The HeaIthiest Drink: 20 Benefits Of Green Tea

Currently, tea in the form of green or black tea, next to water, is the most widely consumed beverage in
the world. According to Chinese legends, tea was discovered by the Emperor Shen Nong in about 2700
BC, when a gust of wind blew tea leaves into a kettle of boiling water.

Teas contain poIyphenoIs which act as antioxidants and exhibit numerous biochemical activities. Tea
polyphenols consist mostly of catechins, the most powerful of which is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
which is found only in green tea. Since ancient times green tea has been considered a health-promoting
beverage and currently researchers find more convincing proof of healing qualities of green tea.
Based on the growing range of studies that research health properties of green tea, Ì made this list of
clear benefits you can get with regular green tea drinking.
1Longevity
Green tea may protect against death from all causes, especially cardiovascular disease. Japanese
researchers
[1]
analyzed data from a National Cohort Study that began in 1994 and had over 40,000
participants, age 40 to 79, who began the study free of stroke, heart disease and cancer. People were
followed for up to 11 years.
Compared with participants who consumed less than 1 cup of green tea per day, those drinking 5 or more
cups a day had a significantly lower risk of death from all causes, especially lower risk of dying from
cardiovascular disease and stroke. The findings might explain in part the reason why the Japanese live
longer than people in any other country. However, this study found no cancer prevention benefit of green
tea.
2257oved 2e2o7y and lea7ning ability
One of the important health benefits of regular green tea drinking is improved memory and learning
ability. Population-based study
[2]
in Japan revealed that high green tea drinking maintains cognitive
function. Also, according to the results from animal studies
[3-4]
, green tea consumption may enhance
learning and memory ability.
The main components of green tea that are thought to work on improving brain function are polyphenols,
epigalochatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a very strong antioxidant. The high use of oxygen during the
metabolic processes leads to the generation of a large number of free radicals (a highly reactive
molecules). EGCG can penetrate the brain's blood barrier and is able to enact its antioxidative affects on
the free radicals that cause damage in the brain.
3eight cont7ol
There is strong evidence that green tea has fat-burning properties and promotes weight loss, especially
when combined with increased physical activity and a healthy diet. Green tea polyphenols are known to
promote weight loss by increasing the metabolism of fats by the liver (thermogenic effect), inhibiting
lipase (fat absorption enzyme) in the digestive tract, and providing a feeling of satiety and fullness
[5]
.
Recent high-quality study
[6]
demonstrated that green tea can reduce body weight in obese persons by
increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation. The results of new Japanese study
[7]
also confirm fat-
burning properties of green tea. Researches found that continuous ingestion of a green tea extract high in
catechins led to a reduction in body fat, systolic blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol, that in its turn
contributes to a decrease in obesity and cardiovascular disease risks.
4$in 57otection f7o2 Ult7aviolet
Green tea polyphenols protect the skin against the adverse effects of ultraviolet radiation such as UV-
induced sunburn, UV-induced immunosuppression and photoaging of the skin. They exert their
photoprotective effects by various cellular, molecular and biochemical mechanisms
[8-9]
. Also, green tea
polyphenols protect the skin by improving the elastic tissues
[10]
.
5holeste7ol-lowe7ing effect
Green tea lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels and improves the ratio of HDL cholesterol to
LDL cholesterol. Studies
[11-13]
have shown that people who drink green tea as a daily part of their diet have
lower cholesterol levels than those who do not drink any green tea.
Researchers believe that one of the underlying mechanisms by which green tea lowers blood cholesterol
levels is by reducing lipids absorption in the digestive tract and promoting their excretion from the body
[14]
.
6!7otection against diabetes and 7egulation of blood glucose levels
Green tea has been traditionally used to control blood sugar. Recent evidence also suggests green tea
may help regulate the blood sugar and reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. People who are frequent
drinkers of green tea (>6 cups per day) are less likely to develop diabetes than those who drink less than
1 cup of the beverage per week
[15]
. Green tea antidiabetic effect may be partly explained by its caffeine
content.
New Japanese study
[16]
demonstrated that daily intake of green tea extract lowered the hemoglobin A1c
level in people with borderline diabetes, that indicates the increased body's ability to utilize blood sugar.
Hemoglobin A1c is a test that measures the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin in blood. Glycosylated
hemoglobin is a molecule in red blood cells that attaches to glucose, a blood sugar. People have more
glycosylated hemoglobin if they have more glucose in the blood.
7ea7t 57otective effects: Asian 5a7adox
Green tea may protect against heart disease. Researchers say green tea might explain the "Asian
paradox" - when people living in Asian countries smoke cigarettes heavily, but have relatively low
incidence of heart disease. Japanese studies
[17-19]
confirm that regular green tea consumption provides
protection against coronary artery disease. The more green tea people consume the less likely they are
to have coronary artery disease. Underlying mechanisms for the heart beneficial effects of tea include
vasculoprotective, antioxidative, antithrombogenic, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering properties
of tea flavonoids.
There is a clear evidence that consumption of green tea can promote cardioprotection and reduce heart
muscle cells death after a heart attack (myocardial infarction)
[20]
. The primary catechin in green tea,
EGCG, prevents heart muscle damage by blocking the activation of inflammation-related compounds that
promote the oxidative damage that kills heart cells in heart attack. EGCG also appears to speed up the
recovery of heart cells.
8Anti-hy5e7tensive effect
Green tea lowers blood pressure and helps prevent hypertension. Tea increases body's production of
nitric oxide, which dilates arteries and thereby reduces blood pressure
[21-22]
. A study
[23]
published in the July
2004 issue of the Archives of Ìnternal Medicine found that among persons consuming tea regularly for at
least one year, the risk of developing high blood pressure was 46% lower among those who drank 1/2
cup to 2 1/2 cups per day, and 65% less among those consuming more than 2 1/2 cups per day.
9$t7oe 57evention
Green tea shows promise in the prevention of stroke
[1, 24]
. Furthermore, the green tea polyphenols,
particularly EGCG, have been shown to protect brain cells from destructive processes following stroke
[25-26]
.
10!7evention of cognitive i25ai72ent and neu7odegene7ative diseases
(Alzhei2e7s and !a7insons Diseases)
Green tea is neuroprotective, and may reduce the risk of degenerative disorders of the central nervous
system, such as cognitive decline, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Green tea catechin
polyphenols produce several neuroprotective activities like iron chelation, scavenging of radicals,
activation of survival genes and cell signaling pathways, anti-inflammatory activities, and inhibitory action
on Abeta fibrils/oligomers formation
[27, 29]
. All of these biological effects result in a lessening of damage to
brain cells.
Recently, Japan scientists have discovered that people who consumed more than 2 cups of green tea a
day had a 50% lower chance of having cognitive impairment, in comparison to those who drank fewer
than 2 cups a day, or who consumed other tested beverages
[28]
.
11Athe7oscle7osis 57evention
Regular green tea drinking may be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis, a
disease in which plaque builds up on the insides of the arteries
[30]
. Green tea has been shown to
effectively lower the risk of atherosclerosis by lowering LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, lipid peroxides (free
radicals that damage LDL cholesterol and other lipids) and fibrinogen (a protein in the blood involved in
the formation of blood clots). Green tea is a powerful antioxidant and protects LDL cholesterol from
oxidation
[31-32]
. Oxidized cholesterol gets sticky and tends to cling to the walls of he arteries, leading to the
development of atherosclerosis.
12Anticlotting effect
Green tea also appears to prevent the formation of blood clots (thrombosis). Green tea catechins produce
potent antithrombotic effect by inhibition of platelet aggregation (blood clot formation)
[33]
.
13nc7eased exe7cise endu7ance
Animal studies indicate that green tea increases exercise endurance. Green tea catechins increase
metabolic capacity and utilization of fatty acid as a source of energy in skeletal muscle during exercise
[34]
.
!7otection f7o2 negative effects of s2oing
According to the creditable study
[35]
regular green tea drinking may protect smokers from oxidative
damages and reduce cancer risk or other diseases caused by free radicals associated with smoking.
Green tea consumption may be effective to prevent future cardiovascular disorders in chronic smokers
[36-
37]
.
15one 2ine7al density inc7ease
Green tea drinking may prevent osteoporosis and bone loss. Researchers at the University of Tokyo
[38]

have shown that drinking green tea may increase bone mineral density. Australian researchers
[39]
report
that bone mineral density is 2.8% greater in tea drinkers than non-drinkers. Ìn a 5-year prospective trial
not only was tea drinkers' total BMD 2.8% higher than non-tea drinkers, but over the course of 4 years,
tea drinkers lost an average of 1.6% of their total hip bone mineral density , while non-tea drinkers lost
more than twice as much (4%).
16%ooth decay (dental ca7ies) 57evention
Green tea is effective and proven remedy to prevent tooth decay. Ìt kills the bacteria that cause dental
plaques and halitosis (bad breath) and increases the acid resistance of tooth enamel
[40-42]
.
17A7th7itis
Green tea may help people with arthritis by reducing inflammation and slowing cartilage breakdown
[43]
.
18Anti2ic7obal activity
Green tea catechins have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activity
[44]
. These include some types of
salmonella, influenza virus and herpes simplex. Ìts bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food
poisoning. A US study
[45]
suggests a component of green tea may be useful in treating severe sepsis, an
abnormal immune system response to a bacterial infection.
19Live7 57otection
Green tea appears to support healthy liver. Population-based study
[46]
has shown that men who drink more
than 10 cups of green tea per day are less likely to develop disorders of the liver. Animal studies
[47]

demonstrated that green tea helps to protect liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances such as
alcohol.
20ast7ointestinal t7act effects
Ìn the gastrointestinal tract, green tea was found to activate intracellular antioxidants and reduce
inflammation. High green tea consumption (more than 10 cups per day) may prevent chronic atrophic
gastritis
[48]
. Also, green tea may help reduce inflammation associated with Crohn's disease and ulcerative
colitis, the two types of Ìnflammatory Bowel Disease (ÌBD).

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