Friday, February 25, 2011

Milk in Your Tea

The legend of the custom of drinking tea with milk has its roots not in taste but with economics. The long journey from “the Orient” made tea prohibitively expensive. no use crying over...Milk, on the other hand, was cheap and became the condiment of choice among the lower classes. The amount of milk added became a telltale of one’s social standing. The wealthy took their tea undiluted. The middle class poured the expensive tea and then diluted it with milk. The lower class filled the cup with cheap milk and then added a splash of the costly tea.

What's the problem with milk and tea? The culprits in milk are a group of proteins called caseins that interact with tea, decreasing the concentration of catechins -- the flavonoids in tea that are responsible for tea's protective effects against heart disease, the effects of aging, dementia, and other areas, according to the authors of a landmark study in Germany.

Senior researcher Dr Verena Stangl, professor of cardiology at the Charite Hospital, in Berlin, said: "Our results thus provide a possible explanation for the lack of beneficial effects of tea on the risk of heart disease in the UK, a country where milk is usually added."

However, June Davison, cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: "It is difficult to say from this small study the impact of adding a drop of milk to your tea can make.

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