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Article: Milk Blunts Health Effects of Tea

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Old 01-09-2007, 05:01 PM   #1
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Default Article: Milk Blunts Health Effects of Tea

Apparently, the benefits of drinking tea are negated when milk is added to the tea.

Check out this article:

http://health.msn.com/centers/cardio...52486&GT1=8977
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:00 PM   #2
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Oh gawd, I'm so tired of all this news about how something is soooo good for you, but only if you do it this way!

I don't listen to any of that stuff anymore. I don't listen to ANY of them anymore. I eat and drink what I want and I don't care if it's good for me or not. Meaning, I eat healthy foods, of course, but if a 'study' comes out saying it's not as good for us as we originally thought, I don't care, I'll eat it anyway.

lol

Thanks for the article, though. I just don't listen to this silliness these days. The "he said/she said" thing just boggles the mind and I'm tired of listening to these so-called experts.
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:03 PM   #3
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Well that figures. The only way tea is palatable to me is with a little milk and sweetener so of course it has to bad to drink it that way.
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:17 PM   #4
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Hi Wyllenn!

As I read your post I had JUST finished my English Breakfast tea...WITH MILK! Darn it! I LOVE my tea with milk! Have been drinking it that way all my life. My family is Welsh, and my mom said even BABIES are given tea with milk in their BABY BOTTLES!

I also found out that drinking tea prevents the body from absorbing the iron in foods. I give blood regularly and discovered this when I had a real thing for iced tea one summer and was deferred from donating because my iron was too low. The paper the Red Cross gave me as a deferred donor had that information on it! Now I taper off my tea drinking for a couple weeks when I know I will be donating and take an iron supplement every so often just to be sure I'm eligible.

My husband found out that he can't drink grapefruit juice because it interferes with his Lipitor that he takes for his cholesterol. There's a lot to remember!

Thanks for the info on the tea with milk!

Cheryl
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Old 01-11-2007, 01:53 PM   #5
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Linda-- I know it can be frustrating to follow all this info. I remember when I first heard that calcium absorbtion is reduced when it's accompanied by caffeine -- darn it, that screwed up my "lattes are healthy" strategy. So I sympathize.

I also know that our biochemistry is complex and that we learn more all the time. So we know that veggies are good for us, but then we learn that we better absorb some nutrients in some situations and other nutrients in other situations. It is confusing, but it does make sense that we are complex.

And being a researcher myself (though not in biochemistry!), I know that research studies can be difficult to interpret, especially because people who write the articles most of us read (like on MSN) don't understand the limitations and implications of different research designs.

So, you're right. We get all this info that seems contradictory and it is tempting to throw up our hands!

But I hate to throw in the towel like that when my health is on the line. I am trying to learn to read the articles carefully and then decide what it means for me. In this case, I do drink tea without milk already, so I will probably keep doing what I'm doing. If I DID drink tea with milk, I might consider cutting back, or having it with tea less often. Part of the reason I sometimes drink tea is because it is supposed to be "good for me" If I drank the tea only because I liked it and without regard for my health then I doubt I would care at all. So, I guess our reasons behind our choices are contribute to how we will use this information.

As for the research itself, obviously MSN is a 2ndary source, but one thing that intriqued me about the research is that both correlational and experimental research seem to be pointing in the same direction. In other words, so far there is no "contradiction" just additional info.

The correlational evidence has to do with the fact that cardiac disease is lower in countries where no milk is used in tea. Interesting, but that result could be caused by a variety of factors.

So, researchers turned to experiments -- the only way to easily determine any kind of causality. In the experiments, researchers picked the one factor -- milk -- and studied its effects in both people and rats, and in both groups found similar findings. Though, the people used were "postmenopausal women" which may be important.

Sorry to be so "geeky" about this, but I teach research design courses and really want people to be more scientifically literate and less likely to want to throw up their hands in the face of so much information. That being said, I admit to wanting to throw up my hands sometimes myself.
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:18 AM   #6
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The correlational evidence has to do with the fact that cardiac disease is lower in countries where no milk is used in tea. Interesting, but that result could be caused by a variety of factors.
Yes, exactly. They can't honestly believe that has anything to do with it. I'm not saying it doesn't, but this is my point - all of this stuff is so mind-boggling that I rarely pay attention to it anymore.

I do what I believe to be best for me and not worry about everything else.

What cracks me up is my grandmother ate eggs and bacon and fried foods and no doubt had milk in her tea AND she was overweight. She lived to be almost 90. I'm losing weight and trying to eat healthy foods and I'll probably croak at 55, lol.
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:44 AM   #7
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Yes, exactly. They can't honestly believe that has anything to do with it. I'm not saying it doesn't, but this is my point - all of this stuff is so mind-boggling that I rarely pay attention to it anymore.
But what I said after that is that they tried to find out if milk WAS the cause by doing experiments in which they varied whether or not people had milk with their tea and then compared the results, in both people and rats. The findings supported the causal claim -- that adding milk to tea is a contributing factor to heart disease. It may not be the only factor, but it's good evidence pointing to the causal connection.

That's why I like the article, it doesn't just rely on correlational data. I'm not saying it's perfect or has answered all the questions -- no single research study can do that. But it's a lot better than so much of the research I read, in which correlational findings are presented with causal explanations.

One final thought: You're right that your mother's milk and tea habit may not harm her. The research can only talk about tendencies. So it makes sense to do what you believe best, as there are no absolutes. But taking the risks into account may not be a bad idea. It may be the kind of situation where if heart disease ran in your family AND you liked tea AND could drink it without milk that you would be the most likely to consider it.

OR, if you're like me and see this kind of research, it may make you think that if you like your tea straight, it may not be bad to keep drinking it that way. That's how I took it, not as a mandate, but as another piece of information.
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Old 01-13-2007, 01:51 AM   #8
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Rats.

If next they find Splenda in tea negates some other valuable effect, I'm throwing all that I have into the harbor!
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:47 AM   #9
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One final thought: You're right that your mother's milk and tea habit may not harm her. The research can only talk about tendencies. So it makes sense to do what you believe best, as there are no absolutes. But taking the risks into account may not be a bad idea.
Oh, I agree! There's nothing wrong with doing research and finding out as much information as you can. My whole point, though, was about the fact that every day we hear more and more 'bad' things about things we THOUGHT were good for us. It just becomes so overwhelming and tiresome.
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Old 01-15-2007, 06:29 PM   #10
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What cracks me up is my grandmother ate eggs and bacon and fried foods and no doubt had milk in her tea AND she was overweight. She lived to be almost 90. I'm losing weight and trying to eat healthy foods and I'll probably croak at 55, lol.
I know exactly what you mean. My grandmother ate pretty much whatever she wanted, including all sorts of processed foods and baked goods and animal fats. Not only that, she smoked for most of her life. Forget tea, I'm pretty sure she drank coffee with milk and sugar. She turned 102 last year. As far as I know, up until just a few years ago, the only health issue she had was a small amount of skin cancer. No other cancer, no heart problems, nothing. She's outlived two of her children. Go figure.
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Old 01-16-2007, 07:23 AM   #11
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From the article:
Quote:
"In countries where they drink a lot of tea, heart disease is decreased, except for the British Isles. It is typical in Great Britain to add milk."
Asia was the other place mentioned and I'm willing to bet that there's a bigger difference in a typical British versus Asian diet than a bit of milk in tea. And there's also the fact that in The States we mostly drink iced tea with no milk and have even more heart disease than Britain. I think there are larger issues, obviously. That being said, I'm not arguing for the use of milk in tea. I mean, humans are the only mammal to continue drinking milk (from a different species!) once they leave infancy.

I find the studies interesting, though it won't change the way I have my tea. I don't eat much dairy at all, except for a bit of skim milk to make porridge and (yes) milk in my tea! That's a habit I aquired from my British husband but I drink it more for relaxation and to stave off cravings for sweeties. I thought the antioxident effect was just icing on the cake (so to speak), lol.
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:40 PM   #12
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I know exactly what you mean. My grandmother ate pretty much whatever she wanted, including all sorts of processed foods and baked goods and animal fats. Not only that, she smoked for most of her life. Forget tea, I'm pretty sure she drank coffee with milk and sugar. She turned 102 last year. As far as I know, up until just a few years ago, the only health issue she had was a small amount of skin cancer. No other cancer, no heart problems, nothing. She's outlived two of her children. Go figure.
Wow, 102! That's fantastic.

My mother smoked most of her life as well and never had any lung problems. However, she died of complications from diabetes. She was 70.

Oh, and now they're saying that too LOW of LDL (bad cholesterol) levels may contribute to the onset of Parkinson's Disease. Or something of that nature, I may have the illness incorrect.

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