Any of you who follow the research on tea know that one of the ongoing controversies has been the question of how tea can have such powerful health effects when we know that there are always such low concentrations of polyphenols that show up in the blood stream after consumption. It is a real conundrum that has fueled many a debate about whether the health benefits from tea are actually the result of something else at work (diet, lifestyle etc) rather than the compounds found in tea. Well, Dr. Àngels González-Lafont et al may have just solved the puzzle.

Dr. Gonzalez-Lafont and colleagues from Autonomous University in Barcelona Spain, have uncovered a fascinating phenomenon from quantum mechanics that may just explain how literally Less is More! It’s a bit esoteric for those not at least somewhat familiar with quantum mechanics (and actually even for those of us who are), but here is an article that provides a fascinating summary.

For those of you not familiar with quantum mechanics I offer a very brief and wholly inadequate summary. Quantum mechanics differs from Newtonian physics, which was based on fixed physical laws and events, in that it is more related to the probability of physical events occurring at any given point in time. One of my favorite quotes, “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”, is a perfect expression for how the presence of a particle of energy showing up in a particular place at a particular time is effected by the presence of an observer. Quantum particles (quanta – photons) act very differently than most of us lay people would expect and even do things that, to me at least, boggle the imagination (e.g. the same particle of energy being in 2 completely different and far separated places at the same time – bilocality). They also can change from particles to waves as the circumstances suits them (and then back again when you are looking at it) as in this case with how the polyphenols in tea are able to show up on the other side of a completed biochemical process that normally would require much more energy to get through than it has. This is all very cool stuff that I basically don’t have a clue about, so take everything I have said with a grain of salt or maybe a tea leaf.