Tea cultivation goes back centuries, with its roots in India and China. Tea is second only to water in popularity and is still the most popular beverage worldwide. There are hundreds of millions of tea drinkers worldwide. Studies have shown that green Tea ( Camellia since) has many health benefits.
There are three main types of Tea: green, black, and oolong. How the teas are prepared makes a difference. Unfermented green Tea contains the most potent antioxidants, called polyphenols. Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals. These harmful compounds can alter cells, damage DNA, and cause cell death. Scientists believe that free radicals are responsible for aging and the development of many health issues, such as cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals, like the polyphenols found in Green Tea. This may help reduce or even prevent some of their damage.
Traditional Chinese and Indian medicine used green Tea to stimulate, direct (to rid the body of excess fluid), as an astringent (to control bleeding, heal wounds, and improve heart health), and as a stimulant. Green Tea has been used traditionally to treat gas, regulate body temperature and blood sugar, promote digestion, and improve mental processes.
The effects of green Tea on animals and humans have been extensively researched. These studies show that green Tea may be able to treat the following conditions:
Studies based on population data indicate that green Tea’s antioxidant properties may prevent atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Studies that focus on large numbers of people or compare people from different cultures with other diets are called population-based studies.
Research suggests that green Tea may reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. Similar effects have been shown in studies on black Tea. Researchers estimate that 3 cups of black Tea per day will reduce the risk of heart attacks by 11%.
Green Tea has been shown to lower total cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol, according to research. A population-based study showed that green tea drinkers are likelier than non-green tea drinkers to have lower total cholesterol.
One animal study suggests that green tea polyphenols may prevent cholesterol from entering the intestine. They also aid in getting rid of it. Researchers found that drinking green tea significantly decreased blood levels of bad LDL cholesterol in male smokers.
Numerous population-based studies have shown that black and green teas effectively fight cancer. Green Tea is a popular choice in Japan, with lower cancer rates. These studies do not prove that green Tea can prevent cancer.
Early clinical trials suggest that green tea polyphenols may be necessary to prevent cancer. Research also indicates that polyphenols may help stop cancerous cells from growing and kill them.
Bladder Cancer. Researchers found that women who drink black Tea or powdered green Tea are less likely to get bladder cancer. The same researchers conducted a follow-up clinical study and found that those with bladder cancer, especially men, drank green. Tea had a higher 5-year survival rate than those who didn’t drink it. Before adding green Tea to their daily routine, people with cancer should speak with their doctor.
Breast Cancer. Test tubes and animal studies suggest that green tea polyphenols inhibit the growth of breast tumor cells. Researchers found that the spread of breast cancer was less common in women who consumed the greenest Tea. This was based on a study of 472 women. This was particularly true for premenopausal breast cancer patients. The researchers also discovered that early-stage breast cancer patients who consumed at least five cups of Tea per day before they were diagnosed had a lower chance of experiencing a recurrence once treatment was over. Women with advanced breast cancer experienced little to no improvement after drinking green Tea.
Any clear evidence does not support green Tea and breast cancer prevention. Researchers found no association between green Tea and a lower risk of developing breast cancer in a large study. Researchers found that women younger than 50 who drank three or more cups of Tea per day were 37% less likely for breast cancer than women who didn’t drink Tea.
Colorectal Cancer. There have been conflicting studies on green Tea’s effects on colon and rectal cancer. While some studies indicate a lower risk for those who consume the Tea, others suggest an increase in risk. One study found that women who consumed 5 to 10 cups of green tea daily had a lower chance of developing colorectal cancer than those who did not drink the Tea. There was no protection for men. Another study shows that regular tea drinking may lower the risk of developing colorectal carcinoma in women. Researchers need to do more research before they can recommend green Tea as a way to prevent colorectal carcinoma.