Chinese experts refuse to back claim that Wong Lo Kat herbal tea increases life expectancy

Scientists say research used to justify claims refers to tests carried out on rats

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 December, 2017, 4:10pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 December, 2017, 4:19pm

Experts and scientists have refused to endorse a claim by a Chinese herbal tea company that consuming their product can increase life expectancy by 10 per cent, mainland media reported on Thursday.

Li Chuyuan, chairman of state-owned Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings, parent company of the firm that makes Wong Lo Kat herbal tea, said the claim was based on government-funded research led by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Guangzhou, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

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But CDC scientists said the brew had only been tested on rats and could not be sure if the findings would translate to humans.

Wong Lo Kat has made similar claims in the recent past, the newspaper reported. This time, however, the company said it had the support of industry experts, including Yin Ye, chief executive of Shenzhen-based Beijing Genetics Institute, one of the world’s largest genome sequencing centres.

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However, Yin said he had only “nodded out of good manners” when asked about the claim during a recent conference.

“I drink the tea but it does not mean I agree with the claim,” Yin later said on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.

When asked to weigh in, Fan Zhihong, a professor and nutritionist from China Agricultural University, told the newspaper that the tea is high in sugar, making it unsuitable for people with diabetes.