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Does milk block the positive effects of tea?

Some evidence suggests that tea promotes relaxation (dilation) of arteries, thus improving blood circulation. This effect is believed to be mediated by a type of compound found in tea, called catechins. (I also think it might be related to caffeine). Researchers found that those who drank tea with 10% volume of hot milk mixed in did not have the same increase in arterial diameter that was observed in subjects drinking plain tea. They speculate that milk proteins mop up catechins, thus reducing (or eliminating) their relaxing effect on blood vessels.

I wonder if sugar has a similar effect? I guess that’s another study for another time.

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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One Response to “Does milk block the positive effects of tea?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your blog about milk possibly blocking catechins in tea. I’ve always taken milk with my tea, but I’ll stop using it now so the tea can work better to improve my blood circulation. Even though the tests are not definitive (“some evidence suggests…”), no harm can result from taking a small step like not putting milk in my tea. It will save a few calories, anyway, if nothing else!

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