Black Tea and C Reactive ProteinSeptember 12, 2016
Black Tea and C-Reactive Protein
I drink black tea. Quite a lot, in fact. I like chai. I'm also on the quest to find how to lower C-reactive protein. When I see research that addresses both topics, I pay attention. This is interesting.
The study design was pretty simple. Three cups of black tea a day, with no additives, for 12 weeks. The control group drank hot water. The groups were large enough to show statistically significant drops in uric acid of 8-9% across the various ranges of uric acid. And better, C-reactive protein, the common pathway for inflammation, fell by 40-50% in folks with levels over 3 mg %.
Now, 50% drop is a lot! The goal is to get folks to below 1.0 on their CRP. So a 50% drop from 3 gets you to 1.5. Almost there! From the same study, published in a different journal, was evidence of what happened to other markers of cardiovascular risk. Again, the same 12 week period with three cups of tea a day. The tea had high levels of gallic acid derivatives (50 ± 0.4 mg/L), flavan-3-ols (42 ± 2 mg/L), flavonols (32 ± 1 mg/L) and theaflavins (90 ± 1 mg/L). (All good things). The metabolic changes were quite striking: a fasting serum glucose decrease of 18.4%; (p<0.001) and triglyceride level decrease of 35.8%; (p<0.01), a significant decrease in LDL/HDL plasma cholesterol ratio (16.6%; p<0.05) and a non significant increase in HDL plasma cholesterol levels 20.3%.
For those who have read this column and gotten facile at glucose and its effect on blood lipids, you would understand it all as the same phenomenon. To recap: a lower blood glucose means less insulin. Less insulin means less instructions to the liver to manufacture triglycerides and LDLs. With fewer LDLs and triglycerides to manufacture and ship out to fat cells, HDLs will rise. The real primary effect is on glucose with all the others following. Small, dense LDLs, stimulated by high glucose levels, drive heart disease, so there you have it.
All these risk factors stem from elevated glucose. Guess where this study came from? Mauritius! Not the commonplace for research. But they are looking at lifestyle and food. Just what we need.
WWW. What will work for me. I feel too buzzed with coffee and don't like all the caffeine. Tea is gentler. But I spend all day with my clients trying to find ways to lower CRP. Lots of folks have mildly elevated level. To know that we can drop it 30-40% with 3 cups of tea. In Afghanistan, 3 Cups of Tea means you are a friend. Same effect in America.
1. Three cups of tea will lower your CRP by 40-50%? T or F? Answer: True.
2. I can also lower my triglycerides with black tea. T or F? Answer: Yup
3. Uric acid, unfortunately, goes up with black tea. T or F? Answer: Gotcha. Read it again. Uric acid goes down. Another good thing
4. High blood glucose results in high blood lipids. T or F? Answer: Simple as that. True. Glucose is the real story for causing heart disease, not blood fats.
5. This research was done in a place that drinks a lot of tea and doesn't have much pharmaceutical company influence. T or F? Answer: True. Mauritius.