Benefits of Green Tea

Proven Benefits of Green Tea

All teas originate from the plant Camellia sinensis, however it is green tea that is the most influential in improving health, shown to be of benefit in a variety of health conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases. These benefits stem from polyphenolic compounds within the plant particularly the constituent catechins known for their antioxidant properties; meaning that they protect cells against oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. Theses catechins include epicatechin, epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) catechin, and gallocatechin (GC). Other constituents which contribute to health benefits are flavones, flavonols, phenolic acids, amino acids (theanine), caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine.1,2

Weight Loss & GUT Health

  • EGCG has been shown to increase AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) which optimises your cells metabolism, as well as fat and sugar burning.3,4
  • Drinking a cup of green tea prior to exercise is shown to improve the body’s use of fat for energy 5
  • EGCG protects the epithelial lining of the gut against damage from Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)6
  • Polyphenols in green tea help promote the growth of metabolically active Bacteroidetes bacteria in the gut7

Brain Health

  • Increase consumption of green tea lowers cognitive decline 8
  • Green tea is shown in animal studies to inhibit the pathways involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease9
  • In animal studies, green tea has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, EGCG protects the brain due to it’s to its antioxidant properties reducing inflammation and neurotoxicity 9
  • EGCG has been shown to be protective in neurons when they have been starved of oxygen 9

Cardiovascular health

  • Green tea lowers all markers related to cardiovascular health, including lowering the lipid profile and reducing oxidation of LDL cholesterol, improving vasculature, reducing development of atherosclerosis, lowering blood pressure, and inflammation 10
  • Green tea polyphenols also have anti-diabetic, anti-mutagenic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects 10

Cancer

  • There is evidence that green tea may prevent cancer specifically those related to the digestive tract11

A word on Brewing

Having come to the realisation that green tea is one of the most healthy drinks around I decided to make it part of my daily routine. Recently I was told that I had been brewing my green tea all wrong which was why I was finding it quite bitter. It seems that the water temperature is really important when making the perfect cup, boiling water is too hot, but if the water is too cool then there is minimal flavour or extraction of the constituents. The right temperature is between 60-80°C, depending on the quality, the better quality the lower the temp.

There are many types of green tea, based on where it has been grown, how it is cultivated and processed, for more information on types of green tea please visit http://www.teadiscussion.com/types/green-tea-types.php

Given the remarkable benefits of this drink I am sure that you will agree it is worth adding in to your daily routine!


References
1.Jiang, H., Engelhardt, U. H., Thräne, C., Maiwald, B., & Stark, J. (2015). Determination of flavonol glycosides in green tea, oolong tea and black tea by UHPLC compared to HPLC. Food Chemistry, 18330-35. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.03.024

2. Forester, S. & Lambert, J. (2011). Antioxidant effects of green tea. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 55(6), 844–854. doi:10.1002/mnfr.201000641. Retrieved from
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679539/.

3. Viollet, B., & Andreelli, F. (2011). AMP-activated protein kinase and metabolic control. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, (203), 303–330. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-17214-4_13.  Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3384586/

4. Chen, D., Pamu, S., Cui, Q., Chan, T. H., & Dou, Q. P. (2012). Novel epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) analogs activate AMP-activated protein kinase pathway and target cancer stem cells. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry,20(9), 3031–3037. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2012.03.002. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3334407/

5. Gahreman, D., Wang, R., Boutcher, Y., & Boutcher, S. (2015). Green Tea, Intermittent Sprinting Exercise, and Fat Oxidation. Nutrients, 7(7), 5646–5663. doi:10.3390/nu7075245. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4517022/

6. Carrasco-Pozo, C., Morales, P., & Gotteland, M. (2013). Polyphenols protect the epithelial barrier function of Caco-2 cells exposed to indomethacin through the modulation of occludin and zonula occludens-1 expression. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry, 61(22), 5291-5297. doi:10.1021/jf400150p. Retrieved from http://repositorio.uchile.cl/bitstream/handle/2250/124104/Polyphenols%20Protect.pdf?sequence=1

7. Rastmanesh, R. (2011). High polyphenol, low probiotic diet for weight loss because of intestinal microbiota interaction. Chemico-Biological Interactions, 189(1-2), 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.cbi.2010.10.002 Retrieved from Author’s personal copy.

8. Kuriyama, S., Hozawa, A., Ohmori, K., Shimazu, T., Matsui, T., Ebihara, S., & … Tsuji, I. (2006). Green tea consumption and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study from the Tsurugaya Project 1. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 83(2), 355-361. Retrieved from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/2/355.full

9. Zaveri, N. T. (2006). Green tea and its polyphenolic catechins: medicinal uses in cancer and noncancer applications. Life Sciences, 78(18), 2073-2080.

10. Babu, P. A., & Liu, D. (2008). Green tea catechins and cardiovascular health: an update. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 15(18), 1840-1850. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2748751/

11. Yuan, J.-M. (2013). Cancer prevention by green tea: evidence from epidemiologic studies. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98(6), 1676S–1681S. doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.058271 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3831544/