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Complementary Medicine

Muscadine Grape Versus African Red Tea

03/15/2006

Question:

I have been taking a Muscadine grape-based dietary supplement because of the high antioxidant content. I have just recently read about African Red Tea having the highest antioxidant concentration, is this true? Thank you.

Answer:

Not true, dates, cranberries, and red grapes contain the most antioxidants but coffee has the highest antioxidant consumption.

Red tea is good as is white tea, but so much depends on the unit of use, tea bag versus capsule etc. so it is really hard to tell.

See below:

Natural Standard: News
Copyright © 2005 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
August 2005
Coffee Top Source of Antioxidants in the US

Researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania have found that Americans receive the largest share of antioxidants in their diet from coffee. Calculations were done using Agriculture Department data on the average U.S. per capita consumption of 100 food and beverages containing antioxidants. Results showed that based on both antioxidant content per serving size and frequency of consumption, coffee beat all of the other sources with an average of 1,299 milligrams of antioxidants a day. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee provide similar amounts of antioxidants. The second most common source was black tea accounting for 294 milligrams a day. The study also mentioned bananas (76 milligrams), dried beans (72 milligrams), corn (48 milligrams), red wine, beer (lager style), apples, tomatoes and potatoes as the other top sources. Dates, cranberries, and red grapes contain the most antioxidants per serving but aren't as commonly consumed in the United States. This study didn't take into account whether the body was effectively absorbing the antioxidants from any of the sources. Antioxidants are thought to help prevent diseases such as heart disease and cancer by battling free radical damage to cells. Other studies have linked coffee to reduced risks of colon and liver cancer, Parkinson's disease and type II diabetes. For more information on coffee and the other sources of antioxidants, please visit Natural Standard's Herbs and Supplements database.

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2005 Natural Standard Inc.

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Response by:

Glen F Aukerman, MD, DABFP Glen F Aukerman, MD, DABFP
Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University