Antioxidant polyphenols present in both black and green tea reduce the risks of heart disease
In today world, reduce with nervous tension, tea acts as a wonder drink, a panacea for many disease. It is a natural food from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Legend has it that tea was discovered in 2737 BC Emperor Sheng Nung, when tea leaves fell into a pot of boiling water. Since then, tea has had a significant role in human history.
Tea can basically be divided into two varieties : black and green. The majority of the tea leaves harvested is processed into black tea, which has a unique rich taste. In case of green tea on the other hand, the leaves are quickly steamed or heated to retain their green colour.
Generally, black tea is consumed in India, while green tea is popular in China and Japan and some parts of the western World. Both black and green tea contain antioxidant polyhenols and therefore provide excellant means of lowering the risks of heart disease and cancer. Researchers have found that both types of tea worked through similar mechanisms. While both resist the growth and development of various cancers, they also increase apoptosis, a process whereby tumour cells are eliminated. They also suppress unfavourable bacteria, while favouring beneficial bacteria that help improve metabolism.
Although the human body is equipped with oxidative-defence mechanisms, with age, they are over-powered by the reactive species. The oxidative-defence mechanism, reduces with age, with reduced absorption of antioxidants from food or genetically programmed reduction of the synthesis of antioxidants in cells. They arrest the harm caused in the body due to oxidation, but do not eliminate it completely. This damage caused to body tissues accumulates with age, with the increase in the production of the reactive species, and this contributes to the growth of several disease associated with ageing, that grip our bodies permanently, like Alzheimer Cancer, Parkinson Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis to mention a few. The intake of food rich in antioxidant can prevent oxidation in the body, leading to good heath and youthful well being.
Antioxidant defenses normally protect against DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species, from endogenous and exogenous sources. The power of antioxidants is correlated to Life Span Energy Potentials. A similar relationship has also been found for uric acid, a powerful water-soluble antioxidant in primates, while carotene also appears to improve longevity, although the effect is non-linear. Concentrations of Vitamin E in the plasma also show a good correlation. There is adequate evidence that supplementing the human diet with the vitamin antioxidants helps to prevent a variety of disease such as cancer and coronary Heart Disease.
Tea and other plant foods are dietary sources of nutrients like carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid and non nutrient phytochemicals generally classified as Flavonoids. Tea has more antioxidant properties than most common vegetables.
CHD has often resulted from a lifestyle that includes a diet high in saturated fats, combined with low physical activity. Most epidemiological evidence indicates that consumption of Flavonoids from black tea prevents the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol and therefore is associated with a lower incidence of CHD or stroke. Tea Flavonoids, such as catechins, theaflavins and thearubigins, demonstrate powerful antioxidant activities and thereby protect against cardiovascular diseases. There is strong evidence of the relation between high intake of vegetables and fruits and decreased risk of heart disease. In the last decade, both epidemiological and experimental research suggest that tea may also help maintain heart health.
Polyphenolic antioxidants present in black and green tea can reduce cancer risks in a variety of animal tumours. Studies showing the preventive effect of tea were conducted with black and green tea. Tea exerts a major inhibiting effect on the growth and development of many type of cancer,and it increase apoptosis, a process whereby tumour cells are eliminated. The consumption of tea and its polypherolic constituents affords protection against chemical carcinogen or ultra violet radiation-induced skin cancer in mice. Tea consumption also affords protection against cancers induced by chemical carcinogens that involve the lung, fore-stomach, oesophagus duodenum, pancreas, liver, breast, colon and skin in mice, rats and hamsters. Many of the cancer preventive effects of green tea are mediated by EGCG, the major polyphenolic constituents of green tea.
Prior oral administration of black tea extract in rats, for seven days, significantly reduced the incidence of gastric erosions, induced by various uncerogens and cold stress.
Both black and green tea extracts were found to possess preventive as well as curative effects on streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats
The study revealed a selective absorption of black tea polyphenols by dental enamel. Theaflavin digallate and theaflavin gallates, polyphenolic constituents of black tea, are absorbed maximally, whereas absorption of catechins is less than that of theaflavins.
The anti-tumour effect of tea was evaluated in the 3-Methyl Cholanthrene induced solid tumour model in mice. Tea and tea polyphenols also have a beneficial effect in changing intestinal bacterial flora.
Drug-Coated Stents to Nix Blockage Recurrence
Ongoing trials in the US and Europe indicate that drug-coated stent may revolutionise non-invasive cardiology in the next few years. Early results of human trials show that stents coated with the drug Sirolimus prevents the growth of fibrous tissue around the stent which can cause the blockage to recur after some years, says Dr. Ashok Seth, Chief of Invasive and Interventional Cardiology at the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre. It seems we may have conquered the possibility of recurrence, he added.
The March 2002, results of the SIRIUS study of 1,200 patients in the US found that recurrence occurred in 2 per cent cases in the Sirolimus-coated stent group, while it was at a higher 32 per cent in the normal stent group.
Dr. Seth was speaking at a symposium on the Prevention and Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease organised by the Bar Association of India, Fali S. Nariman, the president of the Bar Aasociation, expressed disappointment at the sparse attendance. Its quite clear that lawyers believe they are a healthy lot, but the constant stress and strain of the profession should be enough to make everyone sit up and listen. And listen they did, especially after Dr. Seth began his presentation by declaring that by 2013, heart disease would overtake infectious disease the world biggest killer, accounting for 50 per cent of the death in the Asia-Pacific region.
Just being an India exposes you to risk of cardiovascular disease, he said. Indians are genetically predisposed to truncular obesity, hypertension, high low density lipoproteins, high triglycerides and insulin resistance, all of which when combined with risky behaviours like a sedentary lifestyle, high fat diet and smoking, put Indians at greater risk.
The government National Health Policy 2002 is flawed because it still does not take into account the emerging epidemic of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, and continues to talk about malaria and tuberculosis as it has been doing for the past 50 years, said Dr. Roopa Salwan, consultant cardiologist from Escorts Heart Institute. Lifestyle modifications are a must as they can reduce the risk by up to 15 per cent within a year, she added.
Exercise remains the most effective lifestyle intervention, but it will take a few more lectures to jog people into activity.
Alcohol Thrills But Kills Too
The short answer, quite simply, is that there is nothing wrong with a very moderate consumption of alcoholic drinks even if you have already had a heart attack that is provided you are used to alcohol, do not start if you are not used to it but there is plenty wrong with heavy drinking. The difficulty, however, lies in defining exactly what is meant by heavy. Many of those people who drink more alcohol than is good for their health do so without even realizing how much they are consuming. Put quite simply, the more you drink and the more often you drink, the higher the risk of developing alcohol-related disease but because different people can tolerate different levels of alcohol, it is difficult to lay down strict rules.
What is a Moderate Drinker
In the main a very moderate drinker is a man who has fewer than 20 drinks in a week or a women who has less than 13: a heavy drinker is a man who has more than 51 drinks a week or a women who has more than 36. These definitions may vary slightly from one source to another, but after reviewing surveys from different parts of the world it becomes obvious that drinking more than two standard drinker per day increases the risk of developing coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and other related diseases, such as peripheral vessel disease or strokes.
Other Reasons For Limiting Intake
There are a great other compelling reasons for avoiding an excessive consumption of alcohol. Apart from cirrhosis of the liver, excessive drinking can cause brain damage, inflammation of the pancreas and cancer of the digestive tract, mouth, throat and gullet.
Its Effect On Men And Women
Alcohol is absorbed into the blood via the stomach and intestines. It is then quickly and uniformly distributed throughout the body water. Men hold between 55 and 65 per cent of their total body weight in water, in comparison with only 45 to 55 per cent in women. Alcohol is therefore more diluted in men than in women, which is why men can take more alcohol than women. Men are also generally heavier than women of the same size so have more total fluids in their body.
How Alcohol Affects The Heart
The precise role of alcohol in heart disease is difficult to assess. There are several reasons for this. The first is the difficulty in establishing links between the two in a particular patient; the only clue may be the patient self-confessed drinking history. The second reason is that there is evidence to suggest that a small amount of alcohol not more than the two standard drinks per day can actually be beneficial to the cardiovascular system because in these fairly small amounts, alcohol appears to be a relaxant. What is certain, however, is that more than that can contribute to several other risk factors.
Combined With Risk Factors
For a start, even moderate amounts of alcohol can raise blood pressure in susceptible individuals, while heavy drinking can cause, or at least aggravate, high blood pressure. If you are in any doubt about your own susceptibility, consult your doctor. Alcoholics who manage to remain dry after withdrawal, have in fact been shown to have lower blood pressure than those who start drinking again. Even small amount of alcohol can make effective drug treatment very difficult because alcohol can interfere with the medication either by inhibiting the action of the drug or by causing a dangerous reaction.
Excess alcohol is thought to raise the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and thus to accelerate the process of atherosclerosis. Alcohol also gives rise to another harmful process known as coronary steal. Alcohol can cause normal blood vessels to dilate, allowing more blood to flow through them. Blood is correspondingly stolen from those arteries which have been narrowed by disease.
People who drink a lot of alcohol are often overweight. As well as being very high in calories there are 180 calories in the average 600 ml of beer and poor in essential nutrients, alcohol tends to stimulate the appetite. It takes only some simple arithmetic to add the calorific value of everything you drinks to that of everything you eat, and its not difficult to see where a beer gut comes from Heavy drinkers also tend to take too little exercise, which not only adds to any weight problems but also means that they miss out on all the cardiovascular benefits that regular physical exercise can bring.
Drinking to excess goes hand in hand with several other risk factors. For instance, the person who drinks to excess often smokes, drinks a lot of coffee and displays Type A behaviour patterns. Also, alcohol is closely related to stress, whether as a cause or a symptom.
In view of all these factors, it is hardly surprising that a high consumption of alcohol doubles the risk of suffering a stroke, or that it is extremely common in heart attack victims.