Oolong tea bad for health?


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Oolong tea bad for health?

Postby Grubby » Aug 16th, '08, 16:45

I was wondering, if Oolong tea could be bad for health, or at least worse for health than other teas such as green white or black.

The reason i am asking this is because, as far as i know, Oolong tea is the kind of tea which had the hardest roasting of all teas.
Remember that fermentation isnt equal to roasting. Even though black teas are fermented more they are usually treated with less heat.

So do you think that there is some truth to this? Maybe there is even someone with scientific articles about the subject?

I am really liking Oolong tea so far, but if its bad for my health i will probably stop drinking it.
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Postby Bubba_tea » Aug 16th, '08, 16:47

Huh? What do you mean, specifically? There are all kinds of documented health benefits of tea. Even water is toxic in the right dosage.
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Postby Grubby » Aug 16th, '08, 16:52

The more burned something is the more chance there is to develop substances which are unhealthy for the body. This is pretty common knowledge.

About the documented health benefits how do you know if that applies to Oolong? My point is exactly that maybe Oolong is different. I know that green tea is healthy, and most of the studies are made using green tea, or sometimes black tea since its popular in the west.
Do you have any link to studies of oolong tea?
Ofcourse, since some Oolong tea's are treated with more heat than others, it can be very hard to come to any conclusions.
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Aug 16th, '08, 16:54

Where did you hear that it was bad for your health?

It sounds like you are thinking that teas that are roasted more (or are introduced to more heat) are less healthy. In a way you may be right as more fermentation/roasting may destroy some of the things in tea that we always hear about being good for our bodies. Beyond that, no tea is "bad" for you, at least in the way I think your describing.

EDIT: There is the possible chance of carcinogens and all the other bad stuff in burned stuff, but roasting and burning are two entirely different things.
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Postby Grubby » Aug 16th, '08, 16:56

I never said that i heard it was bad for your health. I ASKED if it could be bad for health. If you think i am saying that Oolong tea is unhealthy you need to read my posts again (no offense meant).

And you are 100% correct that my doubt comes because its roasted more.
The analogy is cooking, in stir-frying you will often reach much higher temperatures than in "normal cooking" (boiling or western style frying). This has been proven to increase the chance of some types of cancer. I am wondering if this extends to tea, and how much heat the tea has been exposed to.

Edit: Ok that was the kind of info i wanted to know. So HOW is roasting done?
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Aug 16th, '08, 17:04

Grubby wrote:The analogy is cooking, in stir-frying you will often reach much higher temperatures than in "normal cooking" (boiling or western style frying). This has been proven to increase the chance of some types of cancer.


Really? I've never heard that food cooked at high temperatures could cause (or at least increase the chance of) cancer. Could you provide a link? this is very interesting
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Postby jbenenson » Aug 16th, '08, 17:07

In China alone, there are 1,300,000,000 people, and that with a 1-child policy. I would say that , since billions of cups of oolong have been consumed there and elsewhere, and that the life span of oolong drinkers has never been shown to be shorter than that of the general population (perhaps longer?), it's totally safe. :)
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Aug 16th, '08, 17:07

Grubby wrote:So HOW is roasting done?


Here is what wikipedia says on oolong roasting:

Oolong tea undergoes a few delicate processes in order to produce the unique aroma and taste. Typical Oolong tea is processed according to the following steps:[5]

Wilting (萎凋; wěidiāo): Sun dry or air dry to remove moisture partly.
Cooling: Cool off in shaded area.
Yaoqing (摇青; yáoqīng): Gently tossing leaves to bruise the edge of leaves to create more contacting surface for oxidation.
Cooling and Yaoqing are repeated multiple times.
Shaqing (杀青; shāqīng): The procedure is to stop oxidation with high heat. Premium leaves are usually stir fried in a large pan over high heat, large productions are done by machine.
Rouqing (揉青; róuqīng): The tea leaves are rolled into strands or nuggets before dehydration.
Roasting: Roasting with low heat to dehydrate tea leaves, this step can be repeated with temperature variations to produce flavors of choice.
Grading
Packaging
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Postby Grubby » Aug 16th, '08, 17:09

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... -risk.html

This is all i could find right now, its kind of a bad representation, but i read about this so many times, its just impossible to remember where you read it. Although this article only talks about air polluting i am pretty sure its also harmful to eat stuff that has been heated so much(but don't quote me on that)

edit: ok, if the roasting is done with low heat then its probably safe. The temperature was my main concern.

Jbenenson thats a lousy argument. Lots and lots of Chinese people smoke too, that doesn't mean its a good idea.

edit2: i just found a danish article that states that eating food grilled at too high temperatures for too long increases the risc of cancer.
http://www.madklassen.dk/FDir/Publicati ... pport1.asp < here but its probably useless cause its in danish

like i said it was kind of a bad representation but i read about this stuff 100 times im 99% sure
Last edited by Grubby on Aug 16th, '08, 17:17, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Aug 16th, '08, 17:15

Grubby wrote:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-382571/Frying-increase-cancer-risk.html

This is all i could find right now, its kind of a bad representation, but i read about this so many times, its just impossible to remember where you read it. Although this article only talks about air polluting i am pretty sure its also harmful to eat stuff that has been heated so much(but don't quote me on that)

edit: ok, if the roasting is done with low heat then its probably safe. The temperature was my main concern.

Jbenenson thats a lousy argument. Lots and lots of Chinese people smoke too, that doesn't mean its a good idea.


I really can't say I agree with the idea presented. From that article:

Josephine Querido, of Cancer Research UK, said: "Heating cooking oil to very high temperatures can release chemicals into the air.

"But the level of chemicals in the fumes caused by cooking in the home is very small and there is no evidence to show this could increase cancer risk.


Of course its always he said/she said with these things, but it seems toward the end the idea was to get people to stop eating so much greasy fried foods rather than it being about actual heat introduced to food.

EDIT: One also wonders how often they actually mean by "regular exposure"
Last edited by PolyhymnianMuse on Aug 16th, '08, 17:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Grubby » Aug 16th, '08, 17:18

"Does Grilling or Barbecuing Meat Cause Cancer?
According to Dr. Ted Gansler, director of Medical Content for the American Cancer Society, eating excessive amounts of grilled meat or chicken can increase your risk of developing cancer. This is also true for pan-fried meats at high temperatures.

Current research tells us that the well done or charred meats pose the highest risk. The problem that cooking at very high temperatures break down the amino acid, creatine, in meats. When this occurs, chemical is formed, heterocyclic amines (HAs). HAs are carcinogenic and are linked to cancer."
http://cancer.about.com/od/foodguide/a/grillingmeat.htm
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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Aug 16th, '08, 17:20

Grubby wrote:According to Dr. Ted Gansler, director of Medical Content for the American Cancer Society, eating excessive amounts of grilled meat or chicken can increase your risk of developing cancer.


I wonder what he considers "excessive amounts". An "excessive amounts" of anything as mentioned can be potentially deadly regardless of what it is.
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Postby silverneedles » Aug 16th, '08, 18:05

there are no long term studies that prove tea is good for you = decrease disease or mortality.
so debating which tea is good for you which tea is bad for you will lead nowhere...

however, there are proven associations cause-effect between
hydrocarbons - cancer
smoking (hydrocarbons and other carcinogens) - cancer
fat,sugar,exercise - cardiovascular disease
burned fats (oxidized) - cancer, cardiov disease
heat & repetitive heat damage to esophagus -- risk for cancer

drinking green tea ... the "healthy one"
(survey study so exact amount is not known)
USA ~ 8% drink green tea
JAPAN ~65% drink green tea
CHINA ?

Life expectancy... well here's some numbers:
# USA life expectancy: 77.9 years
# JAPAN life expectancy: 81.1 years
# CHINA life expectancy: 71.8 years
# INDIA life expectancy: 64

Death from Malignant Neoplasms
U.S.A: 207/100000 (in Males) 186/100000 (in Females)
Japan: 291/100000 (in Males), 181/100000 (in Females)

so which tea would you rather drink?
:roll:
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Postby Bubba_tea » Aug 16th, '08, 20:42

Scotch, beer, tequila, etc etc - something is going to get you in the end - even excessive worry about things that can make you sick.

Live, love, and drink! Oh - and some good grilled steak and smoked BBQ is good too. :D
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Postby edkrueger » Aug 16th, '08, 20:46

I don't think any of that has anything to do with tea.

The burnt-food-cancer-relation is based on a polls that asked people with cancer and without cancer at what level of doneness they preferred their hamburgers. The results showed that of the people who participated in the poll, those with cancer are more likely to a claim that they prefer more cooked hamburgers. It did not prove that burnt meat causes cancer.
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