Here’s a ray of hope for milky-tea drinkers: new research shows that the quaint British custom of adding milk doesn’t ruin the beneficial properties of the traditional drink. Previous studies have suggested that milk can cancel the antioxidant effects of certain chemicals known as polyphenols, found in black tea. Media headlines warned drinkers not to ‘ruin’ their tea with milk. But the latest study, by Janet Kyle and her colleagues at the University of Aberdeen, UK, didn’t find any evidence for this effect.
The answer is not definitive says Simon Langley-Evans, from the University of Nottingham, UK. Langley-Evans conducted a similar trial in 2000 yet found that for some, but not all, of his trial subjects milk completely wiped out the antioxidant properties of tea. “The situation is a bit muddy at the moment, and this just adds to the mud,” he says of the latest news. What should follow from this work is a larger trial, in which more concrete conclusions can be drawn, he suggests.