This is a site dedicated to bringing you information regarding all things related to green tea and specifically green tea pills or green tea diet pills. The site will discuss the benefits of green tea and ask do green tea pills work as an aid to weight loss.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is made from the same plant as black tea except green tea is made from unfermented leaves. To prepare unfermented green tea, the oxidizing enzymes need to be neutralized. This is done by steamblasting the fresh leaves. It''s this inactivation of polyphenol oxidase that allows the polyphenols to stay colourless, allowing the processed leaf to remain green. The leaves are then heated and rolled until they turns dark green. Finally the leaves are dried to a moisture content of 3 to 4 percent and are then crushed into small pieces or ground to a powder.
If you can''t stomach the taste of green tea or don''t want to drink the 8 cups a day necessary to reap the much-touted health benefits, you may want to try green tea pills instead.
Sold in capsules filled with dried leaf tea, green tea pills are marketed as dietary supplements, but their health benefits are far reaching.
The leaves found in green tea capsules come from the Camellia sinensis plant, which grows as a shrub or tree throughout Asia and in parts of Africa and the Middle East.
What are the benefits of Green Tea?
Evidence suggests that people have been drinking green tea from the Camellia sinensis plant for thousands of years, especially in China, Japan, India and Thailand, and The Kissa Yojoki (Book of Tea), written by by a Zen priest in 1191, describes how drinking green tea can have a positive effect on the body''s five vital organs, especially the heart. The book discusses the medicinal qualities of green tea, explains the shapes of tea plants, tea flowers and tea leaves, and offers tips on how to grow tea plants and process tea leaves.
Green tea has been used through the ages as a stimulant and a diuretic. Early medical practitioners also relied on green tea to heal wounds by controlling bleeding, improve heart health, and regulate blood sugar and body temperature.
The healthful properties of green tea are attributed to powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, which also are responsible for the bitter taste of the tea. It is believed that the polyphenols in green tea neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. Studies show, for example, that the antioxidant effects of polyphenols are greater than that of vitamin C.
Weight loss and green tea
It is the polyphenols that make green tea extract a popular weight-loss supplement. Clinical studies suggest the extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat.
When combined with moderate but intense exercise, these same polyphenols improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in healthy young men. Perhaps that is why green tea has long been used in some countries to control blood sugar. Recent studies of animals suggest the polyphenols may assist in preventing development of type 1 diabetes.
Green tea also contains carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid and minerals such as chromium, manganese, selenium or zinc,
The green tea extract in commercial supplements also may play a role in decreasing the risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Population-based clinical studies have shown that the antioxidant properties of green tea may help prevent atherosclerosis, particularly coronary artery disease. Research also has shown that green tea lowers total cholesterol and raises HDL, or good, cholesterol.
Reducing cholesterol with Green Tea
In a double blind trial conducted by the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 240 adults were given either theaflavin-enriched green tea extract daily in the form of a 375 mg capsule or a placebo. Patients who ingested the tea capsules had significantly less low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or LDL-C, after just 12 weeks, and their total cholesterol was 11.3 percent to 16.4 percent lower than that of the patients who took the placebo. The author of the study concluded that theaflavin-enriched green tea extract can be used together with other dietary approaches to reduce LDL-C.
Results of another study concluded that short-term consumption reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Researchers have long known that red wine lowers the incidence of heart disease even among people who eat rich food high in fat. The reason? The existence of some of the same polyphenols found in green tea.
Green Tea for Alzheimer''s
Tests with mice given Parkinson''s and Alzheimer''s disease revealed that green tea extract helped protect brain cells from dying. The results were so promising that the Michael J. Fox Foundation is doing further research in China on early Parkinson''s patients. The actor''s foundation is dedicated to helping develop better treatments for Parkinson''s patients and, ultimately, curing the disease.
Green Tea cancer studies
Several clinical studies have shown that green tea helps protect against cancer, which may explain why cancer rates are lower in countries where green tea is consumed regularly. Scientists continue to study the suspected correlation between green tea and cancer, in particular to determine whether the polyphenols help kill cancerous cells.
For example, studies have found that green tea extracts prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells in test tubes and that the anti-inflammatory properties of the polyphenols in green tea may help prevent the onset and growth of skin tumors. Scientists also believe that green tea plays a role in reducing the inflammation associated with Crohn''s disease.
Could Green Tea protect the liver?
Green tea also may protect the liver from the damaging effects of alcohol, and animal studies have shown that green tea helps protect against development of liver tumors in mice. Results from other studies suggest that catechin, one of the polyphenols in green tea, may help treat viral hepatitis.
But Could Green Tea damage the liver?
The New Scientist ran an article regarding research that claims to show that too much polyphenol can possibly cause problems for the liver and kidneys. Lead author Chung Yang of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey says that those taking supplements, which can contain up to 50 times as much polyphenol as a single cup of tea are likely to be affected.
Reducing rheumatoid arthritis with green tea
A study by the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University found that the antioxidants in green tea may prevent and reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis. The study examined the effects of the polyphenols on collagen-induced arthritis in mice, which is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in humans. Researchers said the mice given the green tea polyphenols were significantly less likely to develop arthritis.
Green tea & HIV
Other studies have shown that the polyphenols may stop HIV from attacking T-cells. Another study showed how green tea could prevent semen transmitting the HIV virus.
Getting the most from Green Tea
To derive the health benefits of the polyphenols, it is recommended that people choosing to swallow green tea supplements instead of drinking green tea take 100 to 750 mg of standardized green tea extract daily. Caffeine-free supplements are available for those who cannot tolerate caffeine. Capsules of organic green tea also are available.
Despite these early promising results, green tea pills should not be considered a magic bullet to cure what ails you. Lifestyle plays a role as well. Couch potatoes who smoke, eat ice cream by the half gallon and inhale fat-soaked french fries aren''t likely to benefit from the green tea pills they down with sugary soft drinks.