The Health Benefits of White Tea

White tea

The least processed leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant produce white tea. It has received less research attention compared to green and black teas but may possess high concentrations of catechins and polyphenols linked to health benefits.

Pouring white tea

Antioxidant-Rich Composition

White tea contains antioxidants like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epicatechin (EC). The high catechin content contributes to its free radical scavenging and metal-chelating antioxidant properties demonstrated in lab studies.

Cardiovascular Health

Population studies associate white tea drinking with reduced cardiovascular disease mortality, likely due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, and vascular effects. It may lower cholesterol and blood pressure and improve endothelial function. However, human trials specifically on white tea are lacking.

Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Antiviral Properties

White tea exhibits antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects against many pathogens. Catechins damage microbial membranes and inhibit enzymes. As natural preservatives, white tea extracts can potentially enhance food safety. The antifungal effects may also help fight Candida infections.

Cancer-Fighting Potential

Lab and animal studies show white tea catechins inhibit proliferation, metastasis, angiogenesis and induce apoptosis in various cancer cells through mechanisms like NF-kB inhibition. However, human epidemiological data is insufficient to conclude that white tea prevents cancer.

White tea health benefits infographic

Neuroprotective Effects

White tea protects neuronal cells from oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide or other neurotoxic agents. This neuroprotective effect may reduce neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The amino acid theanine in white tea may also have cognitive benefits.

Animal models demonstrate white tea lowers blood glucose in diabetic rats by reducing oxidative stress and improving insulin sensitivity and resistance. Further human trials are needed to confirm antidiabetic effects.

White tea polyphenols may aid weight loss by increasing thermogenesis, fat oxidation, and metabolic rate while inhibiting pancreatic lipase. Extracts also stimulate fat breakdown and inhibit the growth of adipocytes. However, clinical evidence in humans remains preliminary.

The main limitations are the low bioavailability of catechins from white tea and the lack of human interventional trials affirming health effects. Factors like dosage, diet, and lifestyle may influence individual responses.


Health Benefits of White Tea. Is it Better Than Green Tea?

Scientific Studies

White Tea: Antioxidant Properties and Benificial Health Effects

A Mini Review on the Effects of White Tea Consumption on Diseases

For an overview of the different types of tea please follow this link (links to types of tea page)

For the health benefits of other teas, please follow these links:

Tea Health

Black tea health benefits

Green tea health benefits

Herbal tea health benefits

Oolong tea health benefits

Puerh tea health benefits