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Health benefits of green tea



Camelia sinensis plant leaves (Tea), have been cultivated, harvested and used since thousands of years ago. Out of the six main varieties of tea (white, yellow, green, Oolong, black and post-fermented teas, only four of them are massively used white, green, Oolong and black [1], and only one, green tea, is rich in the polyphenol EGCG, the most active polyphenol found in Green Tea and capable to increase the number of regulatory T cells, something which may be very useful to fight certain affections as the autoimmune disease. Image: Tea plantation by sarahemcc under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0).


Family: Teaceae

Genus: Camelia

Common name: Green tea



But green tea has many other benefits, for example some studies showed that soy and tea have certain anti-inflammatory properties, being even able to block the inflammatory response during cancer progression [2], but what it wasn't known yet until this study was presented last May by the Oregon State University [3] is that the polyphenol EGCG found in Green tea may play a key role in suppressing autoimmune disease, something that may give some hope to those suffering from it.

Green tea Polyphenol EGCG already knew for its capability to inhibit carcinogenesis [4], in spite the mechanism, how EGCG achieves this is still not completely clear. It seems that EGCG affects multiple biological pathways [5], apparently one of the ways these polyphenols achieves its anti-cancerous properties in multiple types of cancers.



Are green tea diet pills safe? Is diet green tea good for you?

As they say, even the best things in excess could be harmful. Green tea polyphenols are not an exception to the rule, and as it was published in the April 2007 issue of Chemical Research in Toxicology, an excess of polyphenols intake could lead to harmful situations for our body health, becoming even toxic.

In spite no known research on humans could yet prove it, in laboratory trials done on dogs, excessive doses of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) were linked to liver, kidney and gastrointestinal toxicities, but these toxic effects are believed to occur in individuals having an additional green tea supplement intake, most of them containing up to fifty times the polyphenols content of one single cup of tea.

Already back in 2008 regulatory agencies in France and Spain suspended market authorization of a weight-loss product containing green tea extract because of hepatotoxicity concerns.

Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to prescribe or give in any way or form medical advice, recommend or diagnose. Please read the disclaimer at the button of this page for more info.



[1] Wikipedia
[2] Anti-inflammatory activity of soy and tea in prostate cancer prevention. Hsu A, Bray TM, Ho E. Department of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.
[3] Induction of regulatory T cells by green tea polyphenol EGCG. Wong CP, Nguyen LP, Noh SK, Bray TM, Bruno RS, Ho E. Department of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA.
[4] Green tea polyphenol sensing. Tachibana H. Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.
[5] EGCG, green tea polyphenols and their synthetic analogs and prodrugs for human cancer prevention and treatment. Chen D, Wan SB, Yang H, Yuan J, Chan TH, Dou QP. The Developmental Therapeutics Program, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.
[6] Diet and Nutrition: Temperance in Green Tea M. Nathaniel Mead
[7] April 2007 issue of Chemical Research in Toxicology.
[8] Safety of green tea extracts : a systematic review by the US Pharmacopeia. Sarma DN, Barrett ML, Chavez ML, Gardiner P, Ko R, Mahady GB, Marles RJ, Pellicore LS, Giancaspro GI, Low Dog T. US Pharmacopeia, Rockville, Maryland 20852-1790, USA.