Lipton antioxidants 50% flavonoid

Flavanoid intake may be inversely associated with incidence of several chronic diseases.

San Diego, C.A. -- At the American Dietetic Association's (ADA) annual Nutrition News Forecast meeting, Lipton Tea presented new findings reported by a research team from Michigan State University claiming that tea is the major source of flavonoid antioxidants in the U.S. diet, supplying 55 percent of the estimated 134 mg/day in the U.S. diet. Clinical studies have shown that tea flavonoids may promote good heart health by improving endothelial function and by reducing blood cholesterol levels.

"These findings are encouraging and indicate a need for further investigation of the relationship between flavonoid intake and prevalence of chronic diseases," said Won O. Song, Ph.D., MPH, RD, a Co-PI and senior researcher at Michigan State University. "Tea was identified as the most significant source of flavonoid antioxidants in the U.S. diet. This means that we may be able to realize health benefits by doing something as simple as drinking more tea."

Until the MSU study was reported, flavonoid intake in a free-living population has not been estimated adequately or consistently. The study aimed to estimate flavonoid intake of the U.S. population and of specific subgroups as well as to identify the major dietary food sources of flavonoids. The researchers matched the recently released flavonoid contents of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Flavonoid Databases with the dietary intake data from the most recent consumption figures representative of the total U.S. population from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey (NHANES) of 1999-2002.

The researchers estimated the sum of 24 flavonoid compounds within the U.S. population diet and found the major flavonoids in order of amount were flavanols, flavonol, flavanones, flavones, anthocyanidins and isoflavones. Teas, which are rich in flavanols were identified as the most significant source of flavonoids in the U.S. diet, contributing 74 mg of daily flavonoid intake. Other major food groups contributing to flavonoid intake include fruits; vegetables; and the bread, cereals, rice and pasta group.

It is thought that any health effects from tea drinking may stem from its antioxidant content. "Several studies have found that tea drinking may be good for the heart," said Douglas Balentine, Ph.D., Director Nutrition Sciences, Unilever Health Institute. "For most Americans, drinking a cup of tea a day-hot or cold-will increase their daily flavonoids by over 50 percent. This in turn, may further reduce risk for chronic diseases."

A number of population studies conducted around the world including studies in the United States and Europe have consistently found that drinking black tea is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Three separate analyses of research indicated that drinking three cups of tea daily was associated with about a 10 to 12 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease death or heart attack in the populations studied.

One of these analyses reviewed 17 population studies and assessed the relationship between tea drinking and stroke, heart attack, and all types of coronary heart disease. Results showed that the rate of heart attack decreased by 11 percent among those who drank three cups of tea per day. A second analysis included seven studies and evaluated consumption of dietary flavonoids and risk of death from heart disease. Reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, investigators found a 20 percent reduction in risk of death from coronary heart disease among study participants who consumed the most dietary flavonoids (tea was the primary source of flavonoids) when compared to study participants who consumed the least dietary flavonoids. A third review of 10 studies showed that drinking around three cups of tea each day was associated with reduced incidence of heart attack (11 percent) and reduced rate of death from heart disease (11 percent).

Since heart disease is a complex disease with multiple risk factors there are several possible roles tea may play that might explain the reduced risk of disease observed in people consuming black tea. For example, clinical studies have suggested that tea flavonoids may promote good heart health by improving endothelial function.

Together, these studies provide growing support that drinking tea regularly may help maintain a healthy heart, as part of a healthy lifestyle. At this time, these studies are not conclusive and further research needs to be done. Tea should be consumed as part of a balanced diet containing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products.

Lipton teas, made from real tea leaves, feature the AOXTM Seal, a proprietary mark that indicates a substantial level of antioxidants. Certified by the Unilever Health Institute in The Netherlands, the AOXTM Seal is unique to Lipton products and can be found on many Green and Black Teas, including tea bags, New Green Tea iced Tea Mix, New Lipton To Go and most ready-to-drink bottled iced teas.

About nutrition news forecast

Nutrition News Forecast is an annual event sponsored by ADA that brings together ADA media spokespeople with nationally recognized science researchers, journal editors, corporations, government and nonprofit agencies to address critical food and nutrition issues and trends that will shape news coverage in the next year.

About Lipton teas

Lipton, the world's leading tea brand, is committed to bringing consumers great tasting, healthy tea products in a variety of convenient forms. Innovative new Lipton Iced Tea To Go Sticks allow consumers to add the natural goodness of tea to water - for the great taste of tea even when they're on the go! Lipton To Go is an "on the go" mix with the protective health benefits of antioxidants. Lipton is also introducing reformulated ready to drink iced teas and powders with less sugar including Lipton Original Ready to Drink, the leading national bottled iced tea brand made with fresh brewed tea, not from powders or concentrate. Lipton Original is the original Lipton, with a new, fresh look! New premium graphics, which go hand-in-hand with the reformulated products (i.e. reduced sugar levels in all, but one sweetened flavor), show the added emphasis Lipton had placed on health. In addition, New Lipton Ready to Drink Iced Tea, launched in February, is a great tasting product with naturally protective antioxidants - all in a convenient plastic bottle. With this RTD product Lipton is ready to capitalize on the growth in the popular RTD tea segment with ultra convenient 12 pack - the perfect take-home size - as well as a 20 ounce plastic single-serve. Hot or cold, black or green, Lipton is the leader in tea offering a range of great tasting, healthy products for today’s health conscious consumer.

Visit Lipton.com to order Lipton Teas online, or use the product locator to find a store that carries your favorite Lipton products. At Lipton.com you can learn about tea and health and watch a demonstration of the power of the

About Unilever

Unilever [NYSE: UL, UN], one of the world's largest consumer products companies, aims to add vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Each day, around the world, consumers make 150 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. The company has a portfolio of brands that make people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

In the United States these brands include recognized names such as: Axe, “all,” Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Eternity by Calvin Klein, Hellmann's, Lipton, Knorr, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim·Fast, Snuggle, Suave and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of Unilever. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever in the United States employs more than 15,000 people in 74 office and manufacturing sites in 24 states and Puerto Rico - generating approximately $10 billion in sales in 2004. For more information visit www.unileverusa.com

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