Green Tea ---Top 10 Health Benefits of
Drinking Green Tea

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March 22, 2009, last updated November 21, 2012

By Natalia Real, Contributing Columnist and
Editors, CollectiveWizdom













Humans have been drinking tea for thousands of years.
Most experts date the earliest consumption of tea as a drink
to China 2700 B.C. Europe discovered the lure of tea after
Dutch traders visited China. Now, tea is the most popular
drink on the planet, according to the U.K. Tea Council. But
not all tea is created equal.  

Among teas, green tea, technically known as "camellia
sinesis", has been studied extensively for its medicinal
properties. In an ever-growing list of research studies
about green tea, drinking green tea has been found to
prevent or inhibit the development of a range of diseases
and conditions, from heart disease to Alzheimer's.

The active ingredients in green tea responsible for its broad
healing effects are anti-oxidants including polyphenols,
catechins and a compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate
(EGCG). These compounds may work in complex ways to
reduce the inflammatory conditions in your body which are
the necessary environment for many chronic diseases such
as heart disease.

Here is a summary of the list of health benefits of drinking
green tea, gathered from scientific research from around
the world:

1.        
Green Tea Helps Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
The polyphenols in green tea help prevent the oxidation of
LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, reducing heart disease risk by
keeping arteries clean, and increases HDL (“good”)
cholesterol. Population-based clinical studies concluded
that the tea’s antioxidants help prevent atherosclerosis
(
clogged arteries), heart attack, stroke, and coronary
artery disease in particular, according to the University of
Maryland Medical Center and other sources.

Both green and black tea help to prevent cardiovascular
damage and strokes, according to several studies, including
R&D Unilever in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands.

Interestingly, even though both green and black tea have
been found to increase the dilation of the inner lining of
blood vessels, no study has found that green tea lowers
blood pressure. In fact, in the
only study directly on point
from the University of Western Australia in 1999, both
green and black tea slightly raised blood pressure.

2.        
Green Tea Helps Prevent Cancer – Many studies
have linked green tea to a decreased risk of skin, breast,
lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder cancer. Some
researchers believe the polyphenols in green tea help stop
and kill cancer by cutting off blood supply to cancerous
cells. A study in the January 2009 edition of Cancer
Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention found that at
least three cups of green tea per day lowered women’s
chances of acquiring breast cancer by 37%, as compared
to non-green-tea-drinking women. (Read more on
cancer-
fighting foods).























3.        
Green Tea Helps Prevent stress – Green tea’s
copious catechins (antioxidants) reduce the body’s mental
and physical responses to stress. (Read more
foods that
help reduce stress.)

4.        
Stay sharp – Green tea increases mental alertness
(in part due to its low caffeine content) and cognition.
Regular consumption helps preserve memory function and
prevent memory loss. (Here are other
natural remedies to
improve memory.)

5.        
Stay young inside and out – Studies have shown
that catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E for
fighting free radicals: catechins thwart oxidative damage to
cells and employ disease-fighting properties with more
spunk. Maybe it’s because of all the tea I drink that one
recent morning a man asked me why I wasn’t in school,
since apparently I look 16!

6.        Stay strong – The antioxidants in green tea rev up
your immune system so it can better fight off free radicals
each day and shelter you from illness. The catechins’
antibiotic properties disrupt a specific stage of the bacterial
DNA replication process. Marvel at all the money you’ll save
by not having to buy tissues and cold medicine in bulk
anymore.

7.        
Accelerate weight loss – Clinical studies strongly
suggest that, probably due to the catechins, green tea
extract boosts metabolism and thereby helps burn fat
faster.

8.        
Fight rheumatoid arthritis – A study conducted by
the University of Michigan found that epigallocatechin-3-
gallate (EGCG) may reduce pain, inflammation, joint
damage, and slow cartilage breakdown. EGCG is many
times more potent an antioxidant than vitamin E.
Researchers say it blocks two potent molecules that cause
bone breakdown in arthritic joints, as well as the
production of prostaglandin E2, which causes joint
inflammation.

9.        
Prevent Alzheimer’s – A study indicated that green
tea inhibits three enzymes linked to the development of
Alzheimer’s. Another study supported the conclusion, but
suggested green tea extract with concentrated EGCG may
be more effective than regular amounts. (Read more about
foods that help fight Alzheimer's).

10.        
Green Tea Helps Counteract Dangers of Smoking
In May 2006, researchers at
Yale University School of
Medicine concluded that the 1.2 liters (about 40.5 ounces
or 5 cups) of green tea Asians drink per day counteract the
harmful heart disease and cancer effects resulting from
their high rates of smoking. A Chinese study found that
smokers who drink green tea suffered from cancer of the
esophagus less than non-tea-drinking smokers. (Of course,
if you smoke, your best bet is to quit rather than try to
compensate by chugging green tea all day.)

How much you should drink depends on whom you ask:
anywhere from 3-10 cups per day is beneficial. Let tea bags
steep for up to five minutes for best catechin release. Drink
freshly brewed tea; decaf, bottled, and instant teas have
fewer amounts of the tea’s compounds. Keep in mind that
green tea can interfere with iron absorption from plant
foods; this can be solved by adding lemon or milk to the
tea, or drinking the tea between meals. Another option is
green tea extract, which will spare you the caffeine and tea-
stained cups all over your desk.

Update:

11.
Green Tea Helps Prevent Bad Breath and Gum Disease

A 2011 study by researchers from the Narayana Dental
College and Hospital observed that green tea decreases the
incidence of periodontal disease and bad breath. Green tea
contains a compound called EGCG  which deodorizes and
methyl mercaptain. Methyl mercaptain is one of the main
causes of halitosis, bad breath.  You'll need to use green
teas as a mouth wash for four weeks to see results.

This same helpful EGCG compound in green tea also
interferes with the ability of gum disease agents
(Porphyromonas gingivalis) to adhere to the cells of your
mouth. (Read more about
how to kill bacteria between
your teeth.)


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