Health Benefits of White Tea – Golden Ocean Chinese Tea

Health Benefits of White Tea

Science is only just starting to understand the complex chemical compositions relative to the different varieties of tea. What we know today is that the less processing the tea goes through the more polyphenol (antioxidants – catechins) it contains. Catechins are considered to be more potent with regards to protecting cells and tissue agaisnt constant oxidation from free radical pollutants (environment and food)and or oxidation from free radicals produced by our own body. White tea undergoes minimal processing, generally steamed and then dried without fermentation, rolling or roasting.

Green tea is produced when freshly harvested leaves are withered in the sun, then pan-fried/steamed prior to rolling/shaping and drying. Black tea is produced by following some of the processing steps used for green tea, with specific differences in the way the leaves are bruised, crushed or broken. These differences in processing dictate to how the polyphenol oxidases in the leaves further convert the endogenous catechins (EGCG) into theaflavins, thearubigins and other complex polyphenols.

White Tea – Anticancer Effects and Cancer Prevention

The level of protection against cellular mutagenesis and carcinogenesis appears to be related to the type of processing (1).

In a study comparing green tea with white tea it was found that white tea displays greater antimutagenic activities than green tea in the Salmonella assay.  The Salmonella/microsome mutagenicity assay is a test specifically designed to detect chemical substances that can produce genetic damage which then leads to gene mutations.

For this study, artificial teas were created that contained nine of the major compounds found in green tea and white teas The artificial teas contained high levels of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) along with several other polyphenols and methylxanthines. The artificial teas were then compared to natural tea and its actions at cellular level and it was found that the natural tea (green and white tea) produced a higher antimutagenic potency.

The outcome of this study suggests that the greater inhibition produced from natural white tea and green teas relative to the Salmonella assay may be due to the relative levels of the nine main compounds. However these compounds may also be acting synergistically along with other minor compounds, to inhibit mutagen activity as well as promoting savaging of free radicals (1).

To date, most of the studies evaluating the effects of tea on lung cancer have been focused on green tea. For instance, ample preclinical studies have shown that green tea extract (GTE) induces apoptosis in a variety of cancer cell types (2,3,4). On the basis that white tea has been shown to possess higher antimutagenic potency than green tea it may be hypothesized that white tea will be effective in modulating mechanisms associated with lung tumorigenesis.

A study in 2010 has demonstrated that white tea inhibits spread of the colon cancer cell line, HT-29 (5).

White tea has also been shown to initiate apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer cells. As such, restoring apoptosis may represent an important anticarcinogenic mechanism medicated by white tea  (6).

White tea was also demosntrated to induce apoptosis in  adenocarcinoma cell lines (A549) and squanmous cells carcinoma cell lines (H520). As displayed in graphic below:

White Tea and Weight Loss

Oolong, Green, Pu’er teas have all shown different levels of activity with regards to weight loss and white tea has now also been shown to exhibit similar mechanisms with regards to weight loss by modulating lipid (fat) metabolism and improving the functions of digestion.

Pancreatic lipase is secreted from the pancreas, and is the main lipase (enzyme) that breaks down dietary fat molecules in the human digestive system. In a recent study, white tea was found to be more effective than green tea or black tea in the inhibition of pancreatic lipase activity in vitro (in the lab), possibly partly part due to the higher content of strictinin in the white tea (7).

Another study evaluated the effects of white tea on lipolysis (breaking down of fat) and adipogenesis (creation of new fat cells) in human preadipocytes (early stage fat cells). After subjecting preadipocytes to white tea solution it was discovered that the fat cells incorporated less triglyceride (glycerol combined with three fatty acids) as they transformed into mature fat cells (adipogenesis ). In adition to this finding it was also discovered that white tea also stimulated the breakdown of fats (lipolytic activity) within the fat cells (adipocytes) (8).

It has been assumed that the weight loss metabolism-boosting effects of tea are due to the caffeine contents but this doesn’t seem to be the case. While caffeine may play a role there seems to be other mechanisms involved, possibly due to theophylline – cardiac stimulant and theobromine – stimulant properties similar to those of caffeine (9).

White tea actually has less caffeine than the other green tea, oolong, pu’er and black teas however the weight loss benefits still prevail. The catechins (EGCG) and other polyphenols (antioxidants) in white tea may also be involved with regulating fat metabolism via enzymes responsible for hepatic lipid oxidation (10).

Considering that white tea has the lowest levels of caffeine then it may be the best choice for people who want to decrease weight but not increase the workload on the adrenal glands.

White Tea is Antiviral and Antibacterial

There is research conducted in 1984 by Milton Schiffenbauer, Ph.D., a microbiologis from Pace University in New York, which shows that white tea inhibits viral and bacterial growth thus reducing staphylococcus and streptococcus infections, pneumonia, fungus growth, and even dental plaque. Studies have also demonstrated that white tea has anti fungal effects upon Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Penicillium chrysogenum. Penicillium spores and Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells were inactivated after application of white tea preparations. White tea demonstrates  and anti-fungal effect on pathogenic fungi (11).

White Tea Antioxidants and Inflammation

Antioxidants have a variety of functions, from defending against oxidation at the cellular level to protecting cells and tissue from the damaging action of free radicals. However the catechins (epicatechin (EC), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin (EGC) and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) have all proved to exhibit anti-inflammatory actions by inhibiting or regulating gene expression of pro-inflammatory proteins call NF-kB which direct genes to produces more inflammatory proteins called cytokines ( IL-1b, TNF-a, IL-6). Catechins also prevent these cytokines (if they have been produced) from binding to receptor cells to produce inflammation. White tea has the highest levels of catechins hence white tea provides the highest level of anti-inflammatory activity (12,13,14)

White Tea and Anti-Ageing

Recent research has shown white tea to contain a high levels of enzyme inhibitors known as anti-collagenase and anti-elastase (15). Collagenase and elastase are enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, hence play a role in ageing of skin and tissue. Collagenase and elastase are useful with regard to would healing as they help reduce scar tissue and aid breaking down damaged cells and tissue however they are up-regulated in the pro-inflammatory phases. White tea plays a role in down regulating inflammation and thus down regulating over active collagenase and elastase – conversely protecting against premature cellular ageing and benefits to the skin (16).

White Tea, DNA and UV Protection

A study in 2009 analysed the topical application of green tea and white tea with regards to preventing radiation induced oxidative damage from the sun upon DNA and Langerhans cells in the skin. The study was designed to measure the link between oxidative damage versus immune suppression and carcinogenesis.

The green tea and white tea both displayed protection of the skin cells against harmful UV but not via blocking the UV nor by absorbing the UV.  The mechanism of such protection are not precisely confirmed however it is clear that green tea and white tea offer potential photo-protective agents against skin ageing and cancer induced by solar radiation (17).

White Tea and Cardiovascular Disease

White tea has been found to contain the highest levels of the polyphenols (antioxidants) called catechins compared to green tea , oolong, pu’er and black teas. These catechins have been associated with lower levels of heart disease and stroke (15, 16)

A 2001 study published in the “American Journal of Epidemiology.” demonstrated a positive relationship between 3 cups of tea per day and an 11% drop in coronary heart disease (17)

Components such as catechins help to dilate blood vessels which allows for a reduction in blood pressure and better blood flow throughout the body (18)

Although most of the catechin-heart disease research has been performed with green tea this catechin-heart disease link can be conferred upon white tea also as it contains higher levels of catechins (19, 20)









(1) Santana-Rios, G., Orner, G.A., Amantana, A., Provost, C., Wu, S.Y., Dashwood, R.H., 2001. Potent antimutagenic activity of white tea in comparison with green tea in the Salmonella assay. Mutat. Res. 495, 61e74.

(2) Ahmad, N., Feyes, D.K., Nieminen, A.L., Agarwal, R., Mukhtar, H., 1997. Green tea constituent epigallocatechin-3-gallate and induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in human carcinoma cells. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 89, 1881e1886.

(3) Paschka, A.G., Butler, R., Young, C.Y., 1998. Induction of apoptosis in prostate cancer cell lines by the green tea component, ()-epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Cancer Lett. 130, 1e7.

(4) Yang, G.Y., Liao, J., Kim, K., Yurkow, E.J., Yang, C.S., 1998. Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by tea polyphenols. Carcinogenesis 19, 611e616.

(5) Hajiaghaalipour F, Kanthimathi MS, Sanusi J, Rajarajeswaran J. White tea (Camellia sinensis) inhibits proliferation of the colon cancer cell line, HT-29, activates caspases and protects DNA of normal cells against oxidative damage. Food Chem. 2015 Feb 15;169:401-10. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.07.005.

(6) Mao JT, Nie WX, Tsu IH. White tea extract induces apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer cells: the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-{gamma} and 15-lipoxygenases. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2010 Sep;3(9):1132-40. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-09-0264.

(7) Gondoin, A., Grussu, D., Stewart, D., McDougall, G.J., 2010. White and green tea polyphenols inhibit pancreatic lipase in vitro. Food Research International 43, 1537e1544.

(8) So¨ hle, J., Knott, A., Holtzmann, U., Siegner, R., Gro¨ nniger, E., Schepky, A., Gallinat, S., Wenck, H., Sta¨b, F., Winnefeld, M., 2009. White tea extract induces lipolytic activity and inhibits adipogenesis in human subcutaneous
(pre)-adipocytes. Nutr. Metab. (Lond) 1, 20.

(9) Hursel R, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Catechin- and caffeine-rich teas for control of body weight in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Dec;98(6 Suppl):1682S-1693S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.058396.

(10) Rains TM, Agarwal S, Maki KC. Antiobesity effects of green tea catechins: a mechanistic review. J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Jan;22(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2010.06.006.

(17) Camouse, M.M., Domingo, D.S., Swain, F.R., Conrad, E.P., Matsui, M.S., Maes, D., Declercq, L., Cooper, K.D., Stevens, S.R., Baron, E.D., 2009. Topical application of green and white tea extracts provides protection from solar-simulated ultraviolet light in human skin. Exp. Dermatol. 18, 522e526.










Golden Ocean Chinese Tea

Specialising in various kinds of Black tea, Green tea, White tea, Yellow tea, Oolong tea, Dark tea, Pu Erh Tea, Scented tea, Flowering tea, Herbal tea and Tea Powder, Tea ware, Tea pots, cups, mugs, Tea canisters, Tea containers. We supply the finest and rarest Chinese teas imported directly from China.

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