Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Health Benefits of Green Tea - Fact or Fairytale?

The Case For Green Tea
Here are some examples. The Chinese have been using it for thousands of years to treat everything from headaches to depression and some of those claims are now starting to be verified by scientific research. Green tea devotees claim that is has many health benefits.
In addition, researchers at the University of Purdue concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Cancer: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of a study in 1994 which indicated that drinking green tea reduced the risk of oesophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent. 1.
It improves the ratio of HDL cholesterol (that's the good kind) to LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). Cholesterol: Some research indicates that drinking green tea can lower your overall cholesterol levels. 2.
In other words the green tea accentuated the stimulant properties of caffeine which raise the metabolic rate. University researchers 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. Weight Loss: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results in 1999 of a study conducted at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

Tooth Decay: Green tea kills the bacteria that causes dental plaque, thus helping to prevent tooth decay. 4.
Skin preparations containing green tea - from deodorants to creams - are starting to appear on the market. Infection: Green tea's anti-bacterial properties mean that it can also be used to fight infections and to prevent food poisoning. 5.
What Is Green Tea's Magic Ingredient?
EGCG has also been shown to be effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots that are the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant that can inhibit, or even stop, the growth of cancer cells without harming normal healthy tissue. The benefits you can get from green tea arise because it is rich in beneficial antioxidants, in particular EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate).
EGCG is twice as powerful as another beneficial antioxidant called resveratrol. This antioxidant occurs in red wine and is the main reason why the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans, even though they have a diet rich in fats, dairy produce and red meat.
The fermentation means the EGCG is converted into other compounds that are not as beneficial. The other part of the secret behind green tea is that the leaves of the same Camellia sinensis plant but the leaves are fermented during processing.
The Case Against Green Tea
On the other hand, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a report in May 2006 stating there is no credible scientific evidence that drinking green tea reduces the risk of heart disease.
The FDA report said it reviewed 105 articles and other publications submitted as part of the petition, but it could not find any evidence to support claims of the beverage's health benefits.
Are There Any Harmful Side Effects?
As you could reasonably expect, if you drink too much green tea you may suffer from insomnia and to date, insomnia is the only negative side effect reported from drinking green tea. Green tea does contain caffeine, however it contains less than coffee - approx one third to just over half the amount for the same weight.
Better put the kettle on! So it seems you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by drinking it. Green tea can certainly do you no harm, except to keep you awake at night if you drink too much, whether because of the caffeine or the frequent trips to the bathroom. Research is now steadily accumulating scientific evidence that proves these benefits.

Green tea has been recognized for its curative properties for thousands of years.


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