Health benefits of ‘true tea’ support, including drink in dietary guidelines, researchers argue

“Over the last 10 years, or even 15 years, the evidence has been building to the point where I think we have what I would suggest are very clear data that support tea consumption,”​ Beyond the current recommendations in the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, said Mario Ferruzzi with the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

He explained at the recent Sixth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health that systematic research conducted in the past 20 years offers “very definitive data“that true tea​from the Camellia sinensis plant has the potential to modify risk for several chronic and degenerative diseases, including cardiovascular, diabetes and neurodegenerative processes.

He also noted that many Americans confuse ‘true tea’ from the Camellia Sinensis plant, with herbal tisanes, which may also deliver health benefits, but for which the research around Camellia sinensis does not apply.

To ensure that consumers get the benefits of tea and distinguish it from other tea-like beverages, such as herbal infusions, he argued that clear dietary guidance is necessary. Updating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to include a recommendation for tea would also help establish a standard for generating products that consistently support the benefits outlined in clinical and other analysis.

Such a change would be a significant shift for the DGA, which are in the early steps of being updated ​for 2025-2030. The current dietary guidelines for Americans primarily discuss tea in terms of the amount of added sugar that is frequently consumed in the beverage and which can lead to excessive calorie consumption, Ferruzzi notes.

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