March 2007


Tea ‘healthier’ drink than water
Drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for you as drinking plenty of water and may even have extra health benefits, say researchers.

The work in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition dispels the common belief that tea dehydrates.

Tea not only rehydrates as well as water does, but it can also protect against heart disease and some cancers,UK nutritionists found.

Experts believe flavonoids are the key ingredient in tea that promote health.

Healthy cuppa
These polyphenol antioxidants are found in many foods and plants, including tea leaves, and have been shown to help prevent cell damage.

Public health nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton, and colleagues at Kings College London, looked at published studies on the health effects of tea consumption.

They found clear evidence that drinking three to four cups of tea a day can cut the chances of having a heart attack.

Some studies suggested tea consumption protected against cancer, although this effect was less clear-cut.

Other health benefits seen included protection against tooth plaque and potentially tooth decay, plus bone strengthening.

Dr Ruxton said: “Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water. Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it’s got two things going for it.”

Rehydrating
She said it was an urban myth that tea is dehydrating.

“Studies on caffeine have found very high doses dehydrate and everyone assumes that caffeine-containing beverages dehydrate.

But even if you had a really, really strong cup of tea or coffee, which is quite hard to make, you would still have a net gain of fluid.

“Also, a cup of tea contains fluoride, which is good for the teeth,” she added.

There was no evidence that tea consumption was harmful to health.

However, research suggests that tea can impair the body’s ability to absorb iron from food, meaning people at risk of anaemia should avoid drinking tea around mealtimes.

Dr Ruxton’s team found average tea consumption was just under three cups per day.

She said the increasing popularity of soft drinks meant many people were not drinking as much tea as before.

“Tea drinking is most common in older people, the 40 plus age range.

In older people, tea sometimes made up about 70% of fluid intake so it is a really important contributor,” she said.

Claire Williamson of the British Nutrition Foundation said: “Studies in the laboratory have shown potential health benefits.

“The evidence in humans is not as strong and more studies need to be done.

But there are definite potential health benefits from the polyphenols in terms of reducing the risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancers.

“In terms of fluid intake, we recommend 1.5-2 litres per day and that can include tea. Tea is not dehydrating. It is a healthy drink.”

The Tea Council provided funding for the work.

Dr Ruxton stressed that the work was independent.

BBC Health 24 August 2006 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5281046.stm

Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
by Lynn Grieger, RD, CD, CDE

There are lots of reasons why I enjoy a hot cup of tea: I love the aroma of various flavors of tea; holding onto a hot tea mug warms my hands on a cold winter morning; sipping tea in front of the fireplace is a great way to relax. And those are just the feel-good reasons. If you’re not drinking tea yet, read up on these 10 ways tea does your body good and then see if you’re ready to change your Starbucks order!

1. Tea contains antioxidants. Like the Rust-Oleum paint that keeps your outdoor furniture from rusting, tea’s antioxidants protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee usually has two to three times the caffeine of tea (unless you’re a fan of Morning Thunder, which combines caffeine with mate, an herb that acts like caffeine in our body). An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg caffeine; tea contains only 30 to 40 mg per cup. If drinking coffee gives you the jitters, causes indigestion or headaches or interferes with sleep — switch to tea.

3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free, the same way a drain keeps your bathroom pipes clear. A 5.6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.  

4. Tea protects your bones. It’s not just the milk added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compared tea drinkers with non-drinkers, found that people who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors. The authors suggest that this may be the work of tea’s many beneficial phytochemicals.

5. Tea gives you a sweet smile. One look at the grimy grin of Austin Powers and you may not think drinking tea is good for your teeth, but think again. It’s the sugar added to it that’s likely to blame for England’s bad dental record. Tea itself actually contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay. So add unsweetened tea drinking to your daily dental routine of brushing and flossing for healthier teeth and gums.

6. Tea bolsters your immune defenses. Drinking tea may help your body’s immune system fight off infection. When 21 volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the tea drinkers.

7. Tea protects against cancer. Thank the polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their cancer-fighting effects. While the overall research is inconclusive, there are enough studies that show the potential protective effects of drinking tea to make adding tea to your list of daily beverages. 

8. Tea helps keep you hydrated. Caffeinated beverages, including tea, used to be on the list of beverages that didn’t contribute to our daily fluid needs. Since caffeine is a diuretic and makes us pee more, the thought was that caffeinated beverages couldn’t contribute to our overall fluid requirement. However, recent research has shown that the caffeine really doesn’t matter — tea and other caffeinated beverages definitely contribute to our fluid needs. The only time the caffeine becomes a problem as far as fluid is concerned is when you drink more than five or six cups of a caffeinated beverage at one time. 

9. Tea is calorie-free. Tea doesn’t have any calories, unless you add sweetener or milk.Consuming even 250 fewer calories per day can result in losing one pound per week. If you’re looking for a satisfying, calorie-free beverage, tea is a top choice.

10. Tea increases your metabolism. Lots of people complain about a slow metabolic rate and their inability to lose weight. Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that you can burn 70 to 80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of green tea per day. Over a year’s time you could lose eight pounds just by drinking green tea. Of course, taking a 15-minute walk every day will also burn calories.

http://health.ivillage.com/eating/0,,7kq79l90,00.html  

Obesity, illness speed testosterone decline
Mar 15, 2007

Reuters  NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Gaining too much weight can accelerate the decline in testosterone levels that accompanies aging, a new study shows.

“Although hormone declines appear to be an integral aspect of the aging process, rapid declines need not be dismissed as inevitable,” the researchers conclude.

Men’s testosterone levels fall as they get older, which may contribute to health problems such as diabetes, loss of bone and muscle mass, and sexual dysfunction, Dr. Thomas G. Travison of New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Massachusetts and colleagues note in a report in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

To better understand how much of the decline in testosterone over time is due to aging and how much might be related to health and lifestyle changes, the researchers looked at data for 1,667 men 40 to 70 years old followed from 1987-1989 to 2002-2004. They were able to gather data for the entire time period on 35 percent, or 584, of the men.

Sharper declines in testosterone occurred among men who developed a chronic illness during the course of the study, those who lost a spouse, those who began taking six or more medications, and those who quit smoking, the researchers found.

And adding 4 to 5 points to one’s body mass index (BMI) — a tool used to determine how fat or thin a person is — resulted in a drop in testosterone levels similar to that seen over 10 years of aging.

On average, the men experienced a 14.5 percent drop in total testosterone levels for every decade of life and a 27 percent reduction in free testosterone, but when the researchers looked at a subset of men who were completely healthy throughout the course of the study, declines in total and free testosterone were 10.5 percent and 22.8 percent, respectively.

This suggests, the researchers say, that a “substantial proportion” of testosterone decline is due to changes in health.

“These results suggest the possibility that age-related hormone decline may be decelerated through the management of health and lifestyle factors,” they conclude. 

SOURCE: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, February 2007

Obese couples have tougher time having babies

By Will Dunham – Mar 7, 2007
Reuters

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Obese couples have a more difficult time conceiving a baby than couples of normal weight, according to a study published on Tuesday identifying another consequence of putting on too much weight.

Researchers tracked nearly 48,000 Danish couples between 1996 and 2002, including about 7,600 couples with both the man and woman either overweight or obese according to standards set by the World Health Organization.

They measured how long it took couples to conceive a baby once they began unprotected sex in a bid to have a child.

If both the man and woman were obese, their chances of having to wait longer than a year before the woman became pregnant were nearly three times higher than for couples of normal weight, the study found.

If the man and woman were both overweight, their likelihood of waiting longer than a year before pregnancy was 1.4 times higher.

While doctors already knew that extra weight could affect fertility in women and men as individuals, this study looked at what happened to the fertility of couples when both the man and woman were overweight.

Previous research had established that semen quality and levels of reproductive hormones were diminished in overweight men, and that being overweight can harm ovulation, conception and early fetal development in women.

If a couple is obese or overweight and if they want to have a child, we would advise them to try and lose some weight,” lead researcher Cecilia Ramlau-Hansen of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark and University of California Los Angeles, said in a telephone interview.

Especially if they have tried to become pregnant for a while and haven’t succeeded, then losing weight might help them,” Ramlau-Hansen added.

She said the study did not examine whether heavier couples had sex less frequently than normal weight pairs.

“If, for example, the obese couples hardly ever had sex then, of course, the chances of becoming pregnant would be reduced. But we don’t know that at all,” Ramlau-Hansen added.

The research did not look at whether sterility occurred more often in obese or overweight couples.

“No, we don’t think obesity can make people sterile. But we think that the heavier they get, the longer it will take them to become pregnant,” Ramlau-Hansen added.

The findings were published in the journal Human Reproduction.

 Source: http://health.asiaone.com.sg/womensmatter/20070307_002.html 

Healthy tea boost
– Mar 15, 2007
The Business Times

WITH so many varieties of teas out on the market today, here’s a guide to some TCM-inspired ones said to have medicinal values that are especially beneficial for women. Five-flower tea
COMPRISING five different types of medicinal flowers – honeysuckle, frangipani, chrysanthemum, cotton and pagoda tree – this tea helps the body to detoxify and reduce inflammation. In TCM, any condition that shows redness, pain and swelling is a symptom of excess heat. This tea removes excess heat and helps to alleviate conditions like painful acne and skin eruptions.
American wild ginseng tea
AMERICAN ginseng helps rejuvenate the body and boost physical and vital energy. It reduces heat in the body and relieves stress and stress-related problems such as insomnia. It is especially ideal for the modern working woman.
Chinese rose tea
CHINESE rose tea is said to be able to stimulate appetite, ease abdominal cramps and relieve menstrual pains.

Rooibos tea
ROOIBOS tea is caffeine-free and rich in minerals and anti-oxidants. This tea is suitable for the young and the elderly and can be drunk hot or cold. It is a good source of supplements.

Mini Tuo Tea
TUO tea or tuocha is prepared from Yunnan’s superior green tea. It is known to help eliminate fats, reduce weight, stimulate metabolism, and regulate the level of cholesterol in the body.

Green tea
USED as a medicine in China for thousands of years, green tea lowers total cholesterol levels as well as improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. What’s more, clinical tests have shown that green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

Source : http://health.asiaone.com.sg/alternativemedicine/20070315_002.html

Malaysia pins hopes on herbal Viagra for biotech push

By Clarence Fernandez – Mar 19, 2007
Reuters
KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Reuters) – Malaysia’s answer to Viagra is a traditional herb the country has picked to spearhead its push into biotechnology, but now it faces the challenge of convincing the world the remedy is both potent and safe.Surging interest in the herb, “tongkat ali”, has spawned dozens of products, from pills to beverages, that play up its reputed aphrodisiac properties, and could even threaten the sway overseas of ginseng, a more-widely established remedy in Asia.

Generations of ageing Malaysian men have sworn by the rejuvenation effects of “tongkat ali”, scouring the countryside for it so eagerly that it has almost vanished from all but the deepest rainforest, and now has the status of a protected plant.

Scientific studies show that concoctions of “tongkat ali” can help hormone production, making rats and mice more frisky, but have yet to prove it can reliably produce the same effect in humans, researchers say.

“It can have different effects on different people,” said Abdul Razak, head of the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, which is driving research and commercial production of the herb.

“For me, it gives the energy to play a game of golf without getting tired, but has no other effects,” said Razak, who takes two capsule supplements of the herb before each weekly game to increase his stamina.

“Tongkat ali”, which scientists call Eurycoma longifolia, is a slender evergreen shrub with bitter, brownish-red fruit that is native to Malaysia and Indonesia.

All parts of the plant which grows up to 10 metres (33 ft) tall can be chopped up fine and boiled in water to make the traditional medicine.

As Malaysia looks to biotechnology for economic growth, scientists are taking a harder look at the aphrodisiac qualities of tongkat ali, which means the “walking-stick of Ali,” in Malay, and they say it could spawn drugs to treat cancer and malaria.

PREPARING FOR COMMERCIAL USE

Five years of research studies in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States have helped to identify the key compounds in the herb, Razak said.

“All these compounds have been found, have been tested and have been patented, and we are now in the process of carrying out clinical studies, and hopefully after some time we might even commercialise this,” he added.

A Malaysian industry and government group says the rapidly growing global market for aphrodisiacs is worth about $4 billion and could reach nearly $7 billion by 2012, but plans for “tongkat ali” to grab a share of this pie hinge on proving it is safe.

In Taiwan this year, Taipei city officials banned six brands of coffee from supermarkets because they contained “tongkat ali”, saying the plant had not been evaluated for safe use, although there were no confirmed reports of side-effects, newspapers said.

The episode in January stirred indignation in Malaysia, where some officials publicly defended the herb, saying its safety and efficacy had been demonstrated by hundreds of years of use.

Others said the incident showed how far Malaysia still has to go to prove its claims for the herb.

“We’ve still got a lot of homework to do as a nation,” said M. Rajen, chief executive of Tropical Botanics Sdn Bhd, which counts among its products Malaysia’s most popular fish-oil brand.

Makers of ginseng, which has a global market of about $2 billion a year, according to some industry estimates, would be ruthless in battling competition from “tongkat ali”, he said.

“What we see in Taiwan and elsewhere is an example of this ruthlessness,” Rajen added. “Because we have not done our homework, we cannot fight it.”

But Malaysia is confident it will convince the world. Officials of Power Root Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which exports tea and coffee drinks containing the herb to Japan and South Korea, have said they are looking to the United States and the Middle East.

“One day ‘tongkat ali’ will be marketed internationally, even in Harrods of London,” Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said in January, at the launch of a $7 million biotech research centre that will study ways to clone the herb.

At the Forest Research Institute, workers in white protective gear poured sacks of the herb into gleaming stainless steel dryers and grinders to turn out powder for capsules.

“It’s high time for ‘tongkat ali’ now,” said researcher Mohamad Shahidan, grinning through his face mask. “Everybody wants to try it.”

http://health.asiaone.com.sg/alternativemedicine/20070319_001.html

biolife3-1.jpg

BioLife Marketing Launches New Healthy Tea’s That Are Produced from Cat Whiskers Herb, Roselle Flower and Ginger 

Consumers in Singapore are the first to savour the three new types of Good Image Tea™ at the Food & Beverage Fair 2007. Online purchases of Good Image Tea products now available via online payment portal BuyButtonz.com 

Singapore. March 14, 2007  BioLife Marketing, the sole distributor of the Good Image Tea™ today releases three new types of tea during the Food & Beverage Fair 2007 in Singapore. Like the classic Good Image Tea™ , the Good Image Cat Whiskers Tea, Good Image Roselle Tea and Good Image Ginger Tea are uniquely formulated under the guidance of Dr. Aoyama Kanahiro from the University of Tokyo and Professor of ShengYang Medicine University of China. Each is produced from traditional herbs and is manufactured by BioLife Marketing’s associated GMP-certified herbal manufacturing plant in Malaysia. 

“Tea has been appreciated for a few thousands years now and its benefits are easily found by doing a search on the Internet. As a healthy beverage, the number of consumers is growing annually. Since the successful launch of the Good Image Tea™ five years ago in Malaysia and three years ago in Singapore, we have been getting constant feedback from our customers to create variations out of other great traditional herbs.” said Ang Ah Sin, General Manager of BioLife Marketing.

Commenting on Good Image Tea, Wellness Consultant, Ong Kuan Kuan stated, “I’m in the wellness business and am very familiar with the various health cleansing products in the market. When I was introduced to Good Image Tea recently, apart from its good cleansing capability, I was pretty impressed with the refreshing feeling derived as the warmth built up in my body coupled with its cool minty aftertaste.” 

Good Image Cat Whiskers Tea is derived from the traditional tropical Clerodendranthus Spicatus herb, better known as ShenCha (kidney tea) or MaoXuCao (Cat Whiskers herb) in Chinese. ShenCha is believed to be anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, anti-hypersensitivity and diuretic properties. Good Image Cat Whiskers Tea is blended with Wulong Tea, Tea Polyphenols or ShengDi生地as well as with another traditional herb called Glycyrrhiza Uralensis or GanCao甘草). 

Good Image Roselle Tea is derived from the flower of another traditional herb called Roselle or LuoShenHua (洛神花) in Chinese. Roselle is known for promoting healthy intestinal and urinary systems. The unique blending with Mentha, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis and Green Tea gives a sweet and subtly sour fragrance to the Good Image Roselle Tea, thus making it a refreshing, thirst quenching and healthy drink.Good Image Ginger Tea is produced from high quality dry ginger and uniquely blended with Mentha, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis and Lycium or QiZi(杞子). Thus instead of the strong gingery smell, Good Image Ginger Tea gives a subtle mint fragrance while delivering the warming and traditional effects of the ginger and aids in digestion. 

To ensure freshness, portability and ease of storage, all Good Image teabags are individually sealed. They are free from any preservative or artificial colouring”, said Mr. Lai Liew Ming, Managing Director of Comfort Herbal Manufacturing Sdn Bdn.  BioLife’s vision is to facilitate ‘Healthy Indulgence’ and we will continue to develop new products based on the other traditional herbs that appeal and be beneficial to the health-conscious community. We expect our revenue to increase ten fold by the end of 2007”, said Ang. 

Pricing and availability  Good Image Cat Whiskers Tea (S$29.90, 30 sachets), Good Image Roselle Tea (S$29.90, 30 sachets) and Good Image Ginger Tea (S$19.90, 20 sachets), will be available from 19th March 2007 at selected medical stores, spas, beauty salons and other retail outlets in Singapore.  All Good Image products can also be purchased online at www.biolifemarketing.com.sg via BuyButtonz.com

Promotion For every two boxes of Good Image tea purchased, consumers will be given one FREE thermal flask. Offer valid up to 31st March 2007 or while stock lasts. 

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About BioLife Marketing
BioLife Marketing (S) Pte Ltd is a Singapore-grown SME that focused on providing well formulated health products that aims at enhancing the total well-being of today’s hyper-active community. By harnessing the goodness from nature which provides the secrets in balancing the biological system of the individuals, BioLife’s vision of “Healthy Indulgence” set the goals for our current and future products to support the consumers in staying in the pink of health while continuing to enjoy their respective diet.  Good Image Tea™, a popular label of innovative green tea was launched in Malaysia in 2001 and debuted in  Singapore in 2003. It is manufactured by BioLife’s associated GMP-certified factory in Malaysia which has more than 10 years of manufacturing herbal and health-related products for other organisations in the region. For more information, visit www.biolifemarketing.com.sg 

About ChainFusion Limited
ChainFusion Limited is the leading Real Time Business Technology provider for evolving Small and Medium Enterprises who are frustrated with unproductive, disparate business applications that is a barrier to real-time visibility from bricks to clicks. ChainFusion began in 2000 by operating one of the first online credit card acquiring services through Citibank.

For additional information, please visit
http://www.chainfusion.com

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