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Top 10 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Green Tea

Top 10 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Green Tea

 

Top 10 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Green Tea

Here are the top 10 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Green Tea. This article is based on 56 scientific evidences, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet.

It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.

These include improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other impressive benefits.

  1. Contains Bioactive Compounds That Improve Health
  2. Compounds in Green Tea Can Improve Brain Function and Make You Smarter
  3. Increases Fat Burning and Improves Physical Performance
  4. Antioxidants in Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Some Types of Cancer
  5. May Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Lowering Your Risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
  6. Can Kill Bacteria, Which Improves Dental Health and Lowers Your Risk of Infection
  7. May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  8. May Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
  9. Can Help You Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Obesity
  10. May Help You Live Longer

Below are 10 health benefits of green tea that are supported by studies.

1. Green Tea Contains Bioactive Compounds That Improve Health

Green tea is more than just liquid.

Many of the plant compounds in the tea leaves do make it into the final drink, which contains large amounts of important nutrients. 1

Tea is rich in polyphenols that have effects like reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer.

Green tea is about 30 percent polyphenols by weight, including large amounts of a catechin called EGCG. Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits.

These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a role in aging and all sorts of diseases.

EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is one of the most powerful compounds in green tea. It has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties.2

Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are important for health.

Try to choose a higher quality brand of green tea, because some of the lower quality brands can contain excessive amounts of fluoride.3

That being said, even if you choose a lower quality brand, the benefits still far outweigh any risk.

Summary

Green tea is loaded with polyphenol antioxidants, including a catechin called EGCG. These antioxidants can have various beneficial effects on health.

2. Compounds in Green Tea Can Improve Brain Function and Make You Smarter

Green tea does more than just keep you awake, it can also make you smarter.

The key active ingredient is caffeine, which is a known stimulant.

It doesn't contain as much as coffee, but enough to produce a response without causing the "jittery" effects associated with too much caffeine.

What caffeine does in the brain is to block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. This way, it actually increases the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.4,5

Caffeine has been intensively studied before and consistently leads to improvements in various aspects of brain function, including improved mood, vigilance, reaction time and memory.6

However, green tea contains more than just caffeine. It also has the amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.7

L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain.7,8,9

Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine can have synergistic effects. The combination of the two is particularly potent at improving brain function.10,11

Because of the L-theanine and the smaller dose of caffeine, green tea can give you a much milder and different kind of "buzz" than coffee.

Many people report having more stable energy and being much more productive when they drink green tea, compared to coffee.

Summary

Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but enough to produce an effect. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function.

 

3. Green Tea Increases Fat Burning and Improves Physical Performance

If you look at the ingredients list for any fat burning supplement, chances are that green tea will be on there.

This is because green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate, in human controlled trials.12,13

In one study in 10 healthy men, green tea increased energy expenditure by 4%.14

Another study showed that fat oxidation was increased by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat.15

However, some studies on green tea don't show any increase in metabolism, so the effects may depend on the individual.16

Caffeine itself has also been shown to improve physical performance by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues and making them available for use as energy.17,18

In two separate review studies, caffeine has been shown to increase physical performance by 11-12%, on average.19,20

Summary

Green tea has been shown to boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning in the short term, although not all studies agree.

4. Antioxidants in Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Some Types of Cancer

Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells. It is one of the world's leading causes of death.

It is known that oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer and that antioxidants may have a protective effect.21

Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, so it makes sense that it could reduce your risk of cancer, which it appears to do:

  • Breast cancer: A meta-analysis of observational studies found that women who drank the most green tea had a 20-30% lower risk of developing breast cancer, the most common cancer in women;22
  • Prostate cancer: One study found that men drinking green tea had a 48% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men;23
  • Colorectal cancer: An analysis of 29 studies showed that those drinking green tea were up to 42% less likely to develop colorectal cancer.24

Many observational studies have shown that green tea drinkers are less likely to develop several types of cancer. However, more high-quality research is needed to confirm these effects.25,26

It is important to keep in mind that it may be a bad idea to put milk in your tea, because some studies suggest it reduces the antioxidant value.27

Summary

Green tea has powerful antioxidants that may protect against cancer. Multiple studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of various types of cancer.

 

5. Green Tea May Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Lowering Your Risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Not only can green tea improve brain function in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in humans and a leading cause of dementia.

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and involves the death of dopamine producing neurons in the brain.

Multiple studies show that the catechin compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons in test tubes and animal models, potentially lowering the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.28,29,30

Summary

The bioactive compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on the brain. They may reduce the risk of both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, the two most common neurodegenerative disorders.

6. Green Tea Can Kill Bacteria, Which Improves Dental Health and Lowers Your Risk of Infection

The catechins in green tea also have other biological effects.

Some studies show that they can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections.31,32,33,34

Streptococcus mutans is the primary harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque formation and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay.

Studies show that the catechins in green tea can inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans. Green tea consumption is associated with improved dental health and a lower risk of caries.35,36,37,38

Multiple studies also show that green tea can reduce bad breath.39,40

Summary

The catechins in green tea may inhibit the growth of bacteria and some viruses. This can lower the risk of infections and lead to improvements in dental health, a lower risk of caries and reduced bad breath.

 

7. Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the past few decades and now afflicts about 400 million people worldwide.

This disease involves having elevated blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.

Studies show that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.41

One study in Japanese individuals found that those who drank the most green tea had a 42% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.42

According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic.43

Summary

Some controlled trials show that green tea can cause mild reductions in blood sugar levels. It may also lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

8. Green Tea May Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the biggest causes of death in the world.44

Studies show that green tea can improve some of the main risk factors for these diseases.

This includes total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.45

Green tea also dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the blood, which protects the LDL particles from oxidation, which is one part of the pathway towards heart disease.46,47

Given the beneficial effects on risk factors, it is not surprising to see that green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.48,49,50

Summary

Green tea has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol, as well as protect the LDL particles from oxidation. Observational studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

9. Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Obesity

Given that green tea can boost the metabolic rate in the short term, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight.

Several studies show that green tea leads to decreases in body fat, especially in the abdominal area.51,52

One of these studies was a 12-week randomized controlled trial in 240 men and women. In this study, the green tea group had significant decreases in body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference and belly fat.53

However, some studies don't show a statistically significant increases in weight loss with green tea, so this needs to be taken with a grain of salt.54

Summary

Some studies show that green tea leads to increased weight loss. It may be particularly effective at reducing the dangerous abdominal fat.

10. Green Tea May Help You Live Longer

Of course, we all have to die eventually. That is inevitable.

However, given that green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, it makes sense that it could help you live longer.

In a study of 40,530 Japanese adults, those who drank the most green tea (5 or more cups per day) were significantly less likely to die during an 11 year period:55

  • Death of all causes: 23% lower in women, 12% lower in men;
  • Death from heart disease: 31% lower in women, 22% lower in men;
  • Death from stroke: 42% lower in women, 35% lower in men.

Another study in 14,001 elderly Japanese individuals aged found that those who drank the most green tea were 76% less likely to die during the 6 year study period.56

Summary

Studies show that green tea drinkers are likely to live longer than non-tea drinkers.

The Bottom Line

If you want to buy quality organic green tea (or green tea extract), then there is an excellent selection with thousands of customer reviews on Amazon.

In order to feel better, lose weight and lower your risk of chronic diseases, then you might want to consider making green tea a regular part of your life.

Original article written by Kris Gunnars, BSc on January 17, 2018

 

Sources


1. Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review.

2. Molecular understanding of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

3. Fluoride content in tea and its relationship with tea quality.

4. Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic and psychostimulant effects.

5. Adenosine, Adenosine Receptors and the Actions of Caffeine.

6. The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks.

7. L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state.

8. The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent.

9. Involvement of GABA(A) receptors in the neuroprotective effect of theanine on focal cerebral ischemia in mice.

10. L-theanine and caffeine in combination affect human cognition as evidenced by oscillatory alpha-band activity and attention task performance.

11. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood.

12. Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea.

13. Green tea for weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight or obese adults.

14. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans.

15. Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans.

16. Effect of moderate intakes of different tea catechins and caffeine on acute measures of energy metabolism under sedentary conditions.

17. Caffeine use in sports, pharmacokinetics in man, and cellular mechanisms of action.

18. The Effects of Preexercise Caffeinated Coffee Ingestion on Endurance Performance: An Evidence-Based Review.

19. Effects of caffeine ingestion on rating of perceived exertion during and after exercise: a meta-analysis.

20. Effects of caffeine ingestion on exercise testing: a meta-analysis.

21. Oxidative stress, inflammation, and cancer: How are they linked?.

22. Green tea consumption and breast cancer risk or recurrence: a meta-analysis.

23. Green tea consumption and prostate cancer risk in Japanese men: a prospective study.

24. An inverse association between tea consumption and colorectal cancer risk.

25. Cancer-Preventive Effects of Drinking Green Tea among a Japanese Population.

26. Cancer prevention by green tea: evidence from epidemiologic studies.

27. Addition of whole, semiskimmed, and skimmed bovine milk reduces the total antioxidant capacity of black tea.

28. Neurological mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

29. Simultaneous manipulation of multiple brain targets by green tea catechins: a potential neuroprotective strategy for Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases.

30. Tea Polyphenols in Parkinson's Disease.

31. Anti-infective properties of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a component of green tea.

32. Antimicrobial effects of green tea polyphenols on thermophilic spore-forming bacteria.

33. Anti-influenza virus activity of green tea by-products in vitro and efficacy against influenza virus infection in chickens.

34. Antiviral effect of catechins in green tea on influenza virus.

35. Green tea: A boon for periodontal and general health.

36. In vitro antibacterial activity of Camellia sinensis extract against cariogenic microorganisms.

37. Antibacterial Activity of Iranian Green and Black Tea on Streptococcus Mutans: An In Vitro Study.

38. Green tea: a promising natural product in oral health.

39. Effect of green tea on volatile sulfur compounds in mouth air.

40. The effect of green tea extract on the removal of sulfur-containing oral malodor volatiles in vitro and its potential application in chewing gum.

41. Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials.

42. The relationship between green tea and total caffeine intake and risk for self-reported type 2 diabetes among Japanese adults.

43. Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea consumption in relation to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review with meta-analysis.

44. The top 10 causes of death.

45. Green and black tea for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

46. Inhibitory effect of Chinese green tea on endothelial cell-induced LDL oxidation.

47. Influence of green tea and its three major components upon low-density lipoprotein oxidation.

48. The Relation between Green Tea Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease as Evidenced by Epidemiological Studies.

49. Dietary patterns and cardiovascular disease mortality in Japan: a prospective cohort study.

50. Associations of Coffee, Tea, and Caffeine Intake with Coronary Artery Calcification and Cardiovascular Events.

51. Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomized, controlled trial.

52. Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition.

53. A Green Tea Extract High in Catechins Reduces Body Fat and Cardiovascular Risks in Humans.

54. Green tea improves metabolic biomarkers, not weight or body composition: a pilot study in overweight breast cancer survivors.

55. Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes in Japan: the Ohsaki study.

56. Green Tea Consumption and Mortality among Japanese Elderly People: The Prospective Shizuoka Elderly Cohort.

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