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  1. Haufe, Thomas C. MS
  2. Ho, Kacie K. H. Y. PhD
  3. Ferruzzi, Mario G. PhD
  4. Neilson, Andrew P. PhD


Brewed tea (from the Camellia sinensis plant) is the second most commonly consumed beverage in the world, and its consumption has been associated with several human health benefits. Tea polyphenols are absorbed in the intestine following consumption and metabolized by both human and microbial systems to yield a mixture of complex metabolites that can be found in circulation and throughout the body. Identification of tea phenolic constituents and their metabolites has served to strengthen the association between tea consumption and specific health benefits, as well as to measure potential differences between tea product forms. The current state of research suggests that long-term consumption of tea and tea polyphenols may provide distinct health benefits, with the strongest associations being the promotion of cardiovascular health, as well as antidiabetic and antiobesity effects. However, much regarding tea and health remains to be discovered. This includes development of a better understanding of the role of abundant oxidized polyphenol forms in oolong and black tea, whose bioavailability and specific role in health benefits remain unknown. This technical summary focuses on tea polyphenol bioaccessibility/bioavailability, discusses potential bioactivity, and highlights studies that link tea consumption and health.