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White Tea (Camellia Sinensis (L.)): Antioxidant Properties And Beneficial Health Effects
Abstract and Figures
Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, next to water. It can be categorized into three major types, depending on the level of fermentation, i.e., green and white (unfermented), oolong (partially fermented) and black (fermented) tea. Each type of tea has a distinct composition, dependent on how the leaves are processed, as well as maturation, geographical location and agricultural practices. White tea (WT), the least processed tea, is one of the less studied and is ascribed to have the highest content of phenolic compounds. Tea polyphenols, especially catechin derivatives, are potent antioxidant agents, with positive effects on human health. Antioxidant components have aroused great interest because of their ability to scavenge free radicals, thereby inhibiting oxidative stress. During the past years, oxidative damage induced by reactive species has been linked to the development of several human diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, neurodegenerative disorders and certain types of cancer. Therefore, tea antioxidants may be of great value in preventing the onset and/or the progression of oxidative stress mediated diseases, when endogenous defences are insufficient against reactive species. The possible beneficial health effects of WT are being investigated and have received considerable attention in recent years. In this review, we aim to explore the new findings concerning WT effects on health.
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