Tea’d-off: Experts rail against Chinese herbal tea brand’s claims of life-extending effects

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/7 19:33:39

A popular Chinese herbal tea brand touting a State-funded report they say claims that drinking their product could extend one's life by 10 percent has been criticized by medical experts for making exaggerations and false equivocations. 

The contested claim was made by Wong Lo Kat CEO Li Chuyuan at the Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou.

Li had based the claim on a State-funded study from 2013 that involved 576 lab rats given the tea over two years.

The tea-drinking rats were found to live 10 percent longer than the control group.

"Our conclusion is based on experiment data," said Li at the forum Wednesday. "Our herbal tea can extend human lives by 10 percent."

News of the claim went viral on Chinese social media, prompting a pointed response from the scientific community.

Wang Fengzong, a deputy director at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said making the leap from lab rats to humans without research is irresponsible.

"No one dares to say anything can extend a human life by 10 percent. Even pharmaceuticals don't dare purport those kinds of claims."

Sun Shuxia, chairperson of China Healthcare Association's Food Nutrition and Safety Committee drew attention to the drink's 28 grams of refined sugars per can. For contrast, a can of Coca Cola contains 39 grams.

"If you drink it frequently, the amount of sugar intake alone would be harmful," said Sun.

"Although I'm the company's customer myself, I do not agree with Li's conclusion," said Yin Ye, CEO of Beijing Genomics Institute. "Life extension is still a very complex topic."


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