• cardiovascular disease;
  • China;
  • Oriental tea

Chinese tea and the major health effects include: antimicrobial, anti-ultraviolet radiation, anticancer, lowering blood lipid and glucose, and protecting against coronary heart diseases. In contrast to the extensive studies on the protective effects of tea on cancer, fewer studies on the health effects of tea on cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have been published. This paper summarises the research results on the possible protective effects of tea on CVD available in China. The results from animal studies clearly demonstrated that tea pigments are effective in lowering blood lipid levels and preventing plaque formation in the aorta. However, the evidence of tea pigments in protecting ischemia heart disease (IHD) in humans is less convincing. One large well-designed ecological study reported an inverse correlation between tea drinking and IHD mortality; but the inverse correlation disappeared after controlling possible confounding factors. However, the effects in improving blood lipid levels and rheology biomarkers in hyperlipidemia subjects or CVD patients by tea pigments seem promising. However, these studies were not well-designed, controlled randomized clinical trials. This made the assessment difficult and inconclusive.