We here at Bruetta are not scientists or doctors so at first we inserted the word “may” in front of health benefit statements like “may help prevent heart disease” and “may help fight cancer,” as we have seen elsewhere on the web.
But the more research we did, the more evidence we found that drinking tea truly is amazingly healthy, and in very specific ways via very specific mechanisms. Inserting the word “may” when generally speaking of the health benefits of tea just didn’t seem to accurately represent those things for which there is mounting evidence and understood relationships.
Our solution to this problem has been to try to understand (and then explain) how tea does what it does, and thereby illustrate the spectrum of certainty. A few examples of the variables:
- In the case of cancer, there are many different types of cancer. There is some evidence of tea helping specific types of cancer but of course, a study on one type of cancer does not necessarily prove the same effect on another.
- Animal studies will always be inconclusive when applied to humans, and though some biological functions of other animals are very, very close to our own, others leave more room for divergence. Either way, one can not say for sure until human trials statistically “prove” it.
- The scientific criteria for certainty are (by design and by necessity) extremely high. In fact, the scientific method depends on the ability of any given theory to be proven wrong.
- Each study has specific procedures and criteria, so of course, the generalization of any scientific study will require some equivocation.
To be clear: NO ONE can claim that drinking tea (or anything else) WILL absolutely cure or prevent these very complex, pervasive ailments.
But the phrases “helps prevent” and “helps fight” (without “may”) seem reasonable general statements to us because in each category there are at least some mechanisms that are fairly well understood and which help support the same biological functions that these ailments assault. So that in and of itself is helpful.
Examples Healthy Supporting Functions:
- It is established fact that tea is very high in antioxidants which reduce free radicals, which in turn damage DNA and other cell components. That may be a factor in some types of cancer (and there is growing evidence that this is likely) but even if the direct cause/effect isn’t proven, the support of healthy cell functions and less damage to DNA can only be helpful. How Tea Helps Fight Cancer
- Other components in tea promote softer, healthier blood vessels, whereas the hardening of those cell walls is a factor in heart disease. How Tea Helps Fight Heart Disease
- Tea helps regulate blood sugar, which is helpful given that diabetes results in abnormal metabolism due to impaired insulin production and therefore elevated levels of glucose.
Tea as a Healthy Alternative
Furthermore, the high quality of our loose leaf tea means there is less need for added sweeteners. And there is similarly growing evidence that sweetened beverages like soda pop are disruptive to many of these same biological functions that are attacked by these diseases. So tea is helpful as a healthy alternative. As such, we believe that, for some, tea can serve as a daily reminder to make healthy choices, thus promoting a culture of health as well.