder.

    Just wanted to say that it was really nice of you to give Dawn's new website a plug. In return I have posted your blog addy on a small low carb message board (less than a dozen) that I belong to. I really think that some of the ladies will love your sensible and fun posts. Terrie

  5. Since Crabby is interested in being healthy, she might want to check out the negative aspects of Splenda and perhaps consider Stevia, which is a whole plant, actually healthy for you and doesn't taste any worse than Splenda does.



    Love your blog, by the way.

  6. Hi Leah,
    Yeah, sorry i was too slacky to go find the original study for more clues on the cup/pot. But perhaps there will be another boring tea post in the future & I can go find it then!

    Hi geosomin! Yeah, way good for you. Didn't know you could brew with milk? I just put a bit of warmed nonfat in, but never thought of brewing it that way.

    I used to be the same way myself. But I discovered flavored teas and fake sweetener, which can sort of disguise the tea-ishness of the taste.

    Terrie, thank you so much, that's really sweet! I look forward to any low carb visitors who may want to stop by. (But they may find the cupcake picture a tad disturbing. Let's just pretend they're low carb cupcakes.)

    Hi Pamm, thanks for stopping in!

    Yeah, I know what a lot of people think about Splenda, but I think reasonable minds can differ on that. There's a lot of research that says its fine, but I know many say otherwise. I tried stevia, and to me, it tasted nasty. I think everyone's different. (For example, I think Sweet-and-low is even worse than stevia, and some people love it.)

    Hope my splenda-consuming ways won't scare you off, because it's great to have new health-conscious visitors to Cranky Fitness!

  7. Yeah...we all gotta do what we gotta do in life. Ever tried "Sweet Leaf"- it's a from of stevia that isn't so bad/ And that's all I have to say on the subject as I am NOT a radical or proselytizer on anything nutrition or trying to convince you.

    Heck..I was a vegetarian (the kind that ate no flesh of any sort) for 28 years but fixed my family meat all the time, even went to a cattle auction here and there.

    So yeah...whatever. I actually use honey or maple syrup as it's what makes my body feel best. Both Splenda and stevia kinda taste ka-ka to me. Or really ka-ka. Actually, it's the aftertaste. Yuck.

  8. Thanks Pamm! And you're right, honey would be a much healthier choice.

  9. Tea "refined"? The British Empire was built on an ocean of tea. And there is nothing refined about empire building -- as the tea growers in the British Empire could surely attest.

    You know how I feel about Splenda. Listen to Pamm. Best thing, wean yourself from sweetner in tea. Or use honey or maple syrup.

    I had some earl grey at Samovar the other day. Now I feel extra healthy and virtuous.

  10. Hi appleton,

    Well, okay, but at least tea's more refined than Diet Coke!

    And you and Pamm are not alone; plenty of people think Crabby has a lot of nerve hosting a health blog while dumping Splenda in her beverages.

    She's still going to do it though.

  11. My mother drank tea lots of it every day for atlest 30 years milk and sugar when she died of cancer it was in atleast 4 diffrent parts of her body. maybe the milk is bad for the tea.

  12. Sweets,
    I'm really sorry to hear that. Sounds like the researchers just don't have it all figured out yet. Thanks for stopping by!


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