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The health effects of black tea and flavonoids

Carrie H.S. Ruxton (Nutrition Communications, Cupar, UK)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 22 May 2009




The purpose of this paper is to review evidence on the impact of black tea on health, highlighting the role of flavonoids.


This review builds on previous systematic reviews by incorporating new studies on black tea and health published between 2004 and 2009.


Black tea was strongly associated with heart disease prevention by plausible mechanisms linked to flavonoid bioactivity. In vitro studies suggest that tea has anti‐cancer properties, but this needs to be confirmed by additional long‐term human studies. Emerging research indicates that tea may benefit cognitive function and weight management, although more studies are needed. Tea flavonoids are bioavailable with or without milk.


The benefits of tea drinking are of relevance to public health as tea is the main contributor to dietary flavonoids in Western countries. Consuming one to eight cups of black tea per day is associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease. Caffeine intakes at this level are moderate.



Ruxton, C.H.S. (2009), "The health effects of black tea and flavonoids", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 283-294.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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