Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is rich in nutrients and antioxidants that may have a range of health benefits. Further research will be required to determine the extent to which it may help with weight loss and the best method for its consumption. Green tea was used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to control bleeding and heal wounds, aid digestion, improve heart and mental health, and regulate body temperature. Recent studies have shown green tea can potentially have positive effects on everything from weight loss to liver disorders, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
1) Green tea prevents cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols in tea have been shown to decrease tumor growth in laboratory and animal studies and may protect against damage caused by ultraviolet UVB radiation.
In countries where green tea consumption is high, cancer rates tend to be lower, but it is impossible to know for sure whether it is the green tea that prevents cancer in these particular populations or other lifestyle factors.
Some studies have also shown the positive impacts of green tea on the following types of cancer:
• colorectal (bowel)
• esophageal (throat)
Researchers believe that it is the high level of polyphenols in tea that helps kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing. However, the exact mechanisms by which tea interacts with cancerous cells is unknown.
EGCG and other green tea antioxidants can stop cancer cells from growing, even directly kill them. They also seem to be able to prevent new blood vessels from forming within tumors that help cancer cells to grow rapidly and spread to other parts of the body. EGCG does this by interfering specifically with multiple biological mechanisms in cancer cells – and it appears to do so without affecting normal cells.
Health experts believe that these actions of EGCG and other green tea antioxidants are to a large extent responsible for the potential anticancer health benefits of green tea.
2) Green tea prevents heart attack
A 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that green tea consumption is associated with reduced mortality due to all causes, including cardiovascular disease.
Evidence suggests that the powerful antioxidants found in green tea may actively protect the heart. Daily tea consumption has been shown to lower the risk of having a heart attack and to improve the likelihood of surviving after having a heart attack.
3) Green tea lowers cholesterol
An analysis of published studies in 2011 found that consuming green tea, either as a beverage or in capsule form, was linked to significant but modest reductions in total and LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
4) Green tea lowers stroke risk
Drinking green tea on a regular basis is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, according to a study published in the journal Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Yoshihiro Kokubo, Ph.D., said, “This is the first large-scale study to examine the combined effects of both green tea and coffee on stroke risks. You may make a small but positive lifestyle change to help lower the risk of stroke by adding daily green tea to your diet.”
5) Green tea helps in weight loss
Green tea can boost your metabolism and improve your body’s efficiency for burning energy. Research has suggested that the flavonoids it contains are responsible for increasing fat oxidation levels and improving insulin activity in your body. Some studies show that substituting tea for calorie-filled drinks can lead to about a pound of weight loss a week. Getting the benefits of green tea for weight loss comes down to understanding how you need to take it. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends drinking 2 to 3 cups per day, as each cup contains about 200 milligrams of catechins.
In fact, because green tea is a natural diuretic, it is an ideal treatment for combating fluid retention problems and overall tissue inflammation. For this reason, some estimates show that drinking green tea regularly can reduce body fat by up to 19 percent.
6) Green tea reduce inflammatory skin diseases
A 2007 study concluded that green tea could hold promise as a new treatment for skin disorders such as psoriasis and dandruff. Researchers studied an animal model for inflammatory skin diseases, often characterized by patches of dry, red, flaky skin caused by the inflammation and overproduction of skin cells. Those treated with green tea showed slower growth of skin cells and the presence of a gene that regulates the cells’ life cycles.
The relationship between green tea and skin rash is complex. Tea tannin and caffeine can cause allergy. But green tea may cure it.
7) Green tea prevents Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition characterized by a decline in memory and thinking, as well as behavioral problems.
Researchers found that the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) stops the formation of beta-amyloid plaques — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease — by interfering with the function of beta-amyloid oligomers.
In a study published in 2011, researchers tested the effect of a component of green tea, CAGTE (or “colon available” green tea extract), after it had been digested, to see how it affected a key protein in Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Society commented that “this study adds to previous research that suggests green tea might help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the researchers used a far higher dose of the active green tea chemical than would ever be found in the human body. More research is needed to see whether green tea is protective at a much lower dose, and to understand the mechanism involved.”
The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and represent the opinions of the authors. The authors are not medical doctors and do not engage directly or indirectly in diagnosing disease, dispensing medical advice, or prescribing the use of any products or services as treatment for sickness or disease. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional.