Tea could be having a positive effect on your liver
Drinking tea could be doing more than just giving you a pick-me-up first thing in the morning, as researchers find that it could have advantages for sufferers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
The health benefits of tea have been up for discussion for years, but experts at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and the Duke University School of Medicine have made a new discovery. On a global basis, 70 per cent of people diagnosed with diabetes and obesity have NAFLD, which involves a build up of fatty liver that is not triggered by the excessive consumption of alcohol.
The team found that drinking four cups of tea a day could be beneficial in both preventing the progression of NAFLD, as well as protecting the body from the condition. Paul Yen, associate professor and research fellow, noted: "This is the first detailed study of the mechanism for caffeine action on lipids in the liver and the results are very interesting." He said that the findings indicate that tea might have therapeutic benefits, which could be used in future clinical trials on the treatment of NAFLD.
The experts believe that caffeine-like drugs could be developed that do not have the side-effects associated with caffeine, but still have obvious benefits for the liver. Tea has been linked to a number of health benefits over recent weeks, with Dutch scientists discovering that it could reduce the likelihood of suffering from prostate cancer.
Diets that are high in flavonoids - which are prevalent in tea - were found to have health benefits for men, as the team believe they prevent cancerous cells from forming tumours. Reported in the UK's Daily Mail, the findings also linked tea drinking to the reduced risk of Stage II cancer.