Countless studies over the years about the health benefits of tea -- particularly green tea -- have driven many health-conscious consumers to stock up on all the latest tea beverages that claim to improve health. But a recent study has shown that most commercial bottled tea drinks contain virtually no antioxidants and a whole lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
"Consumers understand very well the concept of the health benefits from drinking tea or consuming other tea products," explained Shiming Li, Ph.D., an analytical and natural product chemist, concerning the study. "However, there is a huge gap between the perception that tea consumption is healthy and the actual amount of the healthful nutrients -- polyphenols -- found in bottled tea beverages. Our analysis of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low."
Polyphenols are the unique antioxidants commonly found in freshly-brewed tea that exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic effects on the body. But after analyzing six different brands of bottled tea beverages, Li and his colleagues discovered that three contained "virtually no" polyphenols, and the others had so little that they provided little benefit.
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