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Clinical Trial Shows Cardiovascular Benefits of Rooibos, Popular Antioxidant Herbal Tea from South Africa
Date:9/10/2008

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The first-ever human clinical trial on a popular traditional South African herbal tea was recently conducted, testing whether the tea can possibly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The new trial also generated the first human safety data in a controlled clinical trial environment, scientifically showing that short-term consumption of rooibos tea is safe for the liver and kidneys while keeping various blood parameters (e.g., blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc.) in a normal range.(1)

Provisional results from this study indicate that rooibos tea protects the body against oxidative damage, as seen by the approximate 21% decrease in conjugated dienes in the blood. Conjugated dienes are products formed in large numbers during the early stages of oxidation (destruction) of important cellular components such as fats (lipids). These lipid peroxidation products may be implicated in the development of vascular disease.

The trial (entitled "Modulation of blood oxidative stress markers and DNA damage by rooibos tea in volunteers at risk for coronary heart disease") was conducted by Jeanine L. Marnewick, Ph.D., senior researcher at the Oxidative Stress Research Centre at Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, South Africa.

The trial was conducted on 40 individuals (males and females), between the ages of 30 and 60, from the Western Cape Province with any two or more of the following cardiovascular disease risk factors: hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), hypertension (high blood pressure), smoking, and/or increased body mass index (BMI: 25 or higher), but not requiring any oral medication for these medical conditions. The actual risk of each participant was determined using a calculation based on the famous multi-year Framingham heart disease trial based on the patient's age, gender, smoking status, blood pressure, triglycerides and HDL cholesterol (so-called "good cho
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SOURCE American Botanical Council
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