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Antioxidant Action: Black Tea vs. Green Tea

Antioxidant Action: Black Tea vs. Green Tea

What are antioxidants? These are substances that help to protect the body by stabilizing free radicals. In simple words, they fight diseases and maintain your body’s sound health. These may be minerals, flavonoids, or vitamins. The good news is that you can drink a cup full of antioxidants via green tea or black tea.

The question is that whether a cup of green tea has greater number of antioxidants or a cup of black tea.

The two types of tea do not have same number of antioxidants and, therefore, one must first understand the antioxidant composition of both types of tea.This is because a polyphenol alone cannot determine tea’s overall capacity of antioxidants but by the mutual action of various antioxidants.

The green tea has polyphenols such as flavonoids catechins which are antioxidants. Catechins interact and stabilize the free radicals (substances that take part in body processes of all sorts of diseases), thus protecting cells and tissues from damage. Green tea also consists of EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) antioxidant, a catechin,which provides around fifty percent of the total benefits.

On the other hand, black tea consists of various types of flavonoids that have antibacterial and antioxidant characteristics. Flavonoids are actually pigments that contribute colors. The flavonoids in black tea help lower one’s chance of getting diagnosed with cancer and heart diseases.

More research has been conducted on flavonoids in green tea than that in black tea. However, the full potential of flavonoids is being realized gradually as more and more studies are being conducted on them.

Earlier, it had beenproposed that green tea and black tea have equal capacity of antioxidants because catechins present in green tea and theaflavins (TF) present in black tea share equal antioxidant potency. Also, EGCG in green tea has antioxidant activity similar to that of theaflavin-3,3′-digallate (TF3) in black tea.

However, the recent studies have inferred different results. According to a study by The Journal of Nutrition, green tea has more health benefits than an equal volume of black tea in terms of antioxidant capacity”.

In this study, popular commercial teas used in the United States and Europe were studied for their antioxidant capacity. It was found that the total phenol content in green and black teas was equivalent to 124 and 165 mg gallic acid respectively. The study also reported that a cup of black tea has antioxidant equivalent to 239 mg vitamin C, which is far less than that in a cup of green tea equivalent to 436 mg vitamin C.

Therefore, considering antioxidant concentration and corresponding benefits, green tea is a preferred choice.


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