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Tea and general heath

But there is a catch. Most of the direct studies of the green tea effects have been done in tissue culture (test tubes) and animal models. The majority of human studies have been based on statistical correlations, i.e. the researchers used statistics to link tea consumption and the incidence of various diseases. Such correlational (a.k.a. epidemiological) data is by no means proof or even strong evidence of cause and effect - although it is a useful starting point for designing clinical trials.

As of the time of this writing, the overall impression from the limited human clinical trials is that tea (especially green and white) increases antioxidant capacity of tissues, particularly the blood, and that it improves some aspects of the lipid profile, such as the level and stickiness of LDL (bad cholesterol).

The full heath benefits of tea consumption in humans, if any, may take decades to investigate beyond reasonable doubt. However, considering tea's high safety and a large amount of indirect evidence suggestive of many potential health benefits, switching to tea (especially green or write) from other beverages makes good sense. Due to lack of direct long-tern studies, opinions vary as to how much tea should be consumed for optimal health. Most experts suggest drinking from three to ten cups per day. Those who wish to avoid caffeine or do not wish to bother with tea brewing, can take a supplement of green tea extract. A typical dosage is 100 to 150 mg three times a day of a green tea extract standardized to contain 80% total polyphenols and 50% epigallocatechin gallate. Whether the extract offers the same benefits as freshly brewed tea remains unknown.