Tea Polysaccharides Background and Benefits
Tea is a beverage made from the cured leaves of the tea plant, known scientifically as Camellia sinensis. It often has a slightly bitter flavor, although this can vary greatly depending on the variety. Tea leaves are categorized according to their degree of oxidation. In increasing order of oxidation, the most common categories of tea include white, green, oolong and black.
The use of tea as a beverage originates from China and is at least 4,000 years old. It was probably used for medicinal purposes earlier than that and is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Tea was introduced to Europe in the 16th century and became highly fashionable among the upper classes by the 17th century, especially in Brittan. The commercial cultivation of tea in India dramatically reduced its price in Europe during the 19th century, making it affordable to the general population.
Tea contains many biologically active components, including polysaccharides. A polysaccharide is a chain of simple sugars linked together with glycosidic bonds. It may be a simple chain, or it may have many branches. Cellulose is a common example of a simple polysaccharide, while gum Arabic is a highly-branched polysaccharide. Black tea has the highest concentration of polysaccharides due to its greater oxidation.
Uses of Tea Polysaccharides
The most common uses of tea polysaccharides generally relate to blood sugar levels and the cardiovascular system. Additional uses are typically due to the antioxidant effects of tea polysaccharides.
Blood pressure management
Tea extract may help to maintain a healthy blood pressure and support the coronary artery’s capacity. They may also help to maintain a healthy cholesterol profile.
Blood sugar management
Tea polysaccharides may help to support the body’s ability to manage blood sugar levels. It may also support the performance of beta cells in the pancreas.
Tea polysaccharides may assist in the scavenging of free radicals, which are reactive chemicals that can cause various types of cellular damage.
Tea polysaccharides may be able to help the body’s ability to manage viral infections.
Signs You May Need Tea Polysaccharides
An unhealthy blood sugar level is one of the most common reasons for taking tea polysaccharides, especially when it is due to poor performance of the beta cells. Unhealthy blood pressure caused by a coronary artery with a low capacity is also in indicator that you may benefit from tea polysaccharides. Additional cardiovascular signs that may mean you need tea polysaccharides include an unhealthy cholesterol profile and a high risk of blood clots.
Other Ingredients That May Be Of Interest
Tea theaflavins - Tea theaflavins are polyphenols that form when the flavan-3-ols in tea leaves condense during oxidation. They have significant antioxidant properties among many other benefits.
Beta glucan - Beta-glucans are a specific type of polysaccharide that consists of D-glucose molecules linked by Beta-glycosidic bonds. They are commonly used for a variety of health related purposes such as soluble fiber and texturing agents.
Synonyms and Similar Forms of Tea Polysaccharides
Camellia sinensis, white tea, green tea, oolong tea, black tea