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

lesterol"). A person with two major risk factors has a risk of heart disease or stroke six times as great as a person with no risk factors. With three factors, the risk of cardiovascular disease is 20 times as great.

Participants in this trial were required to consume six cups of rooibos tea per day for six weeks with the six-cup intake spread across the day. In order to maintain a high degree of consistency, the preparation of the rooibos tea was standardized as 2% weight of dried rooibos tea to volume of water, with each cup consisting of one rooibos tea bag with the addition of 200 mL of boiling water (equal to about 7 ounces, slightly less than 1 cup), brewing for 5 minutes before consumption. Subjects consumed the rooibos with or without milk and/or table sugar, as previous research on green and black teas (from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis) have demonstrated that milk does not eliminate the increase in plasma antioxidant activity in humans. (2) (The class of beneficial antioxidant chemicals found in rooibos, black and green tea, and chocolate are called flavonoids; the flavonoids in rooibos are different from those in tea and chocolate.) The six-cup amount of rooibos consumed by participants in this trial was based on a human trial published in 2003 where the consumption of six cups of green tea increased the antioxidant capacity in the blood of human subjects.(3)

In a study of this type, it is important to modify the diet of participants in order to remove the consumption of other flavonoid-rich foods which may confuse the study results. To do this, the participants were requested to omit flavonoid-rich beverages (red wine, black or green tea and/or herbal teas, coffee, fruit juices, etc.) and to restrict flavonoid-rich foods (grape products, citrus fruits and their juices, berries and their juices, apples, onions, broccoli, etc.) from their diet for two weeks before initiation of the intervention study. (Analysis of participants' fasted blo
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SOURCE American Botanical Council
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