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Dutch study shows tea is good for your heart

Drinking tea has long been a great way to relax. A new study in the Netherlands suggest that quercetin found in tea and vegetables has a positive effect on your heart health.

TNO, a Dutch innovation organization, presents research into the beneficial effects of quercetin, a naturally occurring antioxidant in tea and many types of vegetables and fruits. Because of its ability to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and undesired cell growth, quercetin could be a promising “nutraceutical” for promoting cardiovascular health.

In studies using cultured human primary cells and microarray pathway analysis of the vessel wall, quercetin proved very effective at reducing local inflammation and atherosclerosis. It appears able to do so, because of its effect on cell growth and inflammation in the blood vessels.

Population studies indicated that groups who obtain relatively high amounts of quercetin from their diets have low incidences of cardiovascular disease. Foods rich in quercetin include tea, apples, grapes, citrus fruit, tomatoes, broccoli and green leafy vegetables. Quercetin is een polyphenol, a group of organic chemicals including antioxidants. The healthful properties of quercetin were assumed to be due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. TNO now has confirmed this and unraveled how quercetin actually works thus making it possible to maximize its health benefit.

Robert Kleemann, senior scientist at TNO: “We aimed to answer two main questions with this study: Does quercetin have the anti-inflammatory effect it is assumed to have when used as a dietary supplement? If so, how does quercetin work in the body? The more we learn about how food constituents affect physiological processes, the better we will be able to apply that knowledge to concrete advice and research methods for those interested in better cardiovascular health.”.

The study will be published in the international scientific journal ‘Atherosclerosis´.