Research has shown that the ancient elixir could do more than warm our bodies. The antioxidant polyphenols in tea, called catechins, have been linked with anti-cancer activity, and certain teas — like green tea — are also known to have heart benefits, according to the Mayo Clinic.
A lot of research has focused on green tea in particular, Health.com reported, because it contains an exceptionally high number of catechins.
There is some evidence of the potential ways tea can improve health. And not only have scientists been honing in on how it affects our bodies when we drink it, they have also been finding it may have uses in medicines to fight certain diseases, like cancer. The following some ways the tea-health link is being studied:
Boosts The Immune System
Green tea boosts the number of “regulatory T cells” in the body, which are important for the immune system, according to research from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.
“When fully understood, this could provide an easy and safe way to help control autoimmune problems and address various diseases,” study researcher Emily Ho, an associate professor at the university, said in a statement. The research was published in the journal Immunology Letters.
The researchers specifically focused on the green tea compound EGCG, which is a kind of polyphenol. They said that the compound may work via epigenetics — influencing expression of genes — rather than “changing the underlying DNA codes,” Ho said in the statement.