Health Benefits of Green Tea
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Identifying the health benefits of green tea has been the focus of more than 500 research studies conducted in recent years. In Asia, this smooth, delicate brew has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
Scientific findings have linked green tea consumption to the slowing or prevention of conditions including heart disease rheumatoid arthritis, impaired immune disease, and liver disease. In addition, some studies have indicated tea may have cancer-fighting properties for cancer of the bladder, colon, esophageal, stomach, and pancreas.
Health benefits of green tea have been proven to aid tooth decay and dieting. The tea's medicinal properties – whether consumed hot or over ice – are attributed to its rich concentration of catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate, which act as powerful antioxidants that ward off disease and improve health.
The limited oxidation or fermentation of tea leaves during processing protects these antioxidant properties from breaking down, making the health benefits of green tea more significant that black or oolong varieties.
Here are highlights of some recent studies that point to the health benefits of green tea.
- The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent.
- A Japanese study among women who drank a form of powdered green tea revealed that their risk of getting bladder cancer was cut by 50%.
- University of Purdue research studies confirmed that green tea compounds inhibit the growth of specified cancer cells.
- A 1990 study revealed that people who drank green tea lowered their rate of colon and rectal gland cancers. Other related studies have confirmed that tea drinkers were less likely to develop colorectal cancers than non drinkers.
- Indiana University School of Medicine researchers found that mice who were exposed to a liver carcinogen developed fewer tumors when they were given green tea compounds, suggesting that green tea helps prevent liver tumors.
- Mayo Clinic scientists found that the active green tea component, epigallocatechin gallate, was effective at killing prostate cancer cells.
- A report in Fundamental & Applied Toxicology revealed that mice who had green tea added to their diets developed fewer or no lung cancer tumors compared to the mice who did not have green tea added to their diet.
- The International Journal of Cancer reported a study among humans that concluded that the more green tea consumed, the less likely one is to develop pancreatic cancer.
- A report in Cancer magazine reported drinking green tea reduced the risk of developing stomach cancer in humans.
- A 25-year study of people drinking more than 8.5 ounces of tea daily revealed a lower risk of coronary heart disease than those whose green tea consumption was less.Also, the study found that the rate of first heart attacks and potential risk of dying from cholesterol-related heart disease issues was notably reduced.
- A Japanese study found an meaningful decrease in cholesterol levels among men who had a high intake of green tea. Other animal studies have confirmed these findings and revealed that green tea contributes to lower serum cholesterol levels.
- Scientists at Case Western University found that green tea antioxidants postpone the beginning of and decrease in the severity of one type of arthritis in mice.
- A test tube study in Europe revealed decreased movement of blood cells that cause inflammation when exposed to green tea antioxidates
- Research has showed that green tea protects liver cells by triggering the immune system to ward off the effects of alcohol and chemicals in cigarette smoke.
- Researchers at the University of Geneva in Switzerland found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo, suggesting the brew's positive contribution to weight loss.
- Information from human and animal studies demonstrate that green tea inhibits bacteria that causes cavities in teeth. Also, there is fluoride present in tea, which helps protect against cavities.
To garner the greatest health benefits of green tea, brew the leaves in their natural, original form – rather than use tea bags. Studies suggest that some commercial tea bags contain less then 10% of tea’s original antioxidant properties.
Please Note: Before starting a tea regimen for medicinal purposes, always consult with your doctor and discuss how and whether tea can play a role in your health care.
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