For the first time researchers have measured healthful antioxidant levels in commercially available bottled tea beverages and found that there is a big difference between drinking traditionally home brewed tea and mass produced bottled tea.
Scientists Shiming Li, Ph.D., Professor Chi-Tang Ho and his colleagues reported at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The researchers explained that some of the commercially available bottled teas contain as low as 1/20th the amount of antioxidants (polyphenols) as tea that is prepared and consumed traditionally. “Consumers understand very well the concept of the health benefits from drinking tea or consuming other tea products,” said Shiming Li. “However, there is a huge gap between the perception that tea consumption is healthy and the actual amount of the healthful nutrients — polyphenols — found in bottled tea beverages. Our analysis of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low.” In addition to low polyphenol content, these bottled teas have large sugar content. Li continuted: “Someone would have to drink bottle after bottle of these teas in some cases to receive health benefits,” he said. “I was surprised at the low polyphenol content. I didn’t expect it to be at such a low level.” Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water of course.