Health benefits of green tea
March 21, 2008
Is green tea good for your health?
I hope so. Since I'm allergic to coffee and black tea gives me headaches, I started drinking green tea a few years ago. Now I drink one or two cups a day.
Opinions vary on the health benefits of green tea.
Amazing Green Tea.com, written by a Tibetan buddhists Julian Tai and Hongquan, offers these possible benefits, along with summaries of research studies about each claim:
- Acts as an antioxidant.
- Prolongs life.
- Prevents and treats cancer.
- Rejuvenates the body after heart attacks and strokes.
- Keeps arteries clear.
- Reduces high blood pressure.
- Prevents and treats diabetes.
- Burns fat and helps people exercise longer.
- Protects the lungs from smoking.
- Protects the liver from alcohol.
- Fights off flu and colds.
- Prevents tooth decay and cures bad breath.
- Builds bones.
- Rehydrates the body.
On the other hand, federal agencies and American cancer organizations don’t support such green tea health claims.
The National Cancer Institute states:
- The antioxidants found in tea -- called catechins -- may selectively inhibit the growth of cancer.
- In laboratory studies using animals, catechins scavenged oxidants before cell damage occurred, reduced the number and size of tumors, and inhibited the growth of cancer cells.
- Human studies have proven more contradictory, perhaps due to such factors as variances in diet, environments, and populations.
Institute researchers are investigating the therapeutic and preventive use of tea catechins against a variety of cancers.
On May 10, 2006, the federal Food and Drug Administration rejected the petition of a Japanese company requesting permission to state on labels that green tea reduces the risk of heart disease. The FDA concluded that the evidence it examined, the 105 publications submitted with the petition, is supportive, but not conclusive for the claim.
The American Cancer Society states:
- Large East Asia studies generally haven’t found that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of breast, stomach, or colon cancers than non-tea drinkers.
- One study found that Asian-American women who drink green tea regularly have a lower risk of breast cancer than those who don’t.
- A Chinese study found that green tea drinking was linked to fewer cancers of the esophagus for people who didn’t smoke. But a 2006 Japanese study showed that those with cancer of the esophagus were more likely to be green tea drinkers than those who didn’t have the cancer.
- Other studies of green tea’s ability to prevent or treat lung, prostate, bladder, or other cancers have yielded similarly mixed results.
The society believes more human studies are needed, and studies are underway.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is supporting studies to learn more about the components in green tea and their effects on conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Tomorrow's post: What is green tea?
Good article on green tea. I've been interested in its health benefits and look foward to your next article about it. I just discovered you blog - its a treasure-trove of information.
Posted by: Patrick | March 22, 2008 at 09:15 PM
Thank you for your comments on my blog. I'm enjoying writing it and taking photos for it. Please let me know what topics of interest to boomers that you would like me to cover.
Posted by: Rita | March 22, 2008 at 11:42 PM
I'm glad you are covering tea, it is my favorite beverage as you know. I don't like green tea as much because it upsets my stomach, maybe I am steeping it too long???? Best, Mona
Posted by: Mona Robison | March 28, 2008 at 03:15 PM
Maybe it's tannins or the caffeine in the tea causing the problem. Are you drinking it on an empty stomach? You might try steeping the tea half as long. Or try decaffeinated tea or brewing the tea for 30 seconds, pouring the liquid off to remove the caffeine, but not the antioxidants. Then brew again.
Posted by: Rita | March 30, 2008 at 12:21 AM
We are hearing more and more about how helpful green tea can be for many conditions and for maintaining overall good health. Those who want to lose weight can enjoy the stimulant properties; while those who are more interested in heart and cholesterol effects can take advantage of the powerful antioxidant qualities.
Posted by: Berni Tea | September 21, 2012 at 08:18 PM