Tea is made from the leaves of the tea plant, scientifically known as Camellia sinensis. The tea plant originates from Asia, where it has been used as a beverage and in herbal medicine for thousands of years. The flavor of tea varies greatly depending on how long the leaves have been cured. White tea is cured for the shortest time, while black tea is cured for the longest time.
The curing process changes the composition of the tea leaves by oxidizing its components. Fresh tea leaves contain a high level of chemicals known as catechins, which are converted to theaflavins. In particular, flavan-3-ols oxidize to form theaflavins with the help of enzymes such as polyphenol oxidases. The most prominent theaflavins include theaflavin-3-gallate, theaflavin-3-3'-digallate and theaflavin-3'-gallate.
Theaflavins are primarily responsible for the darker color and stronger flavor of black tea. The sinensis and assamica varieties of tea have been the traditional sources of black tea. However, these varieties have also been used recently to produce white and green tea.
Theaflavins also have significant biological effects, which have been scientifically studied since the 1960s, beginning with paper chromatography and spectroscopy. The formation of theaflavins was first studied in vitro in 1983, and quantification methods have been used on theaflavins since 1995.
The management of cholesterol levels is one of the most common reasons to take tea theaflavins. Theaflavins may also support the heart and digestive system as well as provide antioxidant support.
Theaflavins may have antioxidant effects that benefit many parts of the body, especially the skin and hair.
Tea theaflavins may support the digestive system by helping to manage ulcers.
Black tea is often used to maintain healthy heart rhythms. It may also help to relax blood vessels, especially arteries.
Tea theaflavins may help to maintain a healthy cholesterol profile through two different mechanisms. These mechanisms involved inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver and intestinal absorption of cholesterol.
The most significant signs that you may need tea theaflavins generally involve the cardiovascular system. The most common of these include an unhealthy cholesterol profile and irregular heart rhythms. High blood pressure is also an indication that you may need tea theaflavins. Digestive conditions that may mean you need tea theaflavins include ulcers of the stomach and mouth. Signs of oxidative stress that could benefit from tea theaflavins include problems with skin and hair.
Tea Polysaccharides, Camellia sinensis
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