London: Previous research has shown that tea contains high levels of compounds that combat the absorption of fat.
However, a new research led by an Indian scientist has found that this fat-fighting ability will be neutralized if milk is added to it.
The compounds, called theaflavins and thearubigins, stopped the pounds from piling on when given to rats on a high-fat diet.
But proteins in cows`` milk neutralise this fat-fighting ability.
Devajit Borthakur, of the Tea Research Association in India, told the Sunday Telegraph that the chemistry between the milk proteins and the fat-fighting compounds means “we don`t get the health benefit from these compounds.”
The finding is bad news for Britons, who add milk to 98 percent of the 165million cups of tea they make a day.
“From a public health perspective, tea is rich in antioxidants and may be an important contributor to an individual`s overall antioxidant status,” said researcher Lisa Ryan of Oxford Brookes University.
“The addition of milk, however, may lower the total antioxidant capacity of tea; however this effect is much greater with skimmed milk compared to whole milk,” she added.
The research is published in the journal Nutrition this month.