Monday, October 31, 2016
Health Benefits of Green Tea
An ancient Chinese proverb praises the benefits of Green Tea, saying "It is better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one." Used as a Chinese medicine for over 4000 years, green tea is now believed to be helpful in preventing and treating a variety of maladies from helping to raise levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL), rejuvenating aging skin, decreasing gas buildup, promoting digestive health, and maybe even helping green tea drinkers burn more fat by improving metabolism.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants that are preserved because of the minimal processing green tea requires. These antioxidants eliminate free radicals that can damage cells and even DNA. Multiple studies have shown green tea's ability to prevent various types of cancer, and help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Other studies have shown that green tea can help regulate glucose in the body, impeding the development of diabetes and slowing down diabetes after onset.
Results of previous studies have reported that green tea exerts a variety of beneficial effects on stress and inflammation. Kaijun Niu and colleagues, from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering (Japan), researched whether green tea consumption had any effect on depressive symptoms. They studied 1,058 community living elderly Japanese individuals, ages 70 and over. The researchers measured green tea consumption and evaluated depressive symptoms via the Geriatric Depression Scale. Perhaps surprisingly, those who drank four or more cups of green tea daily were 44% less likely to have symptoms of depression, than those who drank one or less cups daily. The researchers felt this could be related to the high theanine content in green tea.
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has been researching green tea as a preventive for oral cancer in patients with a premalignant condition called oral leukoplakia (white plaques, or patches in the mouth or on the tongue caused by chronic irritation such as with tobacco carcinogen exposure). The five year survival rate of oral cancer is 60 percent. Of those taking the two highest doses 58.8% had a clinical response. They conclued the results were encouraging and that further longer term studies with a higher number of patients is warranted.
In Cancer Prevention Research, 6-19-09, another small sample study was promising regarding prostate cancer. Twenty six men with prostate cancer were scheduled for radical prostate surgery. For an average time of 34.5 days before the surgery, they took a supplement equal to 12 cups of tea daily. Before surgery, a repeat round of blood tests was done. The findings showed significant drops in several prostate cancer-related blood "markers". Some of the men had drops greater than 30 percent. The tests which decreased were: PSA, the conventional marker for prostate cancer and inflammation: VEGF, a protein which stimulates new blood vessel growth in tumors: and HGF, a protein associated with the growth and aggressiveness of a number of cancer cell types.