The research study being mentioned in the article ‘Cup of tea lowers heart disease risk’ published in Fox News on 14 June 2012 was conducted locally on Mauritian black tea. Laurie Tarkan, award-winning health journalist, wrote that this “new study has found that drinking black tea appears to reduce several risk factors for heart disease, potentially lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke. In the study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, drinking three cups of tea for 12 weeks (with no milk or sugar) led to highly significant reduction in blood sugar levels and triglycerides which are unhealthy fats.”
The scientific team who probed into the effects of black tea regrouped researchers from the ANDI Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials including Prof Theeshan Bahorun, the Cardiac Centre of the SSR National Hospital, the Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences of the University of Glasgow, UK, and the School of Biomedical Sciences and School of Pharmacy, American University of Health Sciences, Signal Hill, USA.
Few investigations on the effects of black tea have been reported where the surveyed sample consisted of a normal population, which here was the originality and pertinence of this study. During the intervention period, the controlled group was asked to consume 3 cups of infused black tea from a local brand and to keep following a normal diet. The objectives of the study were to determine the effect of consumption of Mauritian black tea on fasting blood plasma levels of glucose, lipid profiles (total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL) and antioxidant status in a normal population. Some 87 persons volunteered for the survey which lasted for 15 weeks, consisting of a 12 week treatment period and 3 more weeks for the wash out. Blood collection was made at the Cardiac centre and these were analysed partly at the UoM, with the help of the technicians of the department of Biosciences, and in European laboratories.
The results revealed, among others, a definite and significant decrease of the level:
- of fasting serum glucose level by 20% in males and 15 % in females
- of triglycerides, reduced by 38.6% in males and 28.6 % in females
The conclusion of the study showed that: “black tea consumed within a normal diet contributes to a decrease of independent cardiovascular risk factors and improves the overall antioxidant status in humans”.
The effect of black tea on risk factors of cardiovascular disease in a normal population (Published in Preventive Medicine Vol. 54, Supplement 1, May 1, 2012)
- Theeshan Bahorun, Amitabhye Luximon-Ramma and Kreshna Googoolye from the ANDI Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research, (CBBR), UoM, Vidushi S Neergheen-Bhujun, ANDI CBBR, and Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, UoM
- Teeluck Kumar Gunness, Cardiac Centre, SSR National Hospital
- Cyril Augier, Plant Products and Human Nutrition Group, Division of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Great Britain;
- Alan Crozier and Okezie I Aruoma from the School of Biomedical Sciences and School of Pharmacy, American University of Health Sciences, Signal Hill, USA.
On 11 June 2012, Prof Bahorun, National Research Chair based at the UoM, was cordially greeted by the President of the University of Lille, Prof Philippe Rollet, himself, for discussion on research collaborative ventures.