The benefits of green tea

Green tea – Camellia sinensis from the Camellia (Theaceae) family…

Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world today, second only to water, and its medicinal properties have been widely explored. It is an evergreen shrub or tree and can grow to heights of 30 feet, but is usually pruned to 2-5 feet for cultivation. Unlike black and oolong tea, green tea production does not involve oxidation (burning) of young tea leaves. Green tea is produced from steaming fresh leaves at high temperatures. The polyphenols found in tea are more commonly known as flavanols or catechins and comprise 30-40 percent of the extractable solids of dried green tea leaves.

Why is it so fantastic?

Green tea polyphenols have demonstrated significant antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, thermogenic, probiotic, and antimicrobial properties, in numerous human, animal and in vitro studies. Studies from the large populations of Asia have shown vast protection in health and vitality issues such as protection from cancer to increased longevity and cognitive function….

 Green tea’s thermogenic properties suggest sustained stimulation of thermogenisis – i.e. you burn more calories therefore contributes to weight loss….(Asian populations drink substantial volumes of Green tea, the Japanese,  Koreans etc certainly don’t have the obesity problems of Australia.)  Green tea catechins have been shown to significantly raise levels of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria the beneficial gut bacteria while decreasing levels of numerous potential pathogens which suggests digestive health benefits. Several studies have demonstrated green tea polyphenols’ preventative and inhibitory effects in opposition to cancer formation and growth, particularly effective in preventing cancer of the prostate, breast, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, and colon. There is also some evidence that green tea polyphenols may be inhibitory toward lung, skin, and liver cancer, bladder and ovarian tumours, leukaemia and oral leukoplakia.

Effects on chronic disease

Many chronic disease states and inflammatory conditions are a result of oxidative stress and subsequent generation of free radicals – a rusting, aging type process. Some of these include heart disease, renal disease, several types of cancer, skin exposure damage, as well as diseases associated with aging. Green tea polyphenols are potent free radical scavengers (antioxidants) Green tea complexes unite with free radicals and neutralize them, preventing the progression of the disease process. This effect then shows value against many ageing processes including arthritis prevention, cardiovascular disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s and many other common maladies’…

 An in vitro study also demonstrated green tea’s antimicrobial activity hostile to a variety of gram-positive and gram-negative pathogenic bacteria that cause cystitis, pyelonephritis, diarrhea, dental caries, pneumonia, and skin infections.

 Summary of green tea benefits

Vascular protectivePrevents dental plaqueLowes BPLowers cholesterolIncreases digestion
Reduces weightJoint protectiveAntiviralAntioxidantDiuretic
ProbioticDetoxificationAnti ageingBreast protectiveAnticancer agent

How much should I drink?

Green tea is generally considered a safe, non-toxic beverage and consumption is usually without side-effects. The average cup of green tea, however, contains from 10-50 mg of caffeine and overconsumption may cause insomnia, nervousness, and tachycardia in some sensitive individuals. The dosage for green tea beverage varies, depending on the desired therapeutic effect. The phenolic content of green tea infusion is between 50-100 mg polyphenols per cup, with typical dosages ranging from 3 to 10 cups per day. Cancer preventative effects are usually associated with dosages in the higher end of the range. Green tea extracts standardized to 80-percent total polyphenols are dosed at an average of 500-1500 mg per day. Unlike many foods, Green Tea may be consumed in a “the more the merrier fashion”.  Each tablet of Vitanox has the equivalent of 2 cups of green tea; as such two tablets daily will be very useful… Green tea – it’s just good for you…

 Green Tea burns the weight off…

Recent studies on green tea’s thermogenic properties have demonstrated a synergistic interaction between caffeine and catechin polyphenols that appears to prolong sympathetic stimulation of thermogenesis. A human study of green tea extract containing 90 mg EGCG taken three times daily concluded that men taking the extract burned 266 more calories per day than did those in the placebo group and that green tea extract’s thermogenic effects may play a role in controlling obesity…(the average person burns around 300 calories per hour walking…)

Palmetto for prostate problems

JAMA published a favorable review on Saw Palmetto for relieving the uncomfortable urinary symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The Journal reviewed 18 controlled studies on Saw Palmetto. Symptoms of BPH, such as difficult urination and more frequent night time urination, affect roughly 50 percent of American men between the ages of 40 and 59, at an annual treatment cost of more than $2 billion. In this review, the authors concluded that Saw Palmetto was just as effective as the standard drug Finasteride (Proscar®) in relieving the symptoms of moderate BPH [Wilt et al., 1998]. The native American plant is also associated with fewer side effects and costs significantly less than conventional drug therapies. Currently, Saw Palmetto is the physician’s first choice for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia in Germany and Austria. Jama -1998

Intestinal Dysbiosis and Infection

A small study in Japan demonstrated a special green tea catechin preparation (30.5% EGCG)was able to positively affect intestinal dysbiosis in nursing home patients by raising levels of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria while lowering levels of Enterobacteriaceae, Bacteroidaceae, and eubacteria. Levels of pathogenic bacterial metabolites were also decreased…

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