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Light up, but with cup of tea

Light up, but with cup of tea

india Updated: Aug 05, 2006 03:05 IST

So you've tried and tried but haven't been able to stub that fag out. Well, it's time you get another addiction: tea. A survey has revealed that drinking black tea reduces the carcinogenic effect of cigarettes.

Experts of Calcutta University's Dr B.C. Guha Centre for Genetics Engineering and Biotechnology have found that black tea contains a compounds that removes the free radicals produced in the body because of environmental stress and excessive smoking.

"The polyphenols such as theaflovins and thearubigins as well as some amount of oxidised catechins present in black tea act as anti-oxidants reducing the damaging effect of the free radicals on the tissues," said Indu Bhushan Chatterjee, principal project coordinator.

For people smoking 10-20 cigarettes a day, the prescription: drink at least five to six cups of tea every day. You can also have the tea with milk and sugar — the benefits of the beverage won’t be affected.

The experts came to the conclusion after experimenting on guinea pigs whose anatomy is similar to that of human beings. "In the first phase, the animals were put into a chamber full of cigarette smoke. In the second, all animals except one were given tea.

When the animals were dissected, it was found that the animal that had inhaled the smoke but hadn't consumed tea had greater lung damage. The damage to the rest of the animals was minimal," Chatterjee said.

The experiment was funded by the National Tea Research Foundation (NTRF).