Antioxidants of the beverage tea in promotion of human health

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2004 Jun;6(3):571-82. doi: 10.1089/152308604773934323.


Tea that contains many antioxidants is a pleasant and safe drink that is enjoyed by people across the globe. Tea leaves are manufactured as black, green, or oolong. Black tea represents approximately 78% of total consumed tea in the world, whereas green tea accounts for approximately 20% of tea consumed. The concept of "use of tea for promotion of human health and prevention and cure of diseases" has become a subject of intense research in the last decade. Diseases for which tea drinkers appear to have lower risk are simple infections, like bacterial and viral, to chronic debilitating diseases, including cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Initial work on green tea suggested that it possesses human health-promoting effects. In recent years, the research efforts have been expanded to black tea as well. Research conducted in recent years reveals that both black and green tea have very similar beneficial attributes in lowering the risk of many human diseases, including several types of cancer and heart diseases. For cancer prevention, evidence is so overwhelming that the Chemoprevention Branch of the National Cancer Institute has initiated a plan for developing tea compounds as cancer-chemopreventive agents in human trials. Thus, modern medical research is confirming the ancient wisdom that therapy of many diseases may reside in an inexpensive beverage in a "teapot."

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Models, Chemical
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Phenols / chemistry
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea / metabolism*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea