Health Benefits of Green Tea

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Health Benefits of Green Tea

This describes the many health benefits of green tea and white tea, and to a lessor extent, black tea. White tea is slightly higher in anti-oxidants than the green tea. The white tea is made out of tea buds and the green tea out of the tea leaves. White tea is the least fermented and black tea is the most fermented. There is a book by Steven Pratt, M.D. that tells about the 14 healthiest foods called SuperFoods Rx. One of them is tea. It says "Tea contains more than four thousand chemical compounds."

An ancient Chinese proverb says "Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one." This webpage explains why it is better to drink tea than water. I have a webpage about drinking pure water. It explains how the water in America has many pollutants in it including many medications. The webpage explains that the only way to take out all these harmful pollutants is to use a water distiller or a water purifier instead of a filter.

You can filter a gallon of water in less than a minute, but it will leave in countless harmful pollutants that dissolve in water. To take out all the pollutants and make the water pure, you can purify a gallon of water in about an hour or distill a gallon of water in about 6 hours. That way you take out all of the pollutants. But then some experts have made this controversial since it takes out all of the mineral also.

Now I would say, like many other experts, that you are supposed to get your minerals from food, not from water. But then I also need to explain how the minerals in foods are organic, not as in organically grown, but as in organic chemistry. Organic means something that is or was alive. Whereas the minerals in water could be from urine, from dirt or from chemical pollutants.

So instead of going into all of that and then the arguments of how pure water with no minerals is bad for you, I suggest that people take this water with no pollutants in it and make tea. Then it will have organic minerals in it from a food (tea leaves). In China no one drinks water. They drink tea. The tea they drink is from the tea shrub called camellia sinensis. To avoid confusion they call other teas, herbal teas. About 5,000 years ago the Chinese discovered that the tea plant had many health benefits.

Herbs and herbology was very big in China. So the elite people in China would drink tea and enjoy the many health benefits of white tea, green tea and black tea. Black tea is fermented more so it does not have as many benefits as the green and white tea. Eventually all the Chinese wanted to get the health benefits of tea so they grew tons of it so everyone can drink it. In America when you go eat at a Chinese restaurant, they give you tea to drink for free.

They know that caffeine raises blood pressure. Since tea has caffeine in it then it should raise blood pressure. But many studies show that tea lowers blood pressure. Tea has a unique amino acid in it that is not in other foods called theanine.

Here is a link to PubMed.gov-- U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Intitutes of Health. This website says that l-Theanine, an amino acid in green tea reduces Alzheimer disease (AD). It concludes the study by saying "Thus, l-theanine may be useful in the prevention and treatment of AD."

Digested polyphenol compounds from green tea can protect the brain against developing Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, according to the latest research that has been done. An in vitro study, published in Phytomedicine, confirmed that after digestion, extracts of the phytochemical-rich drink show protective effects for dementia. It found that green tea worked better for this after it was digested than before it was digested. The most common form of dementiia, Alzheimer's disease, is a progressive and irreversible neurodegenerative disorder associated with cognitive dysfunction.

Theanine (l-theanine) is an amino acid found in ordinary tea leaves from Camellia sinensis (also known as Thea sinensis, hence the name theanine, pronounced like tea-anene). It is also found in other species of Camellia and in the edible bay boletes mushroom Xerocomus badius, but is otherwise rare in nature. L-theanine has the reputation for promoting mental and physical relaxation-decreasing stress and anxiety-without inducing drowsiness. In tea, it has an influence on the taste (reducing bitterness) and is said to counteract some of the nervous agitation that can come with caffeine.

Preliminary research, that needs to be carried further before more specific claims for benefits can be properly made, suggests that l-theanine may be helpful for the following applications:

  • improving learning performance, heightening mental acuity, and promoting concentration;
  • acting antagonistically against high doses of caffeine;
  • calming nervous agitation;
  • lowering blood pressure;
  • diminishing symptoms of PMS

An article in New Scientist magazine mentions that numerous studies suggest that green tea protects against a range of cancers, including lung, prostate and breast cancer. The reason cited is the antioxidant and phytochemmical epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), according to Hirofumi Tachibana's team at Kyushu University. Plant foods contain thousands of phytochemicals that provide health benefits.  Webmd.com says:

One of them, a study conducted in Japan that involved nearly 500 Japanese women with Stage I and Stage II breast cancer, found that increased green tea consumption before and after surgery was associated with lower recurrence of the cancers.

Studies in China have shown that the more green tea that participants drank, the less the risk of developing stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colorectal cancer.

Finally, a recent analysis of 22 studies that probed the correlation between high tea consumption and reduced risk for lung cancer concluded that by increasing your daily intake of green (not black) tea by two cups may reduce the risk of developing lung cancer by 18%.

A Dutch study of more than 3,000 men and women found that the more tea consumed, the less severe the clogging of the heart's blood vessels, especially in women.

But green tea's antioxidants are dilators, she says, because they improve the flexibility of blood vessels and make them less vulnerable to clogging -- and antioxidant-rich blueberries and pomegranates do the same. [See my webpage about the best group of foods for cardiovascular health.]

In the Japanese study, 240 men and women were given varying amounts of green tea extract for three months. Those who got the highest amount lost fat and weight and had lower blood pressure and lower LDL "bad" cholesterol.

Clinical trials conducted by the University of Geneva and the University of Birmingham show that green tea raises metabolic rates, speeds up fat oxidation and improves insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. In addition to caffeine and EGCG, green tea contains catechin polyphenols that raise thermogenesis (the production of heat by the body) and increases energy expenditure.

The Harvard Universtiy website (harvard.edu) says:

Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. In test tubes, catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties. Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder.

Research published in April 2009 by the University of L'Aquila and funded by the Unilever-owned Lipton Institute of Tea suggests that drinking just one cup of regular, black tea per day may help to protect against cardiovascular disease.

Research presented at the International Stroke Conference in February 2009 found that drinking three or more cups of tea per day can reduce the risk of suffering a stroke by as much as 21%. This research, conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), found that drinking green and black varieties of teas has a significant impact on the risk of stroke.

On 21 April 2003 the Brigham and Women's Hospital released details of a research project which indicated that theanine may help the body's immune system response when fighting infection, by boosting the disease-fighting capacity of gamma delta T cells.

Green tea can even help prevent tooth decay! Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also kill the bacteria that causes dental plaque. It also contains organic fluoride that is different than the inorganic flouride put it water.

Catechin is a strong antioxidant that slows the aging process. It is the bitter ingredient of green tea that effectively kills bacteria which causes food poisoning and also kills the toxins produced by those bacteria. Catechin suppresses the formation of plaque by cariogenic bacteria and also kills the bacteria themselves. It also kills other bacteria that cause bad breath. 

Green tea contains natural fluorine which helps prevent cavities. The Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.org) says "The [tea] leaves are loaded with flavonoids and other polyphenols that work as antioxidants, possibly lowering the risk of some diseases."

In the 1930s Swedish chemist and nutritionist, Ragnar Berg created a chart (Here is the Chart) showing how healthy different foods were. His discoveries in nutrition are still in medical textbooks today. This chart was in Arnold Ehret's book on fasting and healthy eating. It was based on how akaline or acid forming the foods were. Ragnar Berg tested the mineral ash of the foods which he got by burning them to duplicate digestion. This is why an acid fruit like pineapple is an alkaline food. The more alkaline, the healthier. The more acid forming foods were the ones that accelerated the degeneratiive diseases like cancer and cardiovascular problems. Green tea was the most alkaline food on his list (53.5)!

Decaffeination destroys some of the beneficial compounds in tea so more is needed to get the same health benefits. But you can drink tea all day instead of other beveages. It can be unsweetened or have healthy sweeteners like agave, honey or stevia. 

University of Maryland Medical Center website (umm.edu) says:

In fact, researchers estimate that the rate of heart attack decreases by 11% with consumption of 3 cups of tea per day.

The main polyphenol in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Scientific studies suggest that EGCG and green tea polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties that may help prevent the onset and growth of skin tumors (skin cancer).

Green tea may also be useful in inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis. Research indicates that green tea may benefit arthritis by reducing inflammation and slowing cartilage breakdown. Chemicals found in green tea may also be effective in treating genital warts and preventing symptoms of colds and influenza. Studies also show that drinking green tea is associated with reduced risk of all cause mortality.

The theanine in green tea is a natural relaxant that diminshes stress. [J Herb Pharmacother. 2006;6(2):21-30.] Studies show that it enhances the brain's ability to concentrate, learn and remember. 

Unlike caffeine, theanine increases GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), an inhibitory neurotransmitter that not only induces relaxation but it also produces a sense of well-being. L-theanine may normalize levels of dopamine, a critical brain hormone that is depleted by various stress factors. 

This may be good for people who have used the drug, meth. Meth releases a surge of dopamine, causing an intense rush of pleasure or prolonged sense of euphoria. Over time, meth destroys dopamine receptors, making it impossible to feel pleasure.

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