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An African Tea Slows the Aging Process

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An African Tea Slows the Aging Process about undefined
A vast range of herbal teas offers all kinds of health benefits. Heaven knows, they get a lot of publicity, but I still bet you don’t know about a tea with strong anti-aging abilities that’s grown only in a certain region in South Africa. It may even reduce wrinkles.

Its history is rooted in the small Cederberg mountainous region near the Cape of Good Hope, where Bushmen have harvested the leaves for centuries. They use it to treat a wide range of health problems, from skin to heart to bone health.

In fact, there’s almost no part of the body that doesn’t benefit from this semi-rare herbal tea.

Known as an effective antioxidant, it’s now getting attention for its anti-aging properties and ability to fight the onset of age-related diseases.

Discover how you can use it to slow the aging process and improve your general health…Rooibos tea – botanical name Aspalathus linearis -- is often called “red tea” or “red bush tea” because of its bright red color. It’s new to most of us in the Americas although I’m told it’s better known in Asia, Europe and African countries.

Rooibos Tea Contains Powerful Antioxidants

This red tea has a high antioxidant content, and is rich in two specific flavonoids–aspalathin and nothofagin.1 A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found aspalathin is more potent in destroying free-radicals than EGCG, the potent antioxidant found in green tea.2 That will be big news if it holds up. And some confirmation comes from researchers at the Juntendo University School of Medicine in Japan. They investigated the antioxidant activity of aspalathin and nothofagin in an animal study.3 They discovered rats given rooibos tea had significantly higher superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels in their blood compared to those not given the tea. They also had less DNA damage. SOD is an extremely powerful antioxidant our own bodies make – but we can help by taking certain nutrients.4 The body’s natural SOD levels vary from one person to another. This may help explain why some people age sooner than others even though they eat right and exercise regularly.

And, of course, one of the symptoms of old age is the skin wrinkling caused by free radical damage. Healthy collagen gives skin its elasticity and youthful appearance. As we age, free radicals break down the molecular structure of collagen, causing the skin to wrinkle and sag.

Scientists at the University of Aarhus in Denmark show superoxide dismutase (SOD) plays an important role in preventing this damage. They discovered SOD binds directly to collagen and protects it from oxidative breakdown.5 Many researchers believe our natural SOD enzymes decrease in our cells as we get older while free radicals increase, causing a variety of age-related disorders.6 If rooibos tea increases SOD levels in humans as it did in the animals in this experiment, it may turn out to be a valuable anti-aging herb. There aren’t many proven SOD-boosters; nor are there many foods or supplements that do much for aging skin. This could be a find.

Rooibos Slows Age-Related Diseases

As the body ages, a certain amount of the fat under the skin moves and settles around other organs in the body. This can cause serious health issues over time and make a person more prone to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Scientists at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa used in vitro models to mimic specific aspects of the aging process. They observed rooibos protects preadipocytes (the main cells found in fat tissue) from degenerating.7 Animal and human studies will be needed to confirm, but it could be that rooibos tea can help us prevent stubborn belly fat.

“Our research focused on preserving healthy fat tissue since the redistribution of fat–a natural aging process, particularly in the abdomen–is linked to the onset of many age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and cancer,” said Professor Maryna van de Venter, lead researcher.

“Loss of fat under the skin also results in the appearance of wrinkles, sunken eyes and skin folds. In simple terms, with aging, there’s less fat in places where it should be and more fat in places where it shouldn’t be, altering one’s health,” explains Prof. van de Venter.

How To Enjoy Rooibos’ Benefits

Rooibos tea is caffeine-free, has a rich red color, a sweet, nutty flavor and is enjoyed hot or cold. In South Africa, it’s traditionally served with milk and sugar. Many drinkers outside the region like the tea straight, or with a wedge of lemon or a drop of honey in it.

You can add the brewed tea to smoothies, soups, casseroles or desserts to add flavor and nutrition to your meals. There are even various rooibos tea-infused creams available for your face and body. My research did not uncover any safety issues – as one would expect from a beloved and long-used food.
  1. Aspalathin and nothofagin from rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) inhibits high glucose-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo.
  2. Antioxidant activity of the dihydrochalcones Aspalathin and Nothofagin and their corresponding flavones in relation to other rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) flavonoids, epigallocatechin gallate, and trolox.
  3. Studies of anti-inflammatory effects of rooibos tea in rats.
  4. Superoxide dismutase boosting the body’s primary antioxidant defense.
  5. Extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) binds to type i collagen and protects against oxidative fragmentation.
  6. Superoxide dismutase boosting the body’s primary antioxidant defense.
  7. Anti-ageing breakthrough: Scientists discover rooibos’ unique anti-ageing potential.

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