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  • Green Tea Consumption and the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

    Green tea has many health benefits, many of these are down to the polyphenols that they contain. One of the most active group of antioxidants in green tea belong to the catechin group. These flavonols have been speculated to have many health benefits including the prevention of disease, a reduction of the risk of cancer and protection of DNA. Another thing that green tea consumption is thought to have a positive health impact on is cardiovascular disease.

    How Green Tea Interferes with LDL Cholesterol

    It is thought that green tea is able to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease through interactions with the mechanisms of LDL-cholesterol. Both epicatechin and epigallocatechin-3-gallate are present in significant quantities i green tea. It is known that these compounds are able to inhibit the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol. This will lead to a reduction in the risk of developing heart disease and atherosclerosis that is associated with cholesterol.

    The Link Between Green Tea and Oral Health

    It has been demonstrated that the consumption of green tea leads to a lowering in the formation of the infectious dental caries disease. An additional oral aspect of both green and black teas is that they contain fluoride, it is thought that the fluoride in green tea, which is in direct content with the teeth may help to lower the risk of teeth decay.

    Other Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

    In addition to the lowering of risk of cardiovascular disease, cancers and dental caries, the consumption of green tea has been shown to have many other health benefits. These include:

    1. Reduction in hypertension. Green tea consumption may be able to decrease blood pressure. There is much contrasting research on this subject, and as yet the jury is still out.
    2. Protection from the harmful effects of UV light. Catechins play a role in the prevention of skin cancers and are thought to be able to protect the skin from ultra violet radiation.
    3. Control of body weight. Extracts from green tea may be able to break down body fats and help people to maintain a healthy weight.
    4. Diabetes. Green tea is able to influence the bodies sensitivity to insulin and effects glucose tolerance levels.
    5. Antibacterial effect. green tea is linked to the control of diarrhea and inhibits unhealthy bacterial cell growth such as Salmonella, yet promotes healthy stomach bacterial growth
    6. Antiviral effects: green tea is linked to the control of herpes and influenza.
    7. Increased bone mineral density; Green tea may be helpful in the fight against osteoporosis
    8. protects against Parkinson's disease
    9. protects the immune system

    It can be seen that the consumption of green tea has many associated health benefits, most of these arise from its content of catechin antioxidants, essential oils and caffeine.

    Cabrera et al. (2006) Beneficial effects of green tea - a review. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 25: 79 to 99
    Mitscher et al (1997) A review of the potential therapeutic antioxidant properties of green tea (Camellia sinensis) and certain of its constituents. Med Res Rev 17: 327 to 332
    Ishikawa et al (1997) Effect of tea flavonoid supplementation on the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein to oxidative modification. Am J Clin Nutr 66: 261 to 266