Tea and its consumption: benefits and risks

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2015;55(7):939-54. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2012.678949.


The recent convention of introducing phytochemicals to support the immune system or combat diseases is a centuries' old tradition. Nutritional support is an emerging advancement in the domain of diet-based therapies; tea and its constituents are one of the significant components of these strategies to maintain the health and reduce the risk of various malignancies. Tea is the most frequently consumed beverage worldwide, besides water. All the three most popular types of tea, green (unfermented), black (fully fermented), and oolong (semifermented), are manufactured from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. Tea possesses significant antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, antihypertensive, neuroprotective, cholesterol-lowering, and thermogenic properties. Several research investigations, epidemiological studies, and meta-analyses suggest that tea and its bioactive polyphenolic constituents have numerous beneficial effects on health, including the prevention of many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, genital warts, and obesity. Controversies regarding beneficialts and risks of tea consumption still exist but the limitless health-promoting benefits of tea outclass its few reported toxic effects. However, with significant rise in the scientific investigation of role of tea in human life, this review is intended to highlight the beneficial effects and risks associated with tea consumption.

Keywords: Tea consumption; black tea; cardiovascular health; green tea; health effects; risks.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Beverages / statistics & numerical data
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diet therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diet therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Polyphenols / adverse effects*
  • Polyphenols / chemistry
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Risk*
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea