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Components Found in Tea May Improve Microvascular Function

The microvasculature is the portion of the circulatory system that is composed of the smallest vessels, such as capillaries, arterioles and venules. Researchers have found that green tea-derived catechins and black tea-derived theaflavins may help moderately improve microvascular function in healthy adults.


Participants in the study included 24 healthy adults with an average age of 63. All of the participants underwent six different interventions:




    1. 500 mg of catechins;

    1. Four varying doses of theaflavins ranging from 100 to 500 mg;

    1. Placebo.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that both the 500 mg of theaflavins and the 500 mg of catechins were correlated with improvements in microcirculation measures when compared with the placebo. They also noted improvements with the 300 mg dose of theaflavins but did not see any changes with the lower doses.


Researchers from Unilever Research & Development in the Netherlands and RVK Research & Consulting BVBA in Belgium conducted the study. It was published on December 11, 2014, in the journal Nutrients.


Catechins have been linked to other health benefits including lower cholesterol, weight loss, improved heart health, aiding in digestion and decreased risk of neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to green tea, they can also be found in red wine, apples, and berries.


Theaflavins are antioxidant polyphenols that are formed during the fermentation of green tea to create black tea. Previous studies suggest that theaflavins may help with reducing the risk of ulcers and improving oral health.

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