Drinking green tea has reached every corner of the U.S. due to its benefits; it’s almost as popular as black tea. In the last few decades, the benefits of green tea made it penetrated the American market. Green tea beverages and other products are on the shelves of every grocery and convenience store.
Green tea is drank hot or iced. Green tea powders are used in smoothies and other healthy drinks and recipes. It’s also sold in extracts, capsules, and used as an ingredient in many skincare products. The rise of green tea is due to its health benefits.
Green tea like its cousins black and oolong tea comes from the same Camellia Sinensis plant. However, they differ in how the leaves are processed and of course their taste. Green tea leaves are not oxidized; black tea is fully oxidized by drying the leaves, and oolong is in between the two being partially dried and oxidized.
Researched Benefits of Tea
In the last several decades, there’s been a rise in the study of green tea’s health either by drinking it as a beverage, from supplemental forms, or from extracted green tea phytochemicals. Here is some of the research showing green tea benefits.
Genital warts – The U. S. Food and Drug Administration approved a green tree extract used in prescription ointments for the treatment of genital warts caused by the human papillomavirus.
Blood pressure and cholesterol – Studies show that green tea can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) – Research funded by the British Heart Foundation and conducted by researchers at Lancaster University and University of Leeds found the compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) converted plague into smaller molecules. The findings suggest that EGCG in green tea can reduce types of heart disease and stroke caused by plaque.
Alzheimer’s Disease – The same researchers at Leeds and Lancaster who found green tea reduced plaque in blood vessels were researching the benefits of green tea for preventing Alzheimer’s. They found the EGCG reduced and altered the structure of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s brain. Amyloid plaque is linked to the development of Alzheimer’s.
Cognitive function and memory – Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland report that green tea extracts improved cognitive functions and working memory in clinical studies. The research showed that the extract increased the brain’s connectivity.
Rheumatoid arthritis – In animal studies at Washington State University, the phytochemical, EGCG, in green tea blocked inflammatory signals that cause inflammation and pain. The study was conducted to see if green tea would be beneficial for treating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Weight loss – A 16-week study on high-fat-fed mice at the Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences suggests green tea extracts combined with regular exercise may encourage weight loss. The amount of decaffeinated green tea used in the study equals about 8 to 10 cups a day.
Healthy teeth and gums – Regular consumption of green tea may prevent periodontal disease according to researchers at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. Authors of the study believe it’s the presence of antioxidant catechin in green tea that reduced inflammation and periodontal bacteria in the mouth.
Cancer – Many laboratory studies suggest that compounds in green tea, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and polyphenols, may prevent and fight cancer. Here are a few of the studies:
- Research from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute found EGCG and oxamate disrupted cancer cells in pancreatic cancer by upsetting their metabolism.
- The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland found intravenous extracts of green tea reduced skin cancer tumors in 40 percent of two different types.
- Population studies of men in Asian countries where green tea is regularly consumed showed lower risks of prostate cancer. A year-long study by Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Florida showed that men with pre-cancerous prostate lesions and concentrated amount of EGCG did not develop the next stage of cancer.
The study of green tea and its phytochemicals for health is relatively new. However, the research that has been done is promising; they show that green tea may help heal or prevent some diseases.
- Compound in green tea found to block rheumatoid arthritis. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160216181443.htm
- Component in green tea may help reduce prostate cancer in men at high risk. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150528145210.htm
- Drink Green Tea For Healthy Teeth and Gums (March 13, 2009). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305183128.htm
- Green Tea. Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/greentea
- Green tea extract boost your brain power, especially the working memory, new research shows (April 7, 2014). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407101545.htm
- Green tea molecule could prevent heart attacks (May 31, 2018). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180531190840.htm
- Intravenous Administration Of Green Tea Compound Shows Promise For Tackling Cancer. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/249386.php
- Mulhollem, Jeff. Research suggests that green tea, exercise boost weight loss, health (April 2, 2014). Retrieved from https://news.psu.edu/story
- Paddock, Catharine, Ph.D. Green tea component upsets cancer cell metabolism (June 2, 2014) Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277583.php