Why is green tea so healthy? Posted on 11 Oct 21:05 , 0 comments
by AMY ANDERSON, Daily Mail
It has just emerged that American doctors have developed a cream to ward off skin cancer. The magic ingredient is green tea, which is well known for its cancer-fighting properties.
Natural antioxidants called polyphenols in the tea help block the growth of skin cancer cells.
In fact, green tea has a whole host of other health benefits.
Here, femail.co.uk investigates why it's the healthiest cuppa you can drink.
It can help speed up the metabolic rate because its antioxidant effect helps the liver to function more efficiently. A recent U.S. study of overweight men found that, with no other changes to their diet or exercise regimes, drinking green tea three times a day burned up 200 extra calories a day. The green tea drinkers also found that their energy levels were greatly increased.
It has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, because its potent antioxidant effects inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the arteries. The formation of abnormal blood clots (thrombosis) is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke, and green tea has been shown to inhibit abnormal blood clot formation as effectively as aspirin.
A major cause of hypertension (high blood pressure) is an enzyme secreted by the kidneys called angiotension- converting enzyme (ACE). Popular drugs for hypertension act as ACE inhibitors: by blocking the effects of ACE, blood pressure is reduced. Green tea is a natural ACE inhibitor, and several medical studies show lowered blood pressure in animals and humans given green tea extracts.
When starch is consumed, it requires the enzyme amylase to break it down into simple sugars that can be absorbed in the bloodstream. Green tea polyphenols inhibit amylase, and so can help lower blood sugar levels. High blood levels of glucose and insulin predispose people to diabetes.
As it can kill bacteria, drinking green tea with meals may reduce the risk of bacterial food poisoning. It prevents the growth of dangerous intestinal bacterial strains such as clostridia and E. coli and promotes the growth of friendly bifidobacteria.
Drinking green tea - which is a natural anti-bacterial agent - with food may help kill the oral bacteria that cause cavities and bad breath.
Viral hepatitis is often triggered by high levels of iron in the liver. Green tea lowers iron levels throughout the body, so may have a direct anti-viral effect against certain strains of hepatitis.
There is growing evidence to suggest that green tea contains compounds that fight cancer. The tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which helps inhibit blood vessel growth.
A recent study found that antioxidants in green tea may prevent or reduce the severity of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Antioxidants in the tea inhibit the Cox-2 gene that triggers inflammation, working in much the same way as anti-inflammatory drugs.
Gargling with green tea boosts immunity to influenza and flu, according to a study in Japan. Research at Harvard University also indicated that green tea chemicals stimulated gammadelta T-cells, which bolster immunity against bacteria and viruses.
A recent two-year study of a group of people aged 80 and over found that 96 per cent of those who drank ten cups of green tea a day showed no signs of cognitive impairment, compared to only 12 per cent who didn't drink green tea.
Researchers in Japan have identified a compound in green tea that, in laboratory tests, blocks a key cell receptor involved in producing an allergic response. The compound, methylated epigallocatechin gallate, works by blocking the production of histamine and immunoglobulin E, two compounds in the body that are chiefly involved in triggering and sustaining allergic reactions.
Written by AMY ANDERSON, Excerpt from Daily Mail