ROOIBOS PACKS MIGHTY PUNCH AGAINST HEART DISEASE

Already considered one of the most powerful superfoods on the market today, Rooibos tea’s antioxidant army also packs a protective punch against heart disease, research shows.

Local and international studies are repeatedly reinforcing this discovery, with the latest study, conducted by Spanish researchers, showing that drinking Rooibos can prevent the development of heart disease by inhibiting the liver from storing excessive fat under the skin and around major organs. These researchers also determined that Rooibos not only reduces the number and size of fat cells, but also completely prevents the development of fatty liver disease – a condition where fat accumulates in the cells of the liver.

The study also confirmed that the complex mix of antioxidants in Rooibos are jointly responsible for its beneficial effects, and that it is therefore better to drink Rooibos tea, rather than isolated compounds from Rooibos.

These findings add further weight to an earlier South African study led by Professor Jeanine Marnewick, a specialist researcher at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), who was able to show a positive effect in adults at risk of heart disease, who drank six cups of Rooibos every day for six weeks.

Her study showed that Rooibos not only protected against oxidative lipid damage, but also favourably improved the lipid profile of the participants by reducing total blood cholesterol levels by 10%, with a significant reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

A third study conducted in Sweden found that 30 to 60 minutes after drinking 400 ml of Rooibos, the activity of a specific enzyme (called angiotensin-converting enzyme, or ace) is significantly suppressed. This enzyme is believed to be involved in the development of cardiovascular disease, and therefore ace inhibitors are used to treat hypertension and heart disease.

The main heart-health promoting substance in Rooibos tea is the antioxidant Chrysoeriol. It helps to prevent and treat vascular disease by inhibiting the migration of smooth muscle cells inside the aorta, a key cause of the narrowing or hardening of the arteries that may lead to a heart attack. Chrysoeriol is also an effective bronchodilator, and helps to lower blood pressure and relieve spasms.

Ernest du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) says it is very encouraging that leading research institutions around the world are working on Rooibos and are repeatedly producing such promising results.

“With more South Africans dying from heart disease and stroke than ever before, these studies underline the value of Rooibos as a widely available, affordable and uniquely South African product rich in dietary antioxidants, which promotes heart-health.

“Rooibos, in combination with an overall healthy diet with whole grains, fish, fruits and vegetables, and less processed foods, could significantly reduce the risk of heart disease,” says du Toit.

 

The South African Rooibos Council invests significantly into the research of Rooibos’ health properties. This year the Council is supporting research projects at several local universities focusing on the anti-aging potential of Rooibos as well as its effect on immunity.

Summaries of the most recent rooibos studies published in top peer-reviewed scientific journals can be found on the website of the SA Rooibos Council at www.sarooibos.org.za

ENDS

Issued by Meropa Communications on behalf of the South African Rooibos Council. For more information contact Brigitte Taim on 021 683 6464 or brigittet@meropact.co.za.

 

Notes to editor:

 

Shocking stats paint stark reality of heart disease in SA:

·       Approximately 6.3 million South Africans are living with high blood pressure

·       Premature deaths due to heart and blood vessel diseases in people of working age (35 – 64 years) are expected to increase by 41% between now and 2030

·       Statistics show that about 130 heart attacks and 240 strokes occur daily in SA, which means that 10 people will suffer a stroke and five will have a heart attack every hour

Rooibos can help you shed over a kilo a month

One of the best-kept weight-loss secrets could already be in your pantry. Celebs swear by it, and research confirms that Rooibos tea is the ideal way to help you slim down this summer.

By swapping just one cup of coffee for Rooibos tea every day, you could lose as much as a kilo every month. Most of us load our coffee with sugary syrups, honey, whipped cream or milk and sugar which can add anything from 35 to 250+ calories per cup. And if one considers that the average South African knocks back about four cups of coffee a day, drinking Rooibos instead could lead to a whopping 7 – 14kg shed in a year.

Ernest du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council, says the indigenous tea offers dieters a healthy, enjoyable and sustainable way to lose weight.

“Rooibos tea contains no fat or carbohydrates and its weight-loss properties further extends to inhibiting fat-storage hormones within the body. Rooibos’s unique Bioflavonoid, Aspalathin, helps to reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage, typically associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. In a nutshell, Rooibos tea can prevent the body from storing and even forming new fat cells.

“Rooibos tea is also caffeine-free and naturally sweet so there’s no need to add extra sugar. Plus it comes in a variety of flavours like berry, cinnamon, mint and citrus. It’s also 100% natural with no additives, no preservatives and no chemicals,” he says.

“Drinking Rooibos tea instead of a regular 35+ calorie cup of coffee (enjoyed with milk and a spoonful of sugar) or a 100+ calorie carbonated drink will automatically reduce your calorie intake, which should put you well on your way to losing centimetres.”

A-list celebrities sporting already svelte figures such as Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta Jones and supermodel Cindy Crawford all swear by Rooibos’s health benefits.

Drinking up to six cups a day – hot or cold – along with a healthy and balanced diet, will provide you with the maximum health and weight-loss benefits that Rooibos tea can offer.