Health Effects of Green Tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks you can consume, but what are the actual health benefits of drinking it and are there any studies on green tea?

 
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For over 5,000 years, Green Tea has been brewed and drank for a wide variety of health benefits. The ancient Chinese believed it could do everything from cure tumors to enhance virility. The emperor Shennong used it to treat bladder infections and gave it to his staff to ward off laziness.

Modern studies have claimed it helps with weight loss, liver disease, and even bad breath. But what does Green Tea really do for your health? The topic is a hotly contested one. Millions (if not billions, taking the Eastern countries into account) of people swear by it, countless dollars have gone into researching its effects, and it has easily become a trillion dollar industry. The positive effects of green tea, and their specific causes, are just now coming to light.

Positive Effects Of Green Tea

Green tea contains polyphenols, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), and minerals such as manganese, zinc, chromium, and selenium. It is a much better antioxidant than black tea, and can be drunk in large quantities. Clinical studies on humans have suggested that, among other things, green tea can reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, kidney stones, and cavities whilst simultaneously improving mental function and bone density. Studies on animals have shown that green tea can reduce cholesterol, though the same studies on humans have proven less conclusive.

 

A study performed by a Birmingham University in the United Kingdom provided evidence that fat oxidation rates increased 17% after consumption of green tea extract versus ingestion of a placebo. Additionally, this increased fat oxidation contributed to overall energy expenditure by a similar amount, suggesting that green tea can be a potent aid in weight loss.

 

A Scottish university sought to determine the effects of short term green tea consumption by asking a group of students to drink four cups a day for two weeks without otherwise changing their diet. They found that these students exhibited reduced blood pressure, total cholesterol, and body fat. This led them to determine that green tea can help reduce a number of primary risk factors for cardiovascular disease, especially in obese individuals where weight is a major problem.

A study performed at the Israel Institute of Technology found that the main antioxidant found in Green Tea extract, EGCG, helped to prevent the death of brain cells, as well as rescue ones in the process of dying off, in mice infected with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. These findings are currently being extended on early stage human Parkinson’s patients in China under the Michael J. Fox foundation.

In a case study of over 2,000 women, ingestion of green tea and mushrooms led to a 90% less likelihood of Breast Cancer.
Studies in China have also shown that green tea is effective, at least in the short term, at preventing stress on the eye and thus reducing the risk of glaucoma or other eye diseases.

Green tea also contains caffeine, which on its own has a whole bevy of health effects both positive and potentially harmful. Additionally, there are practically thousands of unfounded health claims associated with green tea amongst the proven ones. As always, research is your best tool at navigating these claims.

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