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  • Tea Antioxidants
  • Antioxidant Capacity of Coffee
  • Green tea benefits
  • Green tea extract benefits
  • Health benefits of tea
  • Health benefits of black tea
  • Coffee constituents

  • Benefits of Green Tea - Antioxidants

    One of the benefits of drinking teas is that they are a good source of antioxidants. Black and green teas vary in the make up of their antioxidants but both of the beverages have the beneficial compounds. The greatest source of antioxidant activity in teas comes from polyphenols such as gallic acids and catechins such as EGCG. In addition to these compounds green tea is known to contain many other healthy compounds that have antioxidant properties: these include vitamin C, carotenoids, tocopherols, phytochemicals and minerals such as zinc.

    Antioxidant Activity of Green Tea

    All of these compounds found in tea act to increase the antioxidant properties of GTP in the body; this enables GTP to better scavenge reactive oxygen and chelate metal ions. The compounds found in green tea may also have indirect antioxidant roles by inhibiting lipoxygenases, redox transcription factors; and by the induction of beneficial enzymes such as glutathione-S-transferase that themselves act as antioxidants.

    The antioxidant activity of green tea against free radicals is higher than many vegetables such as garlic, spinach and sprouts; all of which have high antioxidant activities themselves. One of the catechins that is present at high levels in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG: found in the esophagus and large intestine following the drinking of tea) is able to protect ATPases (metabolism enzymes) from oxidative stress.

    Research has shown that drinking a moderate amount of green tea (between one and six cups daily) leads to an increase in the antioxidant capacity of plasma. It is also thought that the consumption of green tea and the healthy antioxidant compounds that they contain leads to protection of DNA and of lipid peroxidation.

    The above research on antioxidant activity of green tea compounds strongly suggest that the consumption of a moderate amount of green tea has many health benefits.

    Cao et al. (1996) Antioxidant capacity of tea and common vegetables. J Agric Food Chem 44:3426 to 3431.
    Cabrera et al. (2006) Beneficial effects of green tea - a review. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 25: 79 to 99
    McKay and Blumberg (2002) The role of tea in human health: An update. J Am Coll Nutr 21:1 to 13