Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weight benefits in tea, coffee lost when combined with milk

Scientists have discovered that casein, a protein found in cows' milk, neutralize the fat fighting compounds in tea. Research has shown that the compounds, called theaflavins and thearubigins, prevent obesity when given to rats that were fed a high-fat diet. When tea is taken with milk, theaflavins and thearubigins form complexes with the milk protein, which causes them to precipitate. Skimmed milk decreased the levels of these active compounds more than whole or semi-skimmed milk. The casein binds to the polyphenols and lead to a decrease in their availability for the body and in skimmed milk this happens more. The researchers conclude that, "it means that we don't get the health benefit from these compounds nor from milk protein. Therefore, it is always advised to take tea without milk."

Steve - not only does milk neutralize the polyphenols of tea (and coffee), but added sugar reduces the benefit even more. When drinking tea or coffee, think plain. There is scant data with regards to using milk and sugar substitutes instead of milk and sugar. If you can drink it plain, that is the most preferred method.

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