Sunday, July 5, 2020

Green Tea (Extract) Supplementation: What to Look For


For the last ten years, I have made a study of nutritional supplementation. There are few nutrients that I have come across that intrigue me more than green tea.

A recent Medline Search reported over 1,100 medical articles concerning green tea. In the November 15 edition of the prestigious American Journal of Cardiology, researchers from Japan have suggested that green tea consumption can lead to a significant decrease in heart attack. Three-hundred thirty-three patients undergoing coronary angioplasty in Japan were interviewed. Many of these patients had obvious risk factors for heart disease, including hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.

This interesting study showed that patients who consumed at least one cup of green tea every day were 42% less likely to have a heart attack than patients who did not drink green tea.

The reason for this is not entirely certain although it appears to be related to the beneficial effects of substances called flavonoids that are present not only in green tea but also in red wine as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables. Or, you can supplement your diet with flavonoids found in these nutraceuticals.

Flavonoids inhibit oxidation caused by free radicals. Oxidation appears to be the underlying mechanism for the development of not only heart disease, but also most of the degenerative disorders of aging including stroke, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.

What I find so fascinating about green tea is its multi-faceted benefit. In a prior study, researchers extracted a particularly powerful flavonoid from green tea known as EGCG. This nutrient was then added to a culture of actively growing cancer cells. After the nutrient was added, the cancer cells no longer multiplied.

I recalled the lead researcher in an interview being so impressed by this study, that he actually began drinking green tea on a regular basis. Green tea also has been shown in clinical studies to help with weight loss, high cholesterol as well as improving overall immune function.

Whenever I get an opportunity, whether I am at home or out to dinner, I enjoy having a cup of green tea. Some of the studies indicated that up to 5 cups per day is optimal. For many of us, however, it is difficult to brew the tea on a regular basis. There is an alternative to brewing and consuming 5 cups per day that is extremely convenient—green tea supplementation.

For supplementation you are looking for a 500 mg green tea extract capsule that is standardized to 98% polyphenols, 80% catechins and 45% ECGC.

Many supplements are not standardized and contain very little of the active components or they contain extremely low amounts of the standardized form.

Resources & Further Reading:

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