WHAT IS THEAFLAVIN?
Theaflavin (also known as TF) is one of the many flavan-3-ols that can be found in black tea and is part of the phytonutrient family (a group of chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and have multiple health benefits but are not considered essential to human health). In this article I will be providing a full overview of theaflavin.
WHEN WAS THEAFLAVIN DISCOVERED?
Theaflavin and the other flavan-3-ols were first discovered and isolated in 1929 at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Japan by Dr Michiyo Tsujimura.
HOW DOES YOUR BODY USE THEAFLAVIN?
Theflavin is believed to have a number of important health benefits in the human body. However, little is known about how well it is absorbed into the bloodstream so more research needs to be performed before these health benefits can be directly linked with theaflavin. The possible health benefits of consuming theaflavin include:
– Possibly acting as an antioxidant and protecting your body from dangerous free radicals (harmful by-products of oxygen related reactions).
– Possibly boosting heart health.
– Possibly preventing cancer.
– Possibly preventing dementia (a type of mental deterioration).
– Possibly preventing replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
– Possibly reducing low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels within the body (which indirectly improves blood flow within the body and keeps the heart healthy).
– Possibly strengthening the immune system.
HOW MUCH THEAFLAVIN DO YOU NEED?
Theaflavin is not considered an essential nutrient so no official recommended daily allowance (RDA) has been established. However, some sources suggest that consuming 5 cups of black tea a day (which will supply you with approximately 8 milligrams (mg) of theaflavin) will provide your body with adequate amounts of this nutrient.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN THEAFLAVIN?
Theaflavin is mainly found in black tea which contains 1.58mg of this nutrient per 100 grams (g).
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF GETTING TOO MUCH THEAFLAVIN?
Currently there are no reported overdose symptoms associated with theaflavin consumption.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NOT GETTING ENOUGH THEAFLAVIN?
Theaflavin is not classed as an essential nutrient so there are no reported deficiency symptoms.
Whilst the health benefits of theaflavin in humans have not been confirmed, the available research is very promising. Tea also contains many other health boosting phytonutrients so if you do not currently drink this hot beverage, perhaps now is the time to start.