Does Adding Milk Reduce Tea’s Health Benefits?

Tea with Milk

Tea is loaded with healthy antioxidants. Green tea has more, but black tea has plenty. And antioxidants are believed to improve vascular function in humans and other animals. So all this time, I thought I was doing well for my arteries when I enjoyed a cup of black tea with milk.

If you like your tea with milk too, you may be disappointed to learn that a certain type of protein in cow’s milk may negate the benefits of the antioxidants. At least, this is the conclusion of a 2007 study conducted in Germany.

In the study, 16 healthy females were given tea, some of which contained 10% skim milk. A high-resolution vascular ultrasound was administered to the subjects right before and two hours after consuming the tea. Those who had tea without milk showed improved flow-mediated dilation (FMD) while those who had tea with milk showed no FMD improvement.

Despite this study’s results and all the negative things I read about cow’s milk lately, my staunch love for milk — by itself or in combination with tea — goes on. But I do limit myself to one cup of black tea per day (ok, sometimes two), opting instead for a green or oolong tea in the afternoon, which can only be enjoyed sans milk.

If this information regarding the relationship between tea and milk is a hard pill for you to swallow, just do a little internet research on fluoride levels in tea. You may find yourself giving up the Camellia sinensis plant (and the red bush) altogether.

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Author: Leo Kapusta

Of all the useless degrees he holds, Leo is most proud of his Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film (Mass Communication Sequence) from the University of Texas at Austin.

1 thought on “Does Adding Milk Reduce Tea’s Health Benefits?”

  1. Good Morning Leo,
    That is a very small sample size and of one gender. I hesitate to give it too much wieght. Additionally the milk they used was homogenized and high temp pastureized and reduced fat. The first two items have been shown to hange the way milk is digested.
    There is more to a cup of tea than meets the eye. Part of tea for me is the ceremony. Whether a quick cup using the electric kettle, a full english tea, or an attempt at the meditation of Japanese tea – the process is important. I approach all tea as meditation and a moment to relax. I don’t think that benefit is easy to measure. I doubt it was controlled for in the study.
    I encourage you to continue to enjoy your tea as you prefer it and look into more natual milk products.
    Support a local farmer.
    Keep the tea posts coming please.

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