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The right cup of tea for good health?

Green tea September 11, 1997
Web posted at: 7:22 p.m. EDT (2322 GMT)

LAS VEGAS (CNN) -- Green tea contains twice the disease-fighting punch as red wine, according to new research presented Thursday at an American Chemical Society meeting in Las Vegas.

Researchers from The University of Kansas measured the antioxidant content of green tea and found that it is 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times better than vitamin E at protecting cells from damage believed linked to cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.

This is the first research to quantify the effectiveness of green tea's disease-fighting capabilities and measure it against other popular antioxidants.

The researchers also found that the disease-fighting compound in green tea, EGCG, is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which is found in red wine.

But Mark Kantor, associate professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Maryland, cautioned consumers to digest the new information carefully.

"No one really knows for sure if these compounds give protection against cancer and heart disease. So it's very premature to make comparisons between foods with the implication that one food is healthier than another food," he said.

Green tea has been the focus of nutrition research because of population studies linking green tea consumption with lower rates of cancer and heart disease.

However, no researchers are saying that consuming green tea or red wine will counteract the effects of a bad diet.

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