Oolong Tea Benefits
1. Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
On a large scale, the consumption of oolong tea is associated with a decreased risk of death from heart disease. (3)
For patients with coronary heart disease, the most common form of heart disease, oolong tea has been found to stop the spread of atherosclerosis, a regular feature of heart disease. After just a month of oolong consumption in one particular study, patients saw a significant decrease in the hardening and narrowing of the arteries. (4)
Oolong tea also acts earlier in the process of the development of atherosclerosis by reducing the risk of dyslipidemia, the initial elevation of triglycerides, plasma cholesterol or both that first lead to the development of this disease. Patients consuming more than 600 milliliters of oolong tea each day found the most decreased risk, with a drop in overall cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides level for all patients consuming oolong tea regularly. (5)
Extracts from oolong tea also help prevent cell death in heart muscle tissue, another reason oolong is the subject of a lot of research regarding heart health. (6)
2. Helps Fight Obesity and Promote Weight Loss
Oolong tea weight loss has been at the center of a lot of discussion over the past several years, and for good reason.
Drinking oolong tea helps your body produce more heat, a process called thermogenesis, and thereby maintain or increase metabolism (the rate at which your body burns energy). This is especially important for people trying to lose weight, because there is typically a decrease in metabolism rates during the weight loss process. Recovering that loss is just one way oolong tea benefits and supports a healthy weight. (7)
Regular oolong tea consumption also suppresses the production of new fat cells. (8) It helps your body to burn fat faster. (9) Overall, there’s little doubt that oolong tea not only helps you lose weight in the short term, but also protects against obesity on a large, long-term scale with a consistently increased metabolism, reduction in fat and reduction in inflammation contributing to stubborn weight. (10, 11, 12)
3. Lowers Risk of Cancer
Because it’s so high in antioxidants, oolong tea significantly impacts your risk for certain cancers, including ovarian and pancreatic cancer (although the pancreatic cancer risk has been mostly pronounced in the elderly and Chinese populations). (13, 14) Oolong tea also seems to have an impact on stopping the growth of melanoma. (15)
The anticancer effects of tea are so great that the National Cancer Institute has even begun sharing this information with patients with the disease, showcasing tea’s standing as a cancer-fighting food. (16)
4. Diabetes Prevention
The subject of diabetes is another important one in the quest to improve the health of the masses. Type 2 diabetes (the more common and diet-related form) is a metabolic disorder caused by high blood sugar and insulin resistance. An astounding 25 percent of the American population is prediabetic, and this is a completely reversible condition.
Introducing oolong tea into your diet is just one way to reverse diabetes naturally. In fact, this tea may help you prevent diabetes in the first place as well as serving a potential role in future diabetes medication development. (17) There’s a substantial inverse association with consumption of oolong tea and type 2 diabetes risk. (18)
Drinking oolong tea every day for at least a month has been shown to decrease blood glucose levels significantly in patients with diabetes as compared to those drinking only water and following the same diet.
5. High in Disease-Fighting Antioxidants
The way oolong tea benefits your body has a lot to do with the presence of antioxidants in every cup. Antioxidants found in large numbers in oolong tea are bioflavonoids, a common type of antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables in addition to tea. Specifically, you can find myricetin, kaempferoland quercetin in oolong tea. These three share many effects, but quercetin (found most concentrated in oolong tea) is of special significance. (20, 21)
Together, the bioflavonoids in oolong tea work together to fight the aging process, cancer, heart disease, inflammation, allergies and even improve physical endurance.
6. Decreases Inflammation
When you can lower chronic inflammation by adjusting your diet, you stand a much better chance of preventing all kinds of diseases. That’s one reason the antioxidants found in oolong tea are so important. This tea targets specific inflammation-causing genes and signals to them to reduce inflammation. (22)
7. Supports a Healthy Brain
Cognitive function is affected in both the short and long term by consuming oolong tea. Drinking tea, which contains both caffeine and L-theanine, nutrients known for their impact on brain function, correlates with a marked increase in visual information processing, attention levels, alertness and calmness within the first hour of consuming the beverage. (23)
However, the more far-reaching importance of tea as it relates to brain health is its ability to slow or prevent cognitive decline associated with age. EGCG, a polyphenol found in teas, helps improve and maintain the function of the hippocampus, a part of the brain strongly linked to learning and memory. (24)
Regularly drinking tea benefits older populations specifically by preventing cognitive decline and improving brain function. (25, 26)
When discussing age-related cognitive impairment, the “big one” people want to know about is generally Alzheimer’s. Drinking tea for Alzheimer’sactually may reduce your risk for this disease by up to 86 percent. This may be partly because of the presence of EGCG, but the disease-preventing effects of tea are complex and not just limited to one trait of the drink. In addition, the methods by which tea helps support the brain aren’t completely understood — it’s simply been found that tea does have its part in preventing cognitive impairment. (27)
8. Prevents Bone Loss
When women go through menopause, one unfortunate but common problem, they’re left with is a continual weakening of the bones that leads to conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis. While the reasons why aren’t entirely clear, it seems that drinking oolong tea helps women who have experienced menopause maintain high bone density. (28)
9. Reduces the Appearance of Eczema
The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis. There’s no total cure for eczema, although over-the-counter, prescription or homemade eczema cream may help decrease the appearance of the condition.
Diet plays a significant role in this condition, just like all others. In addition to eating less sugar and fried foods and introducing more healthy fats, high-fiber foods and probiotic foods into your diet, people who suffer from eczema should also consider drinking oolong tea.
In one study following patients for six months total, those drinking oolong tea three times daily saw moderate improvement in the appearance of eczema after one to two weeks. Five months after discontinuing consumption of oolong tea, over half of the participants still had the same decreased skin condition. Researchers contribute this effect to the anti-allergenic antioxidants found in the tea