The majority of people who like tea choose to drink it because they enjoy the taste as opposed to because of its health benefits. In fact, over two billion people around the world drink tea. Among these people, it is common to drink tea with milk as opposed to plain. While this comes down to personal preference, scientists now think that milk in tea may actually negate all of the advantages of drinking tea.
Part 1: Tea with Milk, Is It a Good Idea?
Known with so many benefits, tea is good to drink. However, it turns out that drinking tea and milk together may negate the benefits to the vascular system.
The health benefits associated with tea have been known for years by various cultures, such as the Indians and Chinese. Tea is packed with active ingredients which benefit our health, including vitamins and antioxidants. It can help control your blood sugar levels, improve the immune system, prevent cardiovascular disease, and reduce the damage that occurs to cells.
A small study looked at 16 healthy women to see the effect that tea had on their vascular systems. It specifically looked at tea with milk, tea, and water. The study found that tea will relax your blood vessels (meaning it improves flow-mediation dilation in the body), but the effects didn't occur with milk in tea.
The researchers hypothesized that the proteins found in milk known as caseins are possibly to blame. They may form complexes with the catechins in tea, which are the most important flavonoids. Interestingly enough, tea and soy-based milk has the same effect.