Health Benefits Of Green Tea

What is Green Tea ?

Green tea is a natural drink derived from the plant Camellia sinensis, especially from its leaves. Green tea is abundant in flavonoids, of which the most important are catechins and their derivatives. It consists of numerous catechins, mostly epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate and epigallocatechin-3-gallate. (1)

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Biochemical Properties

The most beneficial catechin in green tea is polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate that has potent anticancer and antioxidant effects. It has been linked to the cardiovascular disease prevention, weight reduction and radioprotective effects. (2)

Green tea is linked to the weight loss and may enhance humans metabolic processes. Its consumption may stimulate angiogenesis and proliferation of the new blood vessels.

Green tea is known by its antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidative potential. It is specific due to high levels of catechins.

Health Benefits Of Green Tea

1.Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder due to an impaired insulin secretion leading to hyperglycemia.

Health Benefits Of Green Tea

Green tea consumption is of beneficial effect in diabetic individuals. In a recent study it has been shown that in individuals that consumed minimum 6 portions of green tea, the risk of diabetes 2 was significantly lower. (3)

2.Periodontal Health

Green tea is of extreme benefit for the gum and teeth health due to its antiinflammatory effects. (4)

It is also linked to the prevention of bone resorption and inhibition of bacterial growth in periodontal disorders.

3.Weight Loss

The high intake of green tea has been linked to the stimulation of weight loss. Catechins in green tea are responsible for the significant weight loss reduction and it maintenance. (5)

4.Vision

Green tea is abundant in antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E and zeaxanthin, thus of extreme benefit in eye health. Catechins are easily absorbed in the eye tissue.

vision

Their preventive and therapeutic role has been confirmed in conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.

5.Blood Pressure

Hypertension is a worldwide burden. Green tea has been shown to be a regulatory factor in individuals with hypertension.

Green tea is rich in flavonoids that are protective in cardiovascular health. In certain studies it has been shown that individuals on a three months green tea regimen, had significantly lower blood pressure levels.

6.Antiinflammatory Effect

Green tea is rich in catechins that are powerful antioxidants. It has been shown that catechin decreases the levels of interleukin-8, an inflammation protein. (1)

7.Allergies

In individuals prone to allergic reactions, green tea consumption is able to reduce such disorders. It has been even shown that due to its potent antiallergenic attributes, it may even eliminate the allergic reaction.

Allergies

Recent studies have shown that epigallocatechin gallate in green tea blocks a cell receptor responsible for allergic reactions.(6)

8.Digestive System

In individuals with irritable bowel syndrome, green tea is a powerful regimen. Such effect is due to its effect on gastrointestinal microorganisms.

Anti Inflammatory substances in green tea may relieve the pressure and irritation of the stomach.

9.Depression

Green tea is of benefit in individuals with depression and chronic fatigue and anxiety. The reduction of depressive symptoms is due to high concentration of polyphenols, theanine, glutamine and caffeine in green tea.

10.Cardiovascular Effect

Green tea consumption is linked to the decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases. (7)

Due to polyphenols in green tea, there is a vasodilatation and increase in diameter of blood vessels that lowers blood pressure and decreases cholesterol level.

11.Atherosclerosis

Green tea consumption has been linked to the prevention of atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerotic plaque consist of calcium, fat and cholesterol. High antioxidant properties of green tea may prevent coronary artery disease,aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease, decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

12.Antibacterial Effects

The leaves of green tea have been shown to possess antibacterial effect, especially on E. coli urinary infections. (8)

13.Antibacterial Effects

Green tea is effective in individuals with frequent migraine headaches due to high caffeine concentration and anti inflammatory properties.

14.Mouth Odor

Due to its antibacterial properties, green tea is effective in maintaining oral cavity health. The antioxidants, such as polyphenols, are able to neutralize mouth odour.

15.Alzheimer

Green tea has been shown to reduce beta-amyloid plaque formation in the brain tissue. Thus, it delays the onset of memory impairment and cognitive decline.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate is responsible for the prevention of plaque formation. It is as well able to strengthen the brain tissue in case of any structural impairments. (9)

16.Cholesterolemia

Catechins in green tea may reduce the cholesterol concentration by inhibiting lipid absorption in the digestive system. (10)

17.Metabolic Syndrome

Catechins in green tea decrease cholesterol concentrations as well as postprandial high triglyceride levels.

 

Epicatechin gallate and epigallocatechin are the main active substances that inhibit pancreatic lipase activity. (11)

18.Skin Health

The effects of green tea compounds on skin are mostly the reduction of inflammatory process and neutralization of free radicals.(12) Such effect is due to epigallocatechin-3-gallate.

 

The topical application or oral intake of green tea polyphenols is linked to the inhibition of carcinogen substances such as chemicals and radioactive compounds.

19.Seasonal Cold

Green tea is rich in antioxidants, anti inflammatory substances and has antibacterial properties, it is helpful in respiratory virus infections. Catechin polyphenols are responsible for inhibiting influenza virus replication (A/H1N1, A/H3N2 and B virus).(13)

20.Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Green tea is powerful stimulant in individuals that suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (fatigue, aches, depression and fever).

An antioxidant, theanine, found in green tea stimulates energy renewal, neuroprotective effects, higher dopamine secretion and T -cell production. (14)

21.Teeth Health

Daily intake of green tea has protective effect on teeth health. It regulates microbial flora and prevents caries.

22.Warts

It has been shown that oral or topical application of green tea may reduce the formation of genital, sexually transmissive warts.

Catechins may enhance the healing process in warts tissue.(15)

23.Cancer

Green tea is able to prevent the growth of cancer cells due to epigallocatechin’s role in the induction of apoptosis in cancer cells. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate is able to inhibit tumor invasion and angiogenesis, thus preventing metastatic processes. (16)

Green tea extracts are linked to the inhibition of the cyclin D1 protein that is essential for cancer cell growth. (17)

24.Cervical Cancer

Green tea consumption shows beneficial effects in individuals suffering from HPV induced cervical dysplasia and cancer.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate is a potent antioxidant and may reduce the size of tumorous cells in formed cervical cancer. (18)

25.Kidney Disorders

The most common form of kidney stones are calcium oxalate stones. Green tea is able to prevent its formation and accumulation. (19)

26.Fungal Feet Infection

Green tea is helpful in treating an athlete’s fungal infection (tinea pedis). It can be applied topically or as an oral regimen.

27.Skin Health

Due to powerful antioxidant properties in green tea, it is highly recommended in skin care. It is also abundant in vitamin B, manganese, potassium, caffeine, folate and phytochemicals that are able to rejuvenate skin and reduce inflammatory process (acne, rosacea). (20)

28.Nicotine Consumption

In certain studies, high green tea intake has been shown to reduce the nicotine consumption. (21)

29.Down Syndrome

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate is antioxidant shown to be effective in fight against Down syndrome. It reduces the risk of cellular damage.

In individuals suffering from Down’s syndrome, green tea may be of help in the reduction of negative symptom such as neural impairment, behaviour and visual disorders. (22)

Possible Side Effects

  1. Insomnia – due to high levels of caffeine
  2. Tachycardia
  3. Gastrointestinal Disorders (diarrhea, vomiting)
  4. Pregnancy Complications (folic acid deficiency, birth defects)
  5. Glaucoma

References

  1. Wheeler DS et al. The green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate improves systemic hemodynamics and survival in rodent models of polymicrobial sepsis.Shock. 2007 Sep;28(3):353-9.
  2. Nagle DG. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG): chemical and biomedical perspectives.Phytochemistry. 2006 Sep;67(17):1849-55. Epub 2006 Jul 31.
  3. Hyun Min Kim. The Effects of Green Tea on Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.Diabetes Metab J. 2013 Jun; 37(3): 173–175.
  4. Anirban Chatterjee et al.Green tea: A boon for periodontal and general health. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2012 Apr-Jun; 16(2): 161–167.
  5. Jurgens. Green tea for weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight or obese adults.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Dec 12;
  6. Mari Maeda-Yamamoto.In vitro and in vivo anti-allergic effects of ‘benifuuki’ green tea containing O-methylated catechin and ginger extract enhancement.Cytotechnology. 2007 Dec; 55(2-3): 135–142.
  7. Sung I. Koo. Green Tea as Inhibitor of the Intestinal Absorption of Lipids: Potential Mechanism for its Lipid-Lowering Effect.J Nutr Biochem. 2007 Mar; 18(3): 179–183.
  8. Noormandi A, Dabaghzadeh F.Effects of green tea on Escherichia coli as a uropathogen.J Tradit Complement Med. 2014 Dec 16;5(1):15-20.