Oolong tea has recently gained fame as a weight loss supplement, but today I am going to focus on some lesser known studies about oolong tea. Oolong tea may inhibit the bacteria commonly associated with dental cavities, Streptococcus mutans. In a cell study published early last year, black, oolong and green tea were all compared for their ability to inhibit Streptococcus mutans. Oolong tea demonstrated the greatest inhibitory effects on this bacteria. A 1999 cell study suggested that a particular polyphenol of oolong tea (OTF6) may inhibit the bacteria's ability to adhere to the tooth surface. A rat study has also supported these findings. This is far from definitive proof and certainly lacking human studies at this time; however, I'm quite content to have my mouth coated with this delicious tea this morning, believing there might be some additional health benefit to be gleaned.
Oolong tea does contain caffeine, and several medications interact with caffeine. In many cases, a cup or two of tea every now and again will not cause harm. On average, it has about a 1/3 of the caffeine quantity as coffee, depending on how it is brewed. If you plan to ingest larger quantities and take prescribed medications, check with your pharmacist first and read the directions she or he provides.