Tea and its health benefits
have been enjoyed
by Asians for many centuries. From early times, green
tea has been highly valued for its medicinal uses. Studies
into the effects of green tea have progressed far in
recent years, and scientific research is now confirming
4,000 years of folklore and medical practice in Asia,
that green tea is a key element in achieving and maintaining
good health. What Asians have know for centuries about
drinking green tea can now benefit the entire world.
The health benefits of green tea are
varied and wide-ranging. Because its chemical makeup
gives positive affects to so many different bodily systems,
it makes sense to use green tea to achieve those health
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and Antiviral Activity
of Blood Sugar
Breakdown of Green Tea
Recent studies have shown green tea has far
greater antioxidant protection than the well known
polyphenols in antioxidant vitamins such as C and
Although oxygen is necessary for human life, it can
be a harmful agent in the form of active or free radical
oxygen. Active oxygen can combine with anything in
the body and oxidize it with consequent destruction
of cell membranes, damage to DNA, and oxidation of
lipids (fats). All of these can lead to cancer.
So how can we prevent all of this unnecessary oxygen?
The simple answer is by drinking green tea. The antioxidant
properties of green tea have been shown to efficiently
scavenge these toxins. Green tea's antioxidant activity
is particularly important for preventing lipid peroxidation.
Lipid peroxidation is a factor in the spoilage of
oils and fatty constituents of foods. This spoilage
often plays a key role in the build up of atherosclerotic
plaque. The antioxidant properties of green tea help
prevent this spoilage.
Green Tea and Black Tea both come from the
same tea plant (Camelia Sinensis), however
in a study comparing green tea to black tea, researchers
have found that green tea is 6% more potent as an
antioxidant. Michael Murry, M.D. explains this is
because "Green tea is produced by lightly steaming
the fresh cut black tea leaf. To produce black tea,
the leaves are oxidized. During oxidation, many of
the polyphenol substances, compounds with potent antioxidant
and anticancer properties, are destroyed. Unlike black
tea, green tea is very high in polyphenols."
The anticancer effects are the result of green tea
polyphenols blocking the formation of cancer causing
compounds as well as effectively detoxifying or trapping
cancer causing chemicals.
The forms of cancer that green tea show the most
aid in preventing are cancers of the gastrointestinal
tract such as cancer of the stomach, small intestine,
pancreas, and colon. Also, green tea has shown preventative
properties for lung cancer and estrogen-related cancers
such as most breast cancers. A report from the National
Cancer Institute found that Chinese men and women
who drink green tea have a reduced risk of developing
esophageal skin cancer.
A very detailed, very technical account of polyphenols
and flavenoids appears on the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition website.
Cholesterol is usually cited as the 'bad
guy' for causing various diseases in adults, but it's
a chemical that is naturally present and necessary
in our bodies for important processes such as manufacturing
cell membranes and fusing cells. But there is 'good'
cholesterol and 'bad' cholesterol. Researchers found
that by drinking green tea the 'bad' cholesterol can
be reduced, and tea-drinkers can eat almost twice
the foods containing cholesterol as a those who don't
drink green tea, but still have an equal cholesterol
Blood Pressure Reduction
High blood pressure is know to give the vascular
system serious problems and contributes to atherscloerosis.
Atherscloerosis will then initiate heart disease,
stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. Green tea
has been extensively tested and been found to be highly
beneficial in lowering blood pressure and aiding the
recovery of heart attack victims.
Antibacterial and Antiviral Activity
Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and
antiviral agents which make them effective for treating
everything from tooth decay to HIV. In studies green
tea has even protected rats from cholera, and has
been shown to inhibit the spread of disease. Green
tea can aid with relieving influenza or diarrhea.
Reduction of Blood Sugar
About 60 years ago, Dr. Minowada of Kyoto
University noticed that sugar in the urine of patients
hospitalized for diabetes fell markedly during periods
when they participated in a Tea Ceremony. Modern science
is studying and confirming this.
Green tea, with its all-important chemical compounds,
has also shown many other benefits and potential uses.
Breakdown of green tea components