low antioxidant tea


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low antioxidant tea

Postby jott » Oct 25th, '11, 07:56

My wife has started her chemotherapy and everything is going great. However, she has now been told to stay away from green tea because of the antioxidants. So the question, becomes what tea can she have? She still needs a caffeine fix, so herbals are out. Any suggestions?
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Re: low antioxidant tea

Postby chado.my.teaway » Oct 25th, '11, 09:30

the greater the level of fermentation, the smaller the amount of antioxidants. thats my opinion, but im not sure. I wish your wife back to health. i think black tea will be good, like Assam. thats very dark tea. but remember. im not sure.
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Re: low antioxidant tea

Postby entropyembrace » Oct 26th, '11, 21:59

From the papers I´ve read most black teas are significantly lower in catechins (the main antioxidants in tea) than green tea but Darjeeling is a standout and it sometimes has higher levels of catechins than many green teas. Black teas do still have fairly high levels of many catechins...best she drinks in moderation and checks with her Dr that her consumption is ok.
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Re: low antioxidant tea

Postby AlexZorach » Dec 1st, '11, 16:58

chado.my.teaway wrote:the greater the level of fermentation, the smaller the amount of antioxidants. thats my opinion, but im not sure. I wish your wife back to health. i think black tea will be good, like Assam. thats very dark tea. but remember. im not sure.


Unfortunately or fortunately, this is not true.

I've researched this pretty extensively. Tea contains many different classes of antioxidants. Green teas contain catechins, but in the oxidation process leading to black tea, the catechins are not destroyed, but rather, converted to other chemicals, called theaflavins and thearubigins, which are still antioxidants. There hasn't been an exhaustive study of this topic but there have been studies that have found the actual antioxidant activity of green and black tea are roughly comparable, although they do vary greatly from one tea to the next.
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Re: low antioxidant tea

Postby AlexZorach » Dec 1st, '11, 17:03

I don't know anything about chemotherapy, but I'd ask for a doctor to clarify. The rationale of avoiding green tea "because it contains antioxidants" sounds strange to me and I'm wondering if there hasn't been some miscommunication as the information has been passed on through the grapevine. There are many different classes of antioxidants. Vitamins A, C, and E are all antioxidants, and they are essential nutrients.

Antioxidants, including many other classes of non-essential compounds, are nearly ubiquitous in whole, natural foods...everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to nearly all tea, herbs, and spices, to oils like olive oil.

I'd recommend the person go back to the doctor or oncologist or whoever made this comment and ask them to get a bit more specific and clarify.
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Re: low antioxidant tea

Postby AlexZorach » Dec 1st, '11, 17:09

I researched this a bit more and I uncovered that this is an open question. There is no clear consensus about whether antioxidants are beneficial or harmful to patients undergoing chemotherapy. See:

The Good, Bad, and Uncertain: Antioxidant and Chemotherapy Combinations (pdf)

For a source saying that this is still an open question. If you want a source of what looks like a fairly reputable survey saying that antioxidants actually increased survival, look here.

I'm not a medical professional, but my intuition is that antioxidants here are probably helpful, not harmful. And personally, if in that circumstance, and given that advice by a doctor, I'd ignore it and keep going with whatever tea I was drinking. But I'd focus on natural antioxidants, such as naturally-occurring vitamins A, C, and E, from whole plant-based sources, rather than relying on the Catechins or Theaflavins/Thearubigins in tea (which are not essential nutrients). I hope this helps clarify!
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Re: low antioxidant tea

Postby joelbct » Dec 26th, '11, 22:53

AlexZorach wrote:Green teas contain catechins, but in the oxidation process leading to black tea, the catechins are not destroyed, but rather, converted to other chemicals, called theaflavins and thearubigins, which are still antioxidants. There hasn't been an exhaustive study of this topic but there have been studies that have found the actual antioxidant activity of green and black tea are roughly comparable, although they do vary greatly from one tea to the next.


Interesting, thank you for the info Alex. I've never heard the terms thearubigins or theaflavins. Always more to learn about tea...

And best wishes to your wife chado.
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