Many people now realize that the quality of the diet has a direct effect on their health. Green tea has had many health benefits associated with it and its curative properties are used in Chinese medicine for centuries.
Green tea, black tea and oolong tea are made with the leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and is reputed to contain the highest concentration of polyphenols, chemicals that act as powerful antioxidants.
The more the leaves are fermented, the lower the polyphenol content and the higher the caffeine content. Tea polyphenols are categorized as catechins and green tea comprises six main catechin compounds: catechin, gallaogatechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate (also called EGCG). EGCG is thought of as the most active ingredient in green tea and is the best researched of all of the green tea polyphenols.
It have shown the potent cancer-fighting advantages of dark berries, green tea and olive leaves. Other studies also have indicated the tea’s concentration of antioxidants like EGCG help decrease the cell damage that may result in cancer.
A study measured the flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the participants’ blood vessels at 30, 90 and 120 minutes after ingestion. (FMD is a popular measure of blood vessel health.)
In this study, the participants’ FMD improved by an average of 3.9 percent over thirty minutes of drinking green tea. It didn’t change at all in those who drank the hot or caffeine water.
Other recent study has shown the benefits of green tea in adult victims of leukemia. EGCG (the vital antioxidant in green tea) has been proven to kill cancer cells obtained from leukaemia patients and put in a test tube.
Doctors at the clinic reported that four patients had started using green tea in their last year, after hearing media reports about its health benefits. All four patients had CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia). In the months when they began drinking green tea or taking green tea extracts, three of these showed measurable improvements in their situation. The fourth patient who didn’t demonstrate an improvement in her cancer overall, nevertheless exhibited an increase in her white blood cell count.
In 1 case, a patient was showing progressive swelling in her lymph nodes before she starting taking green tea capsules two times per day. Swelling of the lymph nodes is one of the characteristic symptoms of CLL. However, over the following year that the patient’s lymph nodes steadily decreased in size.
Other research has produced an explanation for why regular green tea drinkers have a very low incidence of gastric and oesophageal cancers. Researchers have discovered that EGCG, the anti inflammatory compound in green tea, works in a similar way to the anti-cancer drug methotrexate. Both operate by blocking the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, which is vital to the growth of tumour cells. However, the advantage of EGCG over methotrexate is that it has far fewer side effects.
The same research also showed that blocking the dihydrofolate reductase enzyme lowers nitric oxide levels. This side effect could explain the higher risk of birth defects and explains why several studies suggest green tea increases the chance of birth defects like spina bifida.
However, in a study researchers found that women who drank more than one half cup of caffeinated green tea every day doubled their odds of conceiving. Women trying to conceive or who are pregnant are advised to consult their healthcare practitioner about the dangers associated with drinking green tea.