Earl Grey Tea Benefits – How Often Should You Drink Earl Grey Tea?
Drinking tea is a favorite past time and relaxation activity in numerous countries nowadays not only because of its revitalizing properties but also because of the health benefits it is able to give. Tea is one of the oldest beverages and currently the most popular drink around the world. Tea is believed to have been originated in China, where Chinese emperor Shen Nong accidentally created the revered drink in 2737 B.C. However, it was only roughly 300 A.D. that tea became a common drink for people. The earl grey tea is considered to be among the popular teas in the world because of its taste and the earl grey tea benefits it is known to give.
The earl grey tea’s name was derived from the 2nd earl grey named Charles Grey, who died in the year 1845. Both the Jacksons of the Piccadilly and the Twinings claim that they were the first to discover the recipe of the said tea. The earl grey tea is manufactured from a citrus fruit called the bergamot, which has been grown from the biblical Israel since ancient times. Its name is derived from the Turkish word Bir Gamum, meaning the Lord’s pear. Otherwise called as the etrog, the bergamot is utilized for the Feast of the Tabernacles harvest festival known as the Sukkot. The bergamot oil is extracted and created into the earl grey tea that we know of today.
As of the present, new ways of creating the earl grey tea have emerged. Layers of tea are laid out and separated by blotting papers that are permeated with bergamot flavors. These blotting papers are left for a long time in order to infuse the flavors into the tea. Other methods include utilizing flavored capsules in order to preserve the flavors and encourage stronger earl grey teas.
Earl Grey Tea Benefits
Since bergamot is basically the ingredient used to create earl grey tea, the health benefits that will be discussed on this article are also benefits that are present when you eat the bergamot fruit. With a scientific name of the Citrus bergamia Risso, the bergamot is commonly cultivated along the coast of Souther Calabria Italy. In fact, this part Italy is responsible for eighty percent (80%) of the supply of bergamot fruit around the world. Bergamot boasts a number of active compounds namely the Brutelidine, the Melitidine, the rhoifolin, the Poncerin, the heohesperidin, the rutin, the neodesmin, the naringin and the neoeriocitrin. All these specific compounds are shown to be effective in lowering low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar and total cholesterol count, as evidenced in a variety of clinical studies and trials. It also increases the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. In fact, bergamot is a good fruit to eat for overall cardiovascular health.
In a study done involving humans, those that have been given the citrus bergamot indicated lower LDL levels at 20%-59% while HDL levels were increased by 7% up to a staggering 83%. This is beneficial considering the fact that when HDL levels are increased by level 1 milligram per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood decreases your risk to suffering from heart attack by three percent (3%). In another clinical trial, taking just bergamot polyphenolic extract increases the HDL levels by 43% on average, which is why earl grey tea benefits involve a health heart for those who drink it regularly.
Bergamot is also known to weaken and absorb the cholesterol that has embedded on the artery walls, as shown on a variety of in vitro studies. Another known earl grey tea benefits is its ability decrease the formation of scar tissues found in injured arteries. This healing capability is thought to be caused by the bergamot’s antioxidant properties, which actively relieves inflammation.
Not only that, bergamot is also believed to be an effective neuroprotective substance. In a research publicized in the year 2007 in the British Journal of Pharmacology, it shows that bergamot decreases the level of the damaged neurons done by excitotoxic stimuli in vitro. Experts believe that this neuroprotective ability is possible due to the bergamot’s ability to prevent engagement induced by injuries from accessing critical death pathways in the body.
How does the bergamot work?
The earl grey tea benefits won’t be present without the components that make up its main ingredient, which is the bergamot. So what makes the bergamot effective in lowering triglycerides, blood sugar, LDL and total cholesterol levels while increasing the HDL levels?
It appears that the active compounds found in bergamot inhibit an enzyme that is important in creating cholesterol in the body. The enzyme is called the HMG-CoA (3-hydroxy-3-methyglutaryl COA) reductase. This decreases the amount of cholesterol found in liver cells. By then, the body also obtains the cholesterol that is found in the blood stream through the LDL receptor, a protein found on the surface of the liver cell. This leads to lower levels of cholesterol in the blood and lower risks of cardiovascular diseases. Cholesterol is typically manufactured in the liver and the normal levels do not cause any harm to the health of the body. However, when the body produces too much cholesterol, it poses a threat to the cardiovascular system.
The enzyme HMG-CoA reductase is quite dynamic when the blood sugar levels in the body are high. Consequently, when the bergamot compounds lower the blood glucose levels, it also keeps the HMG-CoA reductase more stagnant, which also helps in reducing the cholesterol levels. As evidenced by a research published on the Journal of Natural Products in the year 2009, bergamot appears to carry a subdivision of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutary acid (HMG). This allows the compounds to have properties that are highly similar to statin drugs. The bergamot also boasts four flavonoids, which are believed to inhibit the liver from synthesizing more cholesterol in the body. This is done by inhibiting the pathway of the HMGCoA reductase.
Despite the popularity of earl grey tea around the world for its taste, it is important that you talk to your doctor before drinking any tea. Although the earl grey tea benefits have been tested and proven in a variety of different studies, it is necessary to seek for medical advice, especially if you’re suffering from any diseases or taking any medications. This is in order to prevent any drug interactions or unnecessary complications. If you’re already drinking earl grey tea then you can drink it once or twice daily.
1. Bersten, I. (2009), “Tea: How Tradition Stood in the Way of The Perfect Cup”, Vivid Publishing.
2. HP Life Science (2010), “Bergamonte: Cholesterol, Blood Glucose, Weight Loss”, Health Care Times.
3. Yee, L.K. (2011), “Tea’s Wonderful History”, Chinese Historical and Cultural Project.Earl Grey Tea Benefits – How Often Should You Drink Earl Grey Tea?,
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