Longevity Tea

August 12, 2009 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

Anti-aging products are big business these days. This isn’t a new trend, but it’s an understandable one. The fact is that, statistically, we’re living longer than ever. Unfortunately, we’re not necessarily living healthier. It’s nearly impossible to avoid the ubiquitous toxic elements present in the environment. In addition, most studies tell us that psychological angst and stress levels are on the rise. But, no need to despair. We simply need to understand which lifestyle choices promote longevity and focus on making them a bigger part of our daily routine. One practical way to do this is to regularly drink (or supplement with) green or white tea.

A recent Japanese study examined the relationship between green tea consumption and the risk of “all cause morality” in a group of over 14,000 senior citizens. Over the course of 6 years, it was determined that those who consumed the greatest amount of green tea were least likely to die from all causes and, in particular, as a result of cardiovascular disease or colorectal cancer (two common causes of death in this age category). That’s obviously great news, but what most of us strive for is to live better, not just longer. (1)

One the first signs of aging are changes to the skin’s health and appearance. This is, obviously, why there are literally thousands of creams, lotions and serums targeted at age spots and wrinkles alone. A new experiment from Kingston University in the UK is adding to the current level of knowledge about antioxidants and their potential role in keeping skin looking more youthful. There are two proteins that are key to a soft and wrinkle-free skin: collagen and elastin. As we age, these proteins increasingly break down, which results in negative consequences for much of the connective tissue in the body. Sites that are frequently affected include arteries, cartilage, gums, ligaments, lungs and skin.

23 different herb and plant extracts were tested to determine their ability to inhibit the enzymatic breakdown of collagen and elastin that normally occurs with aging. Of all of the plants tested, white tea was shown to be the most effective. (2) According to the authors of the research, it appears that even small amounts of white tea inhibited an inflammatory process that promotes damage to the proteins found in connective tissue. It’s interesting to note that white tea performed significantly better than green tea. White tea is a younger, less processed version of green tea which is higher in select “plantioxidants”. Here are some of the highlights of the research:

  • White tea demonstrated an 89% reduction in “anti-elastase activity” and an 87% decline in “anti-collagenase activity”.
  • Green tea measured in at 10% anti-elastase and 47% anti-collagenase interference.
  • White tea also exhibited the highest antioxidant scores among the extracts tested.

There are additional questions that need to be answered with regard to tea consumption and skin health. For instance, a newly published study didn’t find much long term benefit in a group of women who supplemented with green tea extract over a 24 month period. This could be a question of inadequate dosage or perhaps the participants would have had better results if they had used white tea instead. It’s also possible that applying green tea topically may be a more direct and efficient route to promote healthier skin. (3,4)

Advancing age affects the skeletal structure of the body as well. A far too common example is found in older men and women who lose height or begin to slump over in senior years. There is a naturally occurring chemical in green tea that may help to forestall this process. New research presented in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry determined that epigallocatechin (EGC), an antioxidant (polyphenol) found in green tea, can help deter bone degeneration and encourage bone mineralization in a laboratory setting. Population studies on older women and trials conducted in animal models appear to support these most recent findings. (5,6,7,8,9,10)

Source: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine – August 2009 (link)

Forgetfulness is yet another way in which age reveals itself. It may not be as obvious as the outwardly signs of maturity, but it’s at least as important. Several scientific papers published in the past few months suggest that tea ought to be the beverage of choice for those concerned about age-related cognitive decline. The mechanisms by which green tea extract (GTE) exert these positive effects are numerous:

  1. GTE prevents chemical changes in the brain that are provoked by psychological stress. Stress is known to impair normal memory recovery and reaction time. (11)
  2. GTE may be a powerful aid in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). In laboratory tests, green tea disrupts the production and harmful activity of beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta). Abeta is a primary component of the brain plaques found in those with AD. (12,13)
  3. GTE may complement conventional and natural medications used to treat dementia. A new trial found that GTE enhanced the effects of a natural medicine, known as huperzine A (derived from club moss). Not only was there an increase in the therapeutic activity of huperzine A, but the benefits were also prolonged when green tea was added to the mix. (14)
  4. The memory enhancing properties of green tea may come partially from the neuroprotection that GTE-based antioxidants provide. A recent animal study found that GTE’s ability to shield the brain from oxidative damage could support better brain performance (spatial learning). (15)

In addition to the benefits I’ve already listed, it’s been reported that drinking plenty of green and white tea may also promote a healthier weight. That’s a struggle that rarely improves as people grow older. (16)

In closing, here’s a new tip about how to get the most out of the tea you drink: Eat antioxidant rich foods (like red onions) or take antioxidant supplements along with your tea. The July edition of the journal Phytotherapy Research suggests that doing so will help your body absorb and utilize more of the therapeutic substances in this healthy brew. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling younger already! (17)

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

Be well!


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Women's Health

27 Comments & Updates to “Longevity Tea”

  1. kris Says:

    anti aging =avoid free radical

  2. JP Says:


    That’s certainly part of the equation. But not all antioxidants are equal and/or function in quite the same way. 🙂

    Be well!


  3. David Says:

    Hello JP. Since you are a big supporter of fish oil supplements, I want to know your opinion about new Fish Oil from New Chapter brand.



    I have bought this product in order to take 1 or 2 softgels daily with my EPA DHA concentrate. I like this WholeMega because of their Omega 7 and 9 but I disagree a lot with its critic to purified fish oils (pure marketing hype for me).

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I hardly drink anymore especially in the summer.

    Better start at it again 🙂

    P.S. Something funny kinda happened here the anti-spam word was coffee! lol.

  5. JP Says:


    I have mixed feelings about this manufacturer in general. I like some of their products such as Zyflamend. On the other hand, I sometimes don’t agree with how they present things in their product literature.

    As an example: They point out the difference in color between their product and most other fish oils. But what’s the point in that? Nobody disputes that salmon contains the reddish carotenoid astaxanthin and other fish do not. Virtually all salmon oil supplements have that same reddish hue – with varying price tags to go along with it.

    I think salmon is a wonderful food. I also wouldn’t quibble with the likelihood that this New Chapter product is probably a high quality and effective supplement. But is it better than many of the other fish oil supplements out there? Does it compare well with krill oil – which is much higher in astaxanthin? I don’t think that can be reasonably claimed at this time.

    I’d like to know what your experience is like while taking the product however. I know it’s sometimes hard to know what exact effect any given supplement is providing. But, if you do detect anything special about it … I’d value hearing about it.

    I don’t say any of this to discourage your use of this product or to slam New Chapter. I’m glad they’re out there doing their thing. I just have my particular take some of their products. (Sadly) It doesn’t mean I’m always right. 🙂

    Be well!


  6. Dr. Josh Axe Says:

    With all the health benefits (and far less acidity), green tea is such a great alternative to coffee. It still has a bit of caffeine for those who need the jump start in the morning too.

  7. David Says:

    I think the same JP, anyway i think is a good product, but not better that my favourite I take years ago, Super Omega 3 from Life Extension (in part because of its antiinflamatory sesame lignans :D). Probably in future I will combine this with a krill oil, for me the most important in a fish oil is EPA and DHA content.

    “What drug companies wont tell you and your doctor doesnt know”, by Michael Murray (2009) (recommended by Dr Andrew Weil).

    Its the best book I have read since time ago.

  8. David Says:


  9. JP Says:

    Thanks, Dr. Axe. I think green and white tea are great. But I must say that many of the recent scientific reports on coffee are also quite impressive.

    The last several years have yielded some very interesting (and mostly positive) studies for both coffee and tea. I love covering these topics and chocolate and red wine too. Fascinating and complicated issues, IMO.

    Be well!


  10. JP Says:


    Thank you for the book suggestion. I like Dr. Murray quite a lot but I haven’t had the chance to read that book yet. I will put it on my “books to read” list! I appreciate the heads up!

    Be well!


  11. Iggy Dalrymple Says:

    I drank some green tea and still aged. Next time I’ll try white.

  12. JP Says:

    Make sure to let your friends and family know. Otherwise, they just might be green with envy.

    Be well!


  13. Nina K. Says:

    dear JP,

    nice article. i read on our german wikipage that foods with high qercetin are (in order from very high to low):

    1. lovage spice
    2. tea (camelia sinensis)
    3. red onions
    4. blueberries
    5. green cabbage
    6. grapes
    7. apples
    8. chive
    9. broccoli
    10.green beans
    12.other berries like blackberry, red and black currant

    i prefer the apples and berries instead of onions ;-).

    stay healthy!

  14. Paul Fanton Says:

    Hi JP,

    Thank you for this new gem in your valuable chest!

    My wife and me will implement the usage of the White tea extract.

    I open a capsule and mix it with the water I carry to the gym.

    Great help for the aging and baby boomers!


  15. JP Says:

    Thanks for adding that list, Nina!

    How do you feel about shallots? They’re perhaps the best food source! 🙂


    Be well!


  16. JP Says:

    Thank you, Paul!

    I’m so happy to know that the information was well received!

    Be well!


  17. Nina K. Says:

    Hi JP,

    oh well, i will try shallots, i hope my bowl will tolerate them more than “normal” onions 😉

    I recently discovered white tea, because i have a new dealer for organic teas and he has a lot of different sorts. they are really delicious. nice to read, that it will be good for my skin too.

    Do you know anything about oolong tea, especially milky oolong tea?

    stay healthy!

  18. JP Says:


    Even the healthiest of foods aren’t appropriate for everyone. Trust your instincts and experiment carefully. 🙂

    Oolong tea is a healthy tea as well. In terms of processing, it falls somewhere in between green tea and black tea. White tea being the least processed of the bunch.

    This link provides a table that explains the processing involved and the chemical changes it brings about:


    Be well!


  19. Nina K. Says:

    Dear JP,

    thank you and have a wondefull sunny weekend.


  20. JP Says:

    You too, Nina!

    Be well!


  21. disque dur externe Says:

    Thank you so much for the information. I agree that anti-ageing products are on a high right now. But they heal only the external body cosmetically. The inner damage is constantly on. A green tea is indeed a natural tea. It is more preferable than any other teas. It has great herbal value.

  22. JP Says:

    Thank you!

    I also think very highly of green (and white) tea.

    Let’s hope future research continues to give us good reason to drink it!

    Be well!


  23. JP Says:

    Updated 08/18/15:


    Sci Rep. 2015 Jul 30;5:12015.

    Green tea extract decreases starch digestion and absorption from a test meal in humans: a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study.

    Green tea is known worldwide for its beneficial effects on human health. However, objective data evaluating this influence in humans is scarce. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of green tea extract (GTE) on starch digestion and absorption. The study comprised of 28 healthy volunteers, aged 19 to 28 years. In all subjects, a starch (13)C breath test was performed twice. Subjects randomly ingested naturally (13)C-abundant cornflakes during the GTE test (GTE 4 g) or placebo test. The cumulative percentage dose recovery (CPDR) was significantly lower for the GTE test than for the placebo test (median [interquartile range]: 11.4% [5.5-15.5] vs. 16.1% [12.7-19.5]; p = 0.003). Likewise, CPDR expressed per hour was considerably lower in each point of the measurement. In conclusion, a single dose of green tea extract taken with a test meal decreases starch digestion and absorption.

    Be well!


  24. JP Says:

    Updated 08/07/16:


    Eur J Epidemiol. 2016 Jul 2.

    Association of green tea consumption with mortality from all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer in a Chinese cohort of 165,000 adult men.

    Tea is the most ancient and popular beverage in the world, and its beneficial health effects has attracted tremendous attention worldwide. However, the prospective evidence relating green tea consumption to total and cause-specific mortality is still limited and inconclusive. We recruited 164,681 male participants free of pre-existing disease during 1990-1991, with green tea consumption and other covariates assessed by the standardized questionnaire and mortality follow up continued until 2006 (mean 11 years; total person-years: 1,961,791). Cox regression analyses were used to quantify the associations of green tea consumption with all-cause (n = 32,700), CVD (n = 11,839) and cancer (n = 7002) mortality, adjusting simultaneously for potential confounders. At baseline, 18 % reported regular consumption of green tea. Compared with non-green tea drinkers, regular drinkers had significantly lower all-cause mortality, with adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) being 0.94 (95 % CI 0.89, 0.99) for ≤5 g/day, 0.95 (0.91, 0.99) for 5-10 g/day and 0.89 (0.85, 0.93) for >10 g/day. For CVD mortality, the corresponding HRs were 0.93 (0.85, 1.01) 0.91 (0.85, 0.98) and 0.86 (0.79, 0.93), respectively, while for cancer they were 0.86 (0.78, 0.98), 0.92 (0.83, 1.00) and 0.79 (0.71, 0.88), respectively. The patterns of these associations varied by smoking, alcohol drinking and locality. This large prospective study shows that regular green tea consumption is associated with significantly reduced risk of death from all-cause, CVD and cancer among Chinese adults.

    Be well!


  25. JP Says:

    Updated 06/07/17:


    Phytother Res. 2017 Jun 6.

    A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial Examining the Effects of Green Tea Extract on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity and Quality of Life.

    Antiinflammatory and immunomodulatory benefit of green tea (Camellia sinensis) in autoimmune disease has been proven in recent studies. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of green tea on disease activity and quality of life in systemic lupus erythematosus patients. A randomized controlled trial on subjects with lupus was conducted, and 68 patients in the age range of 39.1 ± 10.3 years and body mass index of 25.7 ± 5.21 kg/m2 completed the 12-week study. Patients were randomly divided into two groups of intervention (1000 mg green tea extract, two capsules/day) and control (1000 mg of starch, two capsules/day). Main outcome measure, systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity, was assessed by the systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index at the first and after 3 months of intervention. In addition, patient’s quality of life was evaluated by short form of quality-of-life questionnaire at baseline and after 3 months. Green tea extract supplementation significantly reduced disease activity in lupus patients (p < 0.004); in addition, it significantly increased the vitality (p < 0.006) and general health (p < 0.01). This study showed that daily consumption of green tea extracts for 12 weeks improves the systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity as well as some aspects of quality of life. Be well! JP

  26. JP Says:

    Updated 1/8/18:


    Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2018 Jan 5:1-15.

    The evaluation of the quality of Feng Huang Oolong teas and their modulatory effect on intestinal microbiota of high-fat diet-induced obesity mice model.

    The variations in the contents of tea catechins and free amino acids in relation to the quality of Fenghuang Oolong teas (FOT) were determined. It demonstrated that in FOT, which were grown at a high altitude, the contents of methylated estered tea catechins were relatively higher. By human flora-associated (HFA) mice model, the effect of FOT on high-fat diet-induced obesity was investigated by high-throughput sequencing. The shifts in relative abundance of the dominant taxa at the phylum, family and genus levels showed their dramatically effects. A large increase in Bacteroidetes with decrease of Firmicutes was observed after the administration of FOT for 8 weeks. Together, these results suggest that FOT are rich in tea catechins, especially O-methylated tea catechin derivatives, which may be affected by the unique growth environment, and FOT may have prebiotic-like activity and can be used as functional food components in manipulating intestinal microbiota.

    Be well!


  27. JP Says:

    Updated 2/6/18:


    Food Funct. 2018 Jan 31.

    Comparative studies on the hypolipidemic, antioxidant and hepatoprotective activities of catechin-enriched green and oolong tea in a double-blind clinical trial.

    This study aimed to compare the beneficial effect of catechin-enriched green tea and oolong tea on mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects. Sixty mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects (180-220 mg dL-1) were enrolled and divided into three groups as catechin-enriched green tea (CEGT), catechin-enriched oolong tea (CEOT) or placebo. The subjects were instructed to drink 2 × 300 mL of CEGT (780.6 mg of catechin), CEOT (640.4 mg of catechin) or placebo beverage for 12 weeks. Drinking CEGT and CEOT significantly decreased (p < 0.05) the body weight, fat, and BMI, lipid peroxidation as well as lipid profile (TC, LDL-c, HDL-c, and TG). Also, intervention with CEGT and CEOT significantly improved (p < 0.05) the oxidative indices (TEAC and GSH) and antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, GPx, and GR). Moreover, ultrasound examination endorsed the hepatoprotective activity of CEGT and CEOT by reverting mild fatty liver to the normal hepatic condition because of antioxidant and hypolipidemic activities. To summarize, both CEGT and CEOT showed similar antioxidant and hepatoprotective activities. However, CEOT displayed superior lipid-lowering activity compared to CEGT or placebo, and hence it could be used to amend the wellness condition of mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects. Be well! JP

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