Health Canada Approves Several Health Claims for Tea


    It's Official: Tea is much more than a refreshing great tasting beverage

    TORONTO, May 29 /CNW/ - Health Canada's Natural Health Products
Directorate (NHPD) has deemed tea to be a natural health product and has
officially recognized tea for its role in maintaining good health.
    After a period of extensive review, the NHPD has approved three health
claims for tea. All types of tea infusions (black, green and oolong) are
recognized as a source of antioxidants for the maintenance of good health. Tea
is approved for increasing alertness. And tea is further accredited as helping
to maintain and/or support cardiovascular health.
    Green Tea extract is approved as a source of antioxidants for the
maintenance of good health. It is also approved for use as an adjunct
treatment in a weight management program in combination with a healthy diet
and regular exercise.
    "This is great news for tea and the millions of Canadians who enjoy tea,"
says Louise Roberge, President of the Tea Association of Canada. "The approved
health claims will help educate consumers about the health benefits of
drinking tea."
    The NHPD's ruling will enable tea manufactures to include the approved
health claims on product packaging and will set stage for allowing the use of
the accepted health claims in marketing tea.
    "Canadians are concerned about maintaining their health and are looking
for products that genuinely will benefit them," says Roberge. "Now with these
accepted health claims, Canadian consumers will know that tea is officially a
healthy beverage choice."
    The scientific evidence about the numerous health benefits of tea has
been mounting for nearly two decades. Hundreds of research studies have found
many potential health attributes associated with tea including protection from
cardiovascular disease and cancer. Tea is second only to water as the
healthiest beverage choice according to guidelines for healthy beverage
consumption that were developed by a panel of American nutrition experts and
published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of American Clinical
Nutrition.
    "Tea is rich in naturally occurring flavonoids which act as
antioxidants," says Dr. Carol Greenwood, Professor of Nutritional Sciences at
the University of Toronto. "In fact, tea is one of the highest sources of
antioxidants in the diet."
    Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize the body's naturally occurring
but cell-damaging free radical molecules. Damage by free radicals over time is
believed to contribute to the development of many chronic disease including
cancer and cardiovascular disease, explains Greenwood.
    Part of the Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada, the NHPD is
the regulating authority for natural health products sold in Canada. It
ensures that Canadians have ready access to natural health products that are
safe, effective and of high quality. Natural health products include herbal
remedies, homeopathic medicines, vitamins, minerals, traditional medicines,
probiotics, amino acids and essential fatty acids.

    Tea in Canada

    Tea is the world's second most popular beverage after water. In 2006, the
tea market in Canada was worth approximately $319 million. Canadians drink
more than seven billion cups of tea each year. In 2005, the per capita
consumption of tea in Canada was 69.98 litres (280 cups) per Canadian, an
increase of 43 percent from 1996 when it was 48.9 litres.

    The Tea Association of Canada

    The Tea Association of Canada is a not-for-profit association of leading
companies and producing countries, including Sri Lanka, India, and Kenya,
which is dedicated to increasing awareness of quality tea and its health
benefits to Canadians. The Tea Association acts as an impartial source for
information about tea. If you want to know more about tea trends, history and
production, please visit the Tea Association of Canada's website at www.tea.ca




For further information: Louise Roberge, President, Tea Association of
Canada, Tel: (416) 510-8647, Fax: (416) 510-8044, louise.roberge@tea.ca;
Michelle Noble, MADMAN Communications, Tel: (905) 895-0643, Cell: (416)
577-8773, michellenoble@rogers.com