Green tea: beware of bottled products and poor quality tea

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Green tea is defined as a healthy drink rich in antioxidants, which has recently proved useful in cases of skin cancers and diabetes. However, not all types of green tea are to be considered the same. On the one hand we have green tea brewed at home by infusion, on the other hand we find green tea sold in bottles and often advertised as a refreshing drink with healthy characteristics.



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Il green tea it is defined as a healthy and rich drink antioxidants, recently proved useful in case of skin cancers and diabetes. However, not all types of green tea are to be considered the same. On the one hand we have home-brewed green tea by infusion, on the other hand we have green tea sold by the bottle and often advertised as a refreshing drink with healthy characteristics.



By opting for bottled green tea we may not get the benefits related to the consumption of the traditionally prepared drink. According to what was reported by Consumer Lab and New York TimesIndeed, some bottled varieties of green tea would consist of nothing other than simple sugared water.

Such products would contain very little quantities of the antioxidants whose presence is normally attributed to green tea. In some varieties of green tea leaves from China they have also been detected contaminations from lead, an aspect to be taken into consideration despite the fact that this heavy metal does not seem to reach the drink during the infusion process.

A study in this regard has dealt with examining the nutritional content bottled green tea beverages of major brands, alongside green tea sold in bags and green tea leaves sold in bulk. In this way, evident variations in the content of an antioxidant considered capable of giving green tea numerous health properties in different products have been identified. This is theepigallocatechina gallato (or EGCG), the type of catechin most present in tea, with particular reference to green tea.

The results of the study took into consideration precise brands of bottled or brewed tea. For example, regarding the named product Diet Snapple Green Tea, a typology of bottled drink, have been identified very low levels of EGCG, which are instead superior in tea bags to be prepared by infusion in boiling water.

Even homemade tea would not be free of controversy. In branded infusion tea bags Lipton (already in the center of contamination by pesticides) is Biglow have been identified traces of lead 1,25 to 2,5 micrograms per serving. These are two of the most low-cost tea brands among those considered in the study. The brand's tea leaves Teavana - more expensive - had no measurable lead residues, the New York Times reported. Lead contamination would be caused byindustrial pollution.



A opinion di Tod Cooperman, doctor in charge of Consumer Lab, there would be no dangers regarding the traces of lead found in tea bags, as the bags themselves would be able to prevent lead from reaching the drink during the infusion time. The solution for green tea lovers? Avoid buying bottled green tea and prefer organically sourced tea leaves and bags. The organic green tea it is grown without the use of toxic substances that can reach the soil and plants, thus being exposed to a lower risk of contamination.



Marta Albè

READ also:

Green tea: a natural concentrate of antioxidants

Green tea leaves: 20 ways to reuse them

The 10 most popular varieties of tea in the world

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