Having cup of Earl Grey tea daily can lower 'bad' cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, scientists say. Earl Grey or black tea contains extracts of a Mediterranean citrus fruit called bergamot which scientists now believe is a super food for the heart and can also turn out to be as effective as statins.
Statins are wonder drugs used to control cholesterol but may have side effects on patients. Bergamot gives Earl Grey the distinct taste and smell that has traditionally made this tea quite popular. It contains enzymes known as HMGF (hydroxy methyl glutaryl flavonones) which can treat heart diseases as effectively as statins.
Researchers from Italy's University of Calabria used concentrations of HMGF on the proteins which cause heart disease and 'bad' cholesterol. They then compared the effects with that of statins used to treat the same proteins and found the bergomot extract with HMGF worked as well. Apart from reducing levels of LDL or so-called bad cholesterol which leads to heart disease, it also increased HDL which is known as good cholesterol.
Citrus foods have been part of the Mediterranean diet and are looked upon across the globe as one of the best ways to get rid of heart disease. The research appeared in the Journal of Functional Foods.
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