Created on: January 15, 2013
The health benefits of green tea have long been touted, with some researchers suggesting it can prevent heart disease and cancer, as well as help the drinker lose weight and lower cholesterol levels. However, although there is little doubt that drinking green tea is generally good for the body, experts are still on the fence about just how effective it is at preventing major diseases such as cancer. This article will discuss some of the potential health benefits of green tea and where the research currently stands.
Numerous studies have suggested that green tea could reduce the risk of heart disease. A 2006 European study suggested that green tea provides polyphenols, a type of antioxidant, which protect against heart disease by inhibiting the oxidation of bad cholesterol in the arteries. Compared to other types of tea, green tea provides more polyphenols because it is the least processed. Unfortunately, some experts doubt the existing research evidence because the majority of studies have been conducted in Asia, where other dietary and environmental factors could also come into play.
WebMD explains that controlled laboratory studies have shown that green tea can slow down the growth of cancer, but that more evidence is needed before it can be categorically stated that green tea inhibits cancer. The issue is that every sufferer is different and more research needs to be done to eliminate other factors. However, numerous studies, particularly those conducted in China, have suggested that green tea could help in slowing down prostate cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer and lung cancer.
The jury is still very much out on the weight loss aspect of drinking green tea. Some studies suggest that it speeds up one’s metabolism by helping the liver to work more efficiently. A Daily Mail article cites a U.S. study in which overweight men were recorded as burning 200 extra calories a day when their diet included three cups of green tea. No other changes to their diet or exercise were made to explain such a difference.
A Japanese study suggests that green tea is able to assist in fighting allergy symptoms, which is good news for those who suffer from seasonal allergies such as hay fever. A compound in green tea apparently helps to block the manufacture of histamine and immunoglobulin E, which are responsible for triggering allergic reactions.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and occurs when the body doesn’t make enough insulin, which regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. Initial studies have suggested that green tea helped the fat cells of diabetic rats to respond to insulin better, thereby increasing the ability to absorb blood sugar. Again, however, researchers are not 100 percent convinced that it is green tea alone that helps to regulate diabetes.
Research into the health benefits of green will undoubtedly be ongoing. However, the fact that it has been linked with so many positives should be enough to persuade most people to introduce two or three cups of green tea a day to their diet. At the very least, it helps to flush out toxins from the body and has a hydrating effect on the skin, making it look plumper and fresher.
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