Green Tea

Article by Angela Haldane, 21 May 2006

Q. I hear all these wonderful things about Green Tea – could you please outline for me what it is good for.

A. Green tea originates from the same plant as black tea – camellia sinensis. Green Tea possesses 6 times more antioxidant activity than black tea. The highly beneficial tea polyphenol named Epigallo-Catechin-Gallate (EGCG) is present only in green tea.

Milk may reduce the therapeutic effects of the tea polyphenols in green tea (milk binds to and prevents the absorption of tea polyphenols by the digestive system) – i.e. it is useless to consume “white” tea for therapeutic purposes.

The antioxidant effects of the EGCG prevents free radical damage to cells – thus preventing degenerative diseases and aging. These polyphenols also protect against the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, aflatoxins to name a few.

Numerous research studies have focused on EGCG and have found it to inhibit the growth of various cancers (including breast, colon, duodenal, lung, mouth, prostate, stomach and skin).

Green tea (applied topically) may reduce damage to the skin caused by exposure to the ultra-violet radiation component of sunlight.

Green tea has been used in weight loss programmes as it inhibits the absorption of glucose and reduces the appetite.

The optimal dosage of tea for therapeutic purposes (240-320 mg polyphenols per day) would equate to 3 cups of green tea per day (approximately 3 grams of green tea leaves). I find green tea a refreshing beverage to drink on a daily basis, and I never get tired of the taste.