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Clean, Lean, and Green Tea

A Feel 21 Health Report

Green tea's health potential was first discovered by a Chinese emperor more than 4,000 years ago and for centuries it has been prized as a beverage for keeping the body and soul in good condition. Today, scientific studies have confirmed many of the beliefs about green tea that have made it a popular beverage and medicinal tonic. It is with this that green tea extract is gaining popularity for its variety of health benefits.

Green tea extract has all of the health properties of a cup of green tea, but in a convenient supplement form. Green tea extract's effectiveness lies in its high polyphenol content.

Polyphenols are a rich source of the catechins EGCG, EGC, ECG, and EC which are extremely powerful antioxidants in the body and also aid in fighting free radicals -- 200 times more potent than vitamin E!

Catechins are compounds that are related chemically to the pigments that give fruits and vegetables many of their bright colors. These pigments often are powerful antioxidants. Catechins, which are colorless, are very soluble in water, and thus are easily assimilated into the body.

Strong epidemiological evidence suggests the low rate of certain health problems in Japan is linked to the consumption of green tea. Green tea polyphenols may inhibit the formation of cell-damaging nitrosiamines, especially when the tea is taken at mealtime. Diets high in protein are believed to increase the formation of nitrosiamines as a result of digestive actions on the protein, making green tea extract an important addition to such diets.

EGCGs have also been found to block the actions of carcinogens that promote cancer of the colon, stomach, and pancreas. In fact, the effects of EGCGs in green tea extract are so promising that in October 2003 the National Cancer Institue awarded a $300,000 grant to the Medical College of Georgia to continue research into green tea's cancer-fighting properties.

Green tea extract has also been used for centuries for its antibacterial properties, especially in the mouth. It may help prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease by killing E. coli and streptococcus bacteria. Green tea extract may also be effective in warding off halitosis (bad breath) by killing odor causing bacteria.

Many fat-burning supplements include green tea extract in their formulation as it aids in thermogenesis and in the metabolism of fat. Unlike other fat-burners, green tea extract will not increase the heart rate. Translation: No jitters.

Green tea extract can also help decrease hormone activity in teens and prove an effective supplement for acne.

Other studies have also shown green tea extract effective as a stomach relaxer -- easing the pains of stomach discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea.

At the recommended level of intake, green tea extract is not associated with any significant side effects or toxicity. The only reaction one may have when taking green tea extract is to the small amount of naturally occurring caffeine. Also, some individuals with sensitive stomachs may react to the polyphenol content; however, this can be avoided by taking the extract with food.


References:

  • The ABC Guide to Clinical Herbs, Mark Blumenthal. American Botanical Council, Austin TX, 2003.
  • The Green Tea Book -- China's Fountain of Youth, Lester A. Mitscher, Ph.D. and Victoria Dolby. Avery, Garden City Park, NY, 1998.
  • www.green-tea-extract.com


Test Your Knowledge About Green Tea

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This article is reprinted with permission from Vitamin Retailer magazine and is provided for educational purposes only by your local retailer. No part of this article is intended as medical advice. Always consult your health care provider for any medical problems.

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