Black Tea's Health Advantages and Disadvantages
Green tea is remarkable: it reduces heart disease risk, cancer risk and
overall mortality. But what about the more common, at least to us
Americans, black tea? Does black tea help or hurt the heart? brain?
The answer to that is not as simple as it sounds. Black tea is known to be
loaded with polyphenols and phytochemicals that promote health.
Unfortunately, the fermentation process that black tea goes through converts
almost all of the EGCG (contained in green tea) to other less effective
Nevertheless, black tea is powerful stuff with significant superpowers and one
meta-analysis found solid evidence that if three or more cups were consumed per
day cardiovascular risk would be significantly reduced.  Furthermore,
it likely provides protection against a host of ills due to its blood
glucose-controlling powers. 
What about erections? Will black tea help your sex life? This has never been
directly studied as far as I know, but the answer is undoubtedly 'yes'.
The reasons are:
1. Caffeine. Caffeine is a mild PDE5 inhibitor, i.e. is Viagra or
2. Endothelial Function. Erections are all about the endothelium, the
delicate lining of your blood vessels and arteries that pumps out that precious
nitric oxide for erectile strength. Black tea has been shown to improve
endothelial dysfunction in heart disease patients and even improved blood flow.
 Almost everyone in a modern society will have a certain amount of
3. Blood Flow. The same study above  found that "flow mediated
dilation" was significantly improved as well. Translated, this means
improved blood flow and improved blood flow will almost always translate to a
more powerful erection. And lest you think this applies only to those plagued
with major cardiovascular issues, another study found improved blood flow in
healthy male volunteers. 
Now I love black tea - it's probably my favorite day-to-day beverage, yet I am
very cautious about it. Why? The reason has nothing to do with the
heart or penis but rather the brain. Scientists have always know that
flouride tends to accumulate in black tea and believe that this is the reason
that it likely has not done very well in cognition and brain-related studies.
Fluoride, as it turns out, is very hard on the brain and caused increased
oxidation and cell death.  It also worsens the effects of aluminum in
the brain , another very common dementia-related element.
Of course, the question, when it comes to flouride, is dosage. Does black
tea have enough flouride to merit concern. It has long been known that
instant tea accumulates enough flouride to even cause troubles in the short
term, but scientists did not know what to think about regular black tea over
long time periods.
A recent study raised even higher levels of concern when researchers found that
black tea contained much higher levels of flouride than previously thought.
Previous studies had shown 1 to 5 mg/liter of fluoride in black tea but the
level was actually found to be about 9 mg/liter.  This level is high enough
to cause concern because it could lead to bone and skeletal issues, another
issue with fluoride consumption, for heavy tea drinkers. And if it is
causing bone issues, it will simultaneously be wreaking havoc with your neurons
So, for the sake of your brain, black tea is definitely a drink that should
be consumed in moderation and some researchers might even argue sparingly.
Green tea is much safer and more powerful alternative.
1) European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007, 61:3–18, "Black tea –
helpful or harmful? A review of the evidence"
2) Circulation, 2001, 104:151–156, "Short- and long-term black tea consumption
reverses endothelial dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease"
3) Am J Cardiol, Jun 1 2004, 93:1384–1388, "Black tea increases coronary flow
rate velocity reserve in healthy male subjects"
Inhibitors for Type 2 Diabetes." Chen, H., Journal of Food Science, published
online June 30, 2009
5) Toxicology, Jul 17 2007, 236(3):208-216, "Effects of fluoride on the
expression of NCAM, oxidative stress, and apoptosis in primary cultured
6) Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry, 1999, 107(1):15-21, "Fluoride
Enhances the Effect of Aluminium Chloride on Interconnections Between Aggregates
of Hippocampal Neurons"