Oolong Tea Benefits To Your Health
All four varieties come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas are not considered true tea because they do not come from the Camellia sinensis plant.
Oolong tea accounts for a little over 2% of tea consumption around the world. Although less popular, oolong tea still has a variety of benefits. Read on to find out more information about oolong tea and its associated health benefits.
Why Oolong Tea.
Oolong tea is commonly consumed in China and Taiwan. In Asian countries, drinking tea is a large part of the culture and social gatherings. Friends and business associates often meet over tea.
Oolong tea and green tea contain similar amounts of caffeine, approximately 10 to 50 Milligrams (mg) per 8-ounce cup. For good comparison, coffee contains approximately 70 to 130 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup.
The polyphenol antioxidants found in tea are thought to help reduce blood sugar and the insulin level in the body. They're also thought to increase insulin sensitivity.
Accordingly, some studies report links between regular tea consumption, improved blood sugar level control and a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
But the specific effects of oolong tea are generally not as well researched as those of green or black tea so keep this in mind.
That being said, a recent review observed that those drinking 24 ozs (720 ml) of oolong tea per day had a 16% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Another study reported that diabetics who consumed 50 oz (1.5 liters) per day had up to 30% lower blood sugar levels at the end of a 30-day study.
Similarly, consuming 33 oz (1 liter) of oolong tea each day for 30 days decreased average blood sugar levels by 3.3% .
Nevertheless, not all studies agree and one even reports an increased risk of developing diabetes for those drinking 16 oz (480 ml) or more per day.
Researchers in China have studied the relationship between drinking oolong tea and cholesterol levels, as high cholesterol levels can be associated with an increased risk for Heart Disease.
Studies found that people who drank at least 10 ounces of oolong tea per week had lower risks of high total cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL or the"bad" cholesterol levels. The same was also true of people who drank similar amounts of green and black teas.
People who had been consuming oolong tea for the longest time had lower total cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL cholesterol levels.And in another study, Japanese men and women were studied for the impact of consuming coffee, green tea, black tea, and oolong tea on their risk of heart disease. Researchers found that men who drank 1 or more cups of oolong tea per day had a lower risk of heart disease. Regularly consuming oolong tea antioxidants may also improve heart health. Several studies of regular tea drinkers report reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as a reduced risk of heart disease.
In a recent study, people who drank more than 48 oz (1.4 liters) of Oolong tea per day were 51% less likely to have heart disease, compared to non-tea drinkers.
A study of mice showed that the animals receiving oolong tea extract while being fed a high fat, high sugar diet, gained less abdominal fat than mice on the same diet that did not receive the tea extract.
Green tea and black tea extracts also resulted in less abdominal fat gain. The mice that received the green tea extract also consumed fewer calories.
A recent study in overweight and obese Chinese adults looked at the effect of oolong tea consumption on overall body weight. Study participants drank 300 milliliters (mL) of oolong tea four times per day. After 6 weeks, more than half of the participants had lost more than 1 kilogram.
Oolong Tea And The Brain.
Recent reviews show that tea may help maintain brain function and prevent Alzheimer's disease.
In fact, several components of tea may have a benefit for brain function.
For a start, caffeine can increase the release of norepinephrine and dopamine. These two brain messengers are thought to benefit mood, attention and brain function. More research shows that theanine, an amino acid in tea, may also help boost attention and relieve anxiety . One recent study reports that tea containing both caffeine and theanine increased alertness and attention within the first 1–2 hours after consumption. Tea polyphenols are also thought to have a calming effect, especially starting two hours after intake.
Few studies have looked specifically at oolong tea, but one found that regular tea drinkers had up to a 64% lower risk of brain function decline. This effect was particularly strong for regular black and oolong tea drinkers . Another study linked regularly drinking green, black or oolong tea to improved cognition, memory, executive function and information processing speed.Although not all studies observed the same beneficial effects of oolong tea on brain function, none were found that showed negative effects.