To a large extent, oolong tea’s health benefits are so tremendous it could make your jaw drop. Indeed, this speaks volumes about the powerful nature of the nootropic drink. But that should seal the deal for you, egging you to grab a cuppa, assuming you’re serious about getting the most out of life.
On one end, you have the unique, enchanting nature of oolong as a drink — its floral scent and sweet taste that could turn even the most solid green tea or black tea enthusiast into a raving fan. Conversely, the semi-oxidized drink can help you with humanity’s most dangerous diseases.
And definitely, those things cannot be ignored. No, sir.
In this post, we’ll show how drinking oolong tea regularly can help counter five of humanity’s most dreaded diseases, putting the destructive nature of free radicals to the utmost minimum.
Moreover, we’ll reveal the secrets of how the drink makes all these happen — always keeping you and everyone you love in tip-top shape. Read on.
What Makes Oolong Tea Special
Oolong, by definition, is semi-oxidized leaves from the Camella Sinensis evergreen shrub. In that sense, it isn’t really that different from green and black tea, two of the most consumed tea types on the planet.
But while oolong has not reached the level of adoption as its more famous siblings, it has steadily risen to the fore thanks to its unique taste, which can delight your palate like no other. Especially true with Gaoshan or Taiwan’s most coveted high-mountain oolong tea.
Green tea is the least oxidized, a fresher state that could leave a grassy taste in your mouth. On the other hand, as the most oxidized, black tea can bring forth a bitter taste. Now, you know why English tea in the UK comes perfectly served with milk and sugar.
As a result, drinking oolong tea is one pleasant experience you’d want to get into more often. Not only will you be mesmerized by a cuppa’s unique floral aroma, but also you’d long for its lingering sweet taste.
But all of oolong tea’s appeal to the senses carry a host of health goodies that have benefited thousands, if not millions, of people on the planet. As studies have shown.
And right, left, and center of it all are oolong’s powerful antioxidants. Quite simply, the drink is teeming with polyphenols that play a massive role in countering the damaging nature of free radicals.
If you haven’t read about it, free radical damage has been considered the leading cause of most degenerative diseases affecting humanity today. Some of these diseases are:
- Inflammatory joint disease,
- Senile dementia,
- Degenerative eye disease.
So let’s dive in to check how oolong can help you deal with five of the scariest.
Top Diseases Oolong Can Help You With
You can think of the fight between free radicals and antioxidants as a bad-versus-good match-up. And there may not be a better way to put it.
At its essence, free radicals are unstable atoms that cause illness to the body in the long run. Worse, these unhinged atoms can make you age faster if left to their own devices. In short, free radicals are nothing but bad news.
The good news is antioxidants, such as the powerful polyphenols in oolong, can play a central role in limiting free radical activity, thereby putting illnesses in check. Below are five instances.
1. Heart Disease
By sheer number alone, heart disease tops the charts in terms of the number of people who succumbs to it yearly. It is the #1 killer disease in America, the U.K., and the world. World Health Organization (WHO) data reveal heart disease accounts for 16% of global deaths yearly.
Table 1: Heart Disease Death Statistics Worldwide
Free radicals have been found to be at the root of heart disease. Once they abound, oxidative stress follows, factoring in subcellular changes that lead to heart failure and cardiomyopathy. For one, they accumulate in the vascular wall, which, when unchecked, could lead to coronary heart disease.
Oolong to the Rescue
Fortunately, oolong can help fight free radical damage to the heart. The nootropic drink contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that negate free radical action.
Specifically, we’re talking about epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epicatechin, and epicatechin gallate. Not only do these compounds prevent obesity, but also they lower cholesterol and triglyceride lipids. In the process, they counter the plaque-building activities of free radicals in the artery walls.
Moreover, oolong tea polyphenols have been shown in studies to lower high blood sugar, aiding in lowering the risk of developing high blood pressure. Additionally, drinking oolong regularly has been shown to lower stress levels, decreasing heart disease risk.
One study revealed that people who had six cups of oolong tea daily had lowered their risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by a mile. Another study in China of 1651 patients pointed out that taking oolong regularly effectively lowered their cholesterol levels by nearly 7%.
In Japan, a study of 76,000 adults pointed out that those who drank 8 ounces of oolong daily had a 61% lower risk of heart disease.
Now, another killer disease that destroys you from the inside is cancer. What makes it so disruptive is it spreads quickly once it takes hold. When that happens, tumors could overwhelm the body and disrupt organ function.
Now, if heart disease claims the most lives on the planet, cancer comes a close second. A very close second.
Table 2: Cancer Death Statistics Worldwide
The problem with free radicals becomes even more sinister as they can multiply fast. And the abnormal concentration of free radicals plays a huge role in cancer development, according to the National Cancer Institute data.
Oolong to the Rescue
How oolong tea fight cancer is another testament to its powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants such as polyphenols neutralize free radicals by giving up their own electrons. In this sacrificing role, they act as a switch that puts free radicals off.
And various studies show how they protect one’s body against cancer. One study detailed how oolong tea can effectively inhibit breast cancer cell growth and proliferation. So much so that the drink can be used as a chemoprevention in treating breast cancer.
What’s more, research in Taiwan has shown that drinking oolong regularly can lower the risk of throat, neck, and head cancer. Each oolong drink taken daily lowered the risk of cancer by as much as 4%.
Plus, drinking oolong has been attributed to lowering the risk of ovarian cancer in women, according to one study.
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a skin disease that’s not as frightening as cancer or heart disease. But it’s genuinely prevalent. While it may just cause dry and itchy patches of your skin, it can flare up once the person with eczema comes in contact with an allergen or irritant.
Table 3: Eczema Prevalence Statistics Worldwide
While it’s true that eczema is a skin disease, it’s another health issue that’s made complicated by free radical damage. Again, the destructive, cell-altering nature of oxidative stress is apparent here. Because they operate at the cellular level, they can induce inflammation and a series of chain reactions that destabilizes your skin.
Worse, 15% to 20% of babies as young as under-2 years old in America are affected by eczema, a skin issue that, if not attended to, can last into adulthood.
Oolong to the Rescue
Thanks once again to the antioxidants in oolong, the drink can help deal with eczema. The tea drink has even become more effective in dealing with skin disease when traditional cures, such as Benadryl or prednisone, fail.
A 2001 study of over 101 eczema patients published in the Archives of Dermatology revealed that drinking oolong has dramatically decreased itching and inflammation. This has been attributed to the powerful polyphenols in tea that exhibit anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties, as reported in the Baltimore Sun.
Diabetes is a complication that can lead to many other life-threatening diseases — heart disease, kidney disease, and vision loss sitting atop that list. At its essence, diabetes happens because of insulin complications.
Once your body doesn’t make as much insulin as it needs or is unable to use it efficiently as it should, diabetes ensues. When that happens, your bloodstream is flooded with too much sugar. Take note that our body needs insulin to help transform blood sugar in the body’s cells into energy.
In turn, you suffer serious health issues such as heart disease. Indeed, many heart issues are rooted in diabetes. Diabetes patients are twice as likely to suffer from stroke and heart disease than non-diabetes patients.
In a world dotted by fast-food restos, diabetes has reached epidemic status.
Table 4: Diabetes Death Statistics Worldwide
Again, free radical damage has been observed as a leading cause of diabetes. An increase in free radicals leads to oxidative stress, which attacks healthy cells in the body and causes them to atrophy and lose structure.
Oxidative stress plays a central role in the damage done by diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes. The more free radicals present, the greater the havoc diabetes would wreak on the body.
Oolong to the Rescue
Drinking oolong can be most beneficial for people with diabetes and hypoglycemia. The drink actively lowers blood sugar levels in the body, helping diabetics keep the disease under rein.
There are two specific actions oolong does this. First, polyphenols in oolong tea have been identified as active in keeping insulin and blood sugar levels to a minimum. Secondly, the semi-oxidized drink can increase insulin insensitivity allowing better absorption of the compound.
Indeed, studies have shown how regularly drinking oolong can limit blood sugar levels. One study in Japan revealed that those who took oolong regularly had 30% less blood sugar levels than those who didn’t.
While this has been attributed to caffeine, an active component in oolong, researchers pointed out polyphenol action as the most helpful in curtailing diabetes.
One study featured in CNN also confirmed this. Those who drank at least 4 cups of oolong, green tea, or black tea had a 17% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As Xiaying Li, a researcher at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology in China, detailed:
“Our study showed that the association between tea consumption and (type 2 diabetes) depended on the amount of tea consumed. Only sufficient tea consumption can show clinical effects. Based on our findings, if appropriate, I would advise the public to consume more tea in their daily lives.”- Xiaying Li
5. Cognitive Diseases
Cognitive diseases or cognitive disorders (CD) adversely affect the brain and have long been identified with old age. Some of the most common ones are Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. When cognitive diseases attack, victims would not have complete control of their brain function and, by extension, their bodies.
People with Parkinson’s, for one, will have unintended or uncontrollable body movements such as shaking or stiffness. Plus, they’d have difficulty balancing themselves or doing regular mundane tasks such as eating and baths.
A more prevalent CO is Alzheimer’s, affecting the majority of cases of dementia. Generally, it affects memory so much that a person with this disease may be unable to carry on a conversation. In short, they become a shell of their former selves.
Though the CD is not immediately fatal, a person afflicted lives a minimal life, unable to do what an average person could. Eventually, he withers away with complications. Many people suffering from Alzheimer's will live 4 to 8 years after 65 years old.
Table 5: Cognitive Disorder Affected Statistics Worldwide
Again, the destructive nature of free radicals can be seen in cognitive dysfunction. Excess free radicals can ravage brain cell structures to the point that they cause cell death. That alone increases CD risks.
Worse, free radicals and oxidative stress alter essential proteins; the top of the list is the amyloid-beta peptides.
Oolong to the Rescue
Oolong can help contain and prevent cognitive diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The nootropic drink contains l-theanine, an amino acid that reduces anxiety and boosts attention and alertness. In short, the compound rouses you up.
As studies have shown, l-theanine treatment has effectively reduced the progression of Parkinson’s disease. This means the compound may help in managing dementia and other ODs.
Research published by the National Library of Medicine detailed how oolong tea improved mouse memory deficits. Science established the positive nature of the drink in helping against cognitive dysfunction.
A study with older Chinese adults revealed that those who regularly drink oolong or green tea improved their memory, not to mention their cognitive ability and executive function.
With all the health benefits of oolong tea put on the table, drinking it regularly can be the best decision you can make for longevity. Now, all you need are the finest oolong in town that doesn’t hurt the budget to make it all happen.
And as a result, you live oolongest!
FAQs About Oolong and Health
Can you get free radicals from the environment?
Free radicals can come from the environment around you via external sources. Top of the list is environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, toxic chemicals, and pesticides. So, free radicals come not only from our bodies but also from outside sources.
So, it’s understandable why you feel tired after driving in heavy traffic. You inhale toxic fumes and environmental pollutants while on the street.
How does our body generate free radicals?
Free radicals are a by-product of the body turning our food into energy. As cells in our body use oxygen, free radicals are created. The two main types are reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS).
ROS formation leads to oxidative stress and eventually to cell damage. To counter free radicals, we need antioxidants.
How often should you drink oolong to have powerful polyphenols for a healthy body?
Drinking at least 2 to 3 cups of oolong per day is recommended to benefit the most from it. However, if you are already suffering from a medical ailment, you should consult a doctor before starting an oolong tea habit.
Is there a recommended age to start drinking oolong?
Oolong is safe for children. Remember that the drink has caffeine, so moderation is best for kids. Too much oolong may cause hyperactive behavior or anxiety disorders and bleeding.
Can babies drink oolong?
Drinking oolong may not be best for babies, especially for nursing infants. Babies have a very sensitive stomachs so drinking oolong might cause increased bowel movements and irritability.
Can we overdose on drinking oolong?
Drinking over 4 cups of oolong daily may not be recommended unless otherwise specified by a physician. Oolong contains caffeine, so the drink may cause irregular heartbeat and severe headaches when drunk in large quantities.