UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

The effects of tea on psychophysiological stress responsivity and post-stress recovery: a randomised double-blind trial

Steptoe, A; Gibson, EL; Vounonvirta, R; Williams, ED; Hamer, M; Rycroft, JA; ... Wardle, J; + view all (2007) The effects of tea on psychophysiological stress responsivity and post-stress recovery: a randomised double-blind trial. PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY , 190 (1) 81 - 89. 10.1007/s00213-006-0573-2.

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Rationale Tea has anecdotally been associated with stress relief, but this has seldom been tested scientifically.Objectives To investigate the effects of 6 weeks of black tea consumption, compared with matched placebo, on subjective, cardiovascular, cortisol and platelet responses to acute stress, in a parallel group double-blind randomised design.Materials and methods Seventy-five healthy nonsmoking men were withdrawn from tea, coffee and caffeinated beverages for a 4-week wash-out phase during which they drank four cups per day of a caffeinated placebo. A pretreatment laboratory test session was carried out, followed by either placebo (n=38) or active tea treatment (n=37) for 6 weeks, then, a final test session. Cardiovascular measures were obtained before, during and after two challenging behavioural tasks, while cortisol, platelet and subjective measures were assessed before and after tasks.Results The tasks induced substantial increases in blood pressure, heart rate and subjective stress ratings, but responses did not differ between tea and placebo treatments. Platelet activation (assessed using flow cytometry) was lower following tea than placebo treatment in both baseline and post-stress samples (P < 0.005). The active tea group also showed lower post-task cortisol levels compared with placebo (P=0.032), and a relative increase in subjective relaxation during the post-task recovery period (P=0.036).Conclusions Compared with placebo, 6 weeks of tea consumption leads to lower post-stress cortisol and greater subjective relaxation, together with reduced platelet activation. Black tea may have health benefits in part by aiding stress recovery.

Type:Article
Title:The effects of tea on psychophysiological stress responsivity and post-stress recovery: a randomised double-blind trial
DOI:10.1007/s00213-006-0573-2
Keywords:tea, stress, cortisol, heart rate, blood pressure, platelet activation, caffeine, mood, CORONARY-ARTERY DISEASE, BLOOD-PRESSURE, PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS, CARDIOVASCULAR-DISEASE, PLATELET-AGGREGATION, SOCIOECONOMIC-STATUS, FLAVONOID QUERCETIN, CORTISOL RESPONSES, L-THEANINE, BLACK TEA
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Medicine (Division of) > Wolfson Inst for Biomedical Research
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Cardiometabolic Phenotyping Group
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care > Epidemiology and Public Health

Archive Staff Only: edit this record