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Health Benefits of Green Tea Health Benefits of Green Tea

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Unread 11-21-2002, 11:09 AM
Health Benefits of Green Tea

Hi! Just thought I'd share a great article that appeared in the December 1 issue of Bottom Line Personal. The article is the result of an interview with Lester A. Mitscher, PhD, who teaches medicinal chemistry at U. Kansas, Lawrence. He has also written a book (which I am in hot pursuit of) called "The Green Tea Book: China's Fountain of Youth" (Avery publishing).

You know that green tea is good for you. But did you know that green and black teas help ward off many types of cancer, fight heart disease and colds, even prevent cavities?

A Chinese emperor first touted the health benefits of green tea more than 4,000 years ago. Here's what the latest scientific research shows...


Green and black teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves contain catechins, antioxidants that block the action of free radicals (harmful molecules).

The most powerful catechin is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). A study conducted at the University of Shizuoka in Japan showed that the antioxidant power of EGCG in green tea was 200 times stronger than that of Vitamin E, another antioxidant.

Green tea is made from fresh, young leaves, which are steamed right away to preserve catechins and then dried. Black tea contains about half the catechins as green tea because it undergoes more processing before the leaves are dried.


The health benefits of catechins in tea include...

- Reducing risk of certain types of cancer, including cancers of the lung, breast and digestive tract. In a University of Minnesota study of more than 35,000 women over eight years, those who drank two or more cups of green or black tea daily had a 10% lower risk of developing any cancer than those who seldom drank tea.

- Reducing heart disease by blocking the formation of plaque in the coronary arteries. A four-year study conducted at Harvard Medical School showed that participants who drank 14 cups or more of green or black tea weekly had a 44% lower death rate after a heart attack than people who didn't drink tea.

- Fewer colds and other illnesses. Tea keeps free radicals from undermining the immune system. In a 2002 report, researchers at Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Japan confirmed reports that catechins in green tea extract inhibit the growth of the influenza virus. Scientists at SUNY Health Science Center, University Hospital in Syracuse, New York, reviewed the literature and concluded that green tea enhances immunity.

- Building bone density. One study of more than 1,000 participants showed that drinking two or more cups of tea a day for at least six years strengthened bone density.

- Preventing cavities by blocking growth of Streptococcus mutans, bacterium associated with dental plaque.

- Aiding digestion by fostering the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines.


Aim for four cups of green tea or six cups of black tea daily. Expensive teas may taste better, but they don't necessarily provide more health benefits.

Brew tea for three minutes to ensure the release of antioxidants. Longer steeping only produces more tannins, which taste bitter.

Iced tea yields the same benefits, but antioxidants degrade with time, so drink the tea soon after brewing.

Tea contains less caffeine than coffee -- up to 30 mg per cup of green tea... up to 90 mg for black, versus 160 mg for brewed coffee. People who are sensitive to caffeine may prefer decaffeinated tea. The process that removes caffeine from tea does not interfere with its health benefits.

Alternative: Try caffeine-free green tea capsules, available at health-food stores. Look for a brand that is organic, free of preservatives and has an expiration date to ensure freshness. The usual dose is two 250-mg capsules daily.
I'm off to pour myself another cup now

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Unread 11-21-2002, 11:46 AM
Health Benefits of Green Tea

And I'll have one with you, Linda.

I switched from coffee to green tea a few years ago but drink only one 14oz mug a day........will have to go for a "second cup" after reading this.

Unread 11-21-2002, 11:51 AM
Health Benefits of Green Tea

That is very interesting information! Maybe I should start drinking green tea. I don't like coffee but drink Diet Pepsi. Maybe I will try to get some tea instead.
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Unread 11-21-2002, 12:49 PM
Health Benefits of Green Tea

I switched from sodas (even diet ones) to reg sweet tea, and I drink green tea at night. I get a lot more fluids (I hate drinking plain water) than I would sucking down cokes and pepsi. More acids and artifical coloring anyways!
Unread 11-21-2002, 03:05 PM
Health Benefits of Green Tea

I have to admit I don't quite get the whole "free radicals" thing, but this is some interesting information you have passed along which may spark me to do some additional research. I do drink decafe green tea, I can't imagine how a cafeinated one could impact a body positively, but like Em, I only drink about 1 big mug of it a day (20ozs).

Thanks again for the info!

Unread 11-21-2002, 04:37 PM
Thumbs up - Health Benefits of Green Tea Health Benefits of Green Tea

I love my green tea!! Start the morning off with a big cup (decaff of course!) and have one in the evening usually when I'm on the computer at Hystersisters! Surferbabe, thanks for putting the info up on the site...I bet they'll be a whole lot more green tea drinkers by the weekend.
Unread 11-22-2002, 11:59 AM
Health Benefits of Green Tea

Today I got up and went downstairs and grabbed my Diet Pepsi and drank it. After that I though I should have had green tea. I then fixed a mug of green tea. I had some because my sister in law had bought me some and it was in my pantry. It was good! I put half a packet of sweet and low in it. I made another mug later in the morning with the same tea bag. What is the best brand of green tea to buy? The kind I had was Celestial Seasons Misty Jasmine Green Tea. I am definately going to be drinking it now that the cold weather is here!
Unread 11-22-2002, 12:15 PM
Health Benefits of Green Tea

Jane, green tea with Jasmine is my favorite! My #1 choice is The Republic of Tea's Jasmine Jazz... it says "the romancer enhancer" on the label but you couldn't prove it by me, it just tastes and smells delicious! It's a loose tea... I make two pots a day and drink all of it!

For plain green tea, I go to a Japanese grocery store and buy that both loose and in bags. It's wonderful when they get the new crop each year, it has a great fresh aroma.

Time for another cup!

Unread 11-23-2002, 04:52 AM
Health Benefits of Green Tea

Thanks for this article, Linda!

As a tea lover, it makes me happy to see evidence that something so enjoyable to me is so good for me!
I grew up drinking black tea, almost daily, but for the last couple of years I've been making pots of half black/half green because I prefer the taste of black. I have come to enjoy green, too, over time, but I still prefer the mixed pot.

Just a suggestion in case any of you ladies out there are like me with a taste preference for black! It's a painless way to get your green.

LInda, I needed this push to be sure I drink enough of it everyday. I must admit tht some mornings I brew the pot, fill my mug & leave the house. I do not always go back to tea when I return.
Your post will make me more committed to doing that!

Thanks again!
Unread 11-25-2002, 09:45 PM
Health Benefits of Green Tea

Many of you have heard my green tea with ginger remedy for queasy tummies. I probably drink about a pot of this a day. I'd even give up my coffee in the morning for this, except it doesn't taste very good with the "Nutz Over Chocolate" Luna bar I eat for my breakfast!

Thanks, Linda, for taking the time to post this...s


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