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Tea: Green or Black Best?

Dear Dr. Dave & Dr. Dee,

Are green and black teas equally healthy and beneficial? What is the difference between them?


Inquiring mind

Dear Inquiring mind,

Yes, both green tea and black tea appear to provide equal health benefits.

There are three kinds of tea defined by the processing of the tea leaves: 1) Green, unfermented, 2) Oolong , semi-fermented, and 3) Black, fermented.

According to cancer researcher, Dr. John Weisburger, green and black teas have similar amounts of polyphenols, and both teas have been shown to fight cancer. Polyphenols are antioxidants that protect against cell damage (Weisburger cited in Lepke, 1999).

Another research study found both green and black teas equally effective in inhibiting atherosclerosis (Vinson, et. al., 2004).