How Can Green Tea Help You Medically?
For centuries tea has been a beverage that has yielded health benefits. Cultivation began in India and China - and, today, tea is the world’s most consumed beverage, second to water. Tea, like water, is a healthy beverage, with many health benefits.
Tea is basically sold in three main types- oolong, black and green. The process of tea is what categories the teas. With green tea, unfermented leaves are used which are reported to contain the most amount of polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants. Research shows that free radicals-which are compounds in the body that are responsible for causing damage, are reduced by antioxidants. These compounds cause DNA damage, changes cells, and can be fatal, as well, and antioxidants help the body to rid itself of free radicals. Some scientists report that radicals are the reason for the process of aging, as well as, many health problems, which include heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants are thought to prevent and reduce damage that may be caused. In some countries, such as in China and India health professionals use green tea as a medicine to help the body get rid of excess fluid, as a stimulant, to aid in the healing of wounds, to control bleeding, and to help enhance a healthy heart. Other traditional uses of the tea include the regulation of body temperature, the treatment of gas, the improvement of mental processes, the regulation of blood sugar levels, the promotion digestion. There have been a great deal of studies performed on green tea including studies on animals and humans, as well as, laboratory experiments. According to these studies, the consumption of green tea may help with specific health problems, such as, the following:
There have been clinical studies of antioxidant properties on individuals that have suggested that atherosclerosis may be prevented with the consumption of green tea, particularly coronary artery disease. Various populations have been studied over a long period of time, and, studies have been conducted on different groups of individuals from different cultures or diets.
There has been no conclusion drawn as to why green tea reduces development of heart disease by lowering triglycerides and cholesterol levels. According to studies, black tea also has similar effects. From the studies, researchers have estimated that heart attacks have been reduced by 11% with the consumption of three cups of tea each day.
Although researchers have concluded that the consumption of tea does reduce heart attacks, the US Food and Drug Administration has not approved tea makers to label their product with the claim that green tea helps to reduce the threat of heart disease.
Research has shown that good (HDL) cholesterol is lowered with green tea. This has been proven in both humans and animals. Clinical studies have discovered that consumers of green tea have a lower cholesterol level.
According to the findings of a study performed on animals, it was concluded that polyphenols in green tea helps the body, as well as, intestine to absorb cholesterol and rid it from the body.
Another study performed on individuals who smoked found that when green tea is consumed, harmful levels of LDL cholesterol are reduced.
Conclusions based on black and green tea clinical population studies claim that the teas can help to protect the body from cancer. In countries, such as, Japan, where the consumption of green tea is great, cancer rates are down. However, according to researchers there is no factual evidence that cancer in humans is prevented with the consumption of green tea. Studies show that polyphenols may play an essential role in preventing cancer, kill the cells, and stop its growth.
Bladder cancer- There have not been many studies performed on the relationship between bladder cancer and the consumption of tea; however, in studies that have been performed, it has been revealed that there is less likely the chance of occurrence, and of men with bladder cancer, those who drank green tea had a survival rate of five years more than those that did not.
Breast cancer- Clinical studies performed in both green tea polyphenol test tubes and animals show that the rate growth of cancer cells in the breast are inhibited with green tea polyphenols. Among 472 women in different stages of breast cancer, those who consumed green tea had the lowest cancer growth. This is true especially those women who were at the pre-menopause stage and in the early stages of breast cancer. For those who consumed no less than five cups of tea each day prior to their diagnosis the chance of the cancer returning after receiving treatments was less. However, of those in the late stages of breast cancer there were little or no improvements.
Researchers have not come to a conclusion about the relationship between the prevention of breast cancer and green tea. However, when the study was broken down as per age of the women, it was discovered that those under the age of 50 who drank three or more cups of tea each day had a lower percentage rate of developing breast cancer by 37%.
Ovarian cancer- According to clinical studies performed in China on ovarian cancer patients, researchers discovered that women who consumed no less than one cup of green tea daily had a longer survival rate than those who did not.
Colorectal cancer- Among clinical studies that have been performed on the relationship of colon or rectal cancer and green tea, the results are conflicting. Some studies show an increased risk of colorectal cancer, while others show a decreased risk. Among women participants in one study, those who consumed no less than five cups of green tea daily had a lower risk of the disease than those who did not. There were no signs that tea consumption helped to prevent or protect men from the disease. Other studies showed that it can help to reduce the disease in women.
Esophageal cancer- Among lab studies performed on animals researchers have found that polyphenol help to stop esophageal cancer cells growth. However, among studies performed on humans, the results are conflicting. On one massive population scale study it was concluded that consumption of green tea does help to protect against esophageal cancer development-especially among women. However, in another it was determined that only constant consumption can increase the risk, especially the hotter the tea.
Lung cancer- With lung cancer, clinical studies are conflicting, as well. In test tube studies, a relationship between green tea polyphenols and lung cancer shows a decrease in the growth rate of human cancer cells of the lung. Among one study performed on humans who consumed Okinawan tea which is similar to green tea it is shown that the participants had a lower risk of lung cancer, particularly women participants.
Pancreatic cancer-One study performed on participants who both drank green tea and did not discover that among those who drank the largest amounts of green tea, were the most likely not to develop the disease. For those who drank half the amount of that, they were half as likely to develop the disease. This was especially true among women.
Although the results are positive there has been no theory drawn as more research must be done before researchers can reasonably claim that green tea is responsible for a decreased risk of pancreatic cancer development.
Prostate cancer- In tests performed in the laboratory green tea extracts have shown to prevent prostate cancer cells growth. In Southeast China, a large clinical study was performed which showed a decrease in the disease with the consumption of green tea. However, the cells became more sensitive to chemotherapeutic drugs as they are a stimulated gene. If you suffer from prostate cancer it is recommended to first discuss green tea with your physician prior to it consumption.
Skin cancer- Green tea’s main polyphenols is EGCG- epigallocatechin gallate. According to studies it is suggested that there may be a relationship between EGCG and green tea polyphenols and anticancer properties and anti-inflammatory effects that may help to prevent ski tumor growth.
Stomach cancer- In lab studies it was discovered that stomach cancer cells in test tubes experienced a reduced growth rate with green tea polyphenols; unfortunately, studies performed on humans are not as conclusive. Researchers performed two studies which included participants who drank green tea and did not. Participants who consumed green tea were less likely to develop stomach cancer and inflammation of the stomach. However in a clinical study performed in Japan, there was no conclusion that green tea helps to decrease stomach cancer risk.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease- Studies show that both ulcerative colitis and Cohn’s disease inflammation are reduced with green tea. Not only do studies show how green tea helps to aid people with IBD, but it helps to prevent colon cancer.
Diabetes- In many cultures, traditional green tea is used to help to control the levels of the blood sugar in the body. Among studies performed on animals it is has been shown that green tea may help to prevent Type 1 diabetes development and slow its development. With this type of diabetes the body has little or no insulin. Insulin is needed to convert sugar into energy, which green tea helps to do.
Some green tea studies have showed that the consumption of green tea extract helped to decrease hemoglobin A1c levels in humans with impaired glucose tolerance.
Liver disease- Clinical studies based on population show of human participants who drink 10 cups or more of green tea daily are less likely to have problems with their liver. Studies suggest that the liver is protected from toxic substances such as alcohol which damage the liver. In studies performed on animals, it is shown that green tea helps to protect mice from liver issues.
Conclusions from several human and animal studies suggest that catechin, which is a polyphenol present in green tea, helps to treat viral hepatitis, which is an inflamed liver. The catechin was used solely in the study.
Prior to consuming 10 cups of green tea daily, consult with your physician.
Weight loss- There has been studies performed and they do show a relationship between green tea and weight loss. Green tea is thought to be a metabolism booster and helps to burn fat, and helps to maintain weight once the weight is off.
Other Disease and Conditions:
Dental- Studies also show that drinking green tea helps to prevent tooth decay, and helps to strengthen the bones.
Arthritis- Studies show that green tea consumption may be useful in inflammatory diseases. Studies have shown inflammation is reduced with green tea consumption.
Genital warts- Studies show that the properties in green tea can also help treat genital warts.
Colds and flu- Studies the consumption of green tea helps to prevent colds and flu.
NOTE: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The greenteaHAWAII products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.