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The Miracle of Green Tea

Discussion in 'JF Doctor' started by X-PASTER, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. X-PASTER

    X-PASTER Moderator

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    The Miracle of Green Tea

    "Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one."
    (Ancient Chinese Proverb)


    Is any other food or drink reported to have as many health benefits as green tea?

    The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times, using it to treat everything from headaches to depression. In her book Green Tea: The Natural Secret for a Healthier Life, Nadine Taylor states that green tea has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years.

    Today, scientific research in both Asia and the west is providing hard evidence for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea. For example, in 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent. University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells. There is also research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol.

    To sum up, here are just a few medical conditions in which drinking green tea is reputed to be helpful:

    * cancer
    * rheumatoid arthritis
    * high cholesterol levels
    * cariovascular disease
    * infection
    * impaired immune function
     
  2. X-PASTER

    X-PASTER Moderator

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    What makes green tea so special?

    The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter takes on added importance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.

    Links are being made between the effects of drinking green tea and the "French Paradox." For years, researchers were puzzled by the fact that, despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans. The answer was found to lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol, a polyphenol that limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet. In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers.

    Why don't other Chinese teas have similar health-giving properties? Green, oolong, and black teas all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. What sets green tea apart is the way it is processed. Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized. By contrast, black and oolong tea leaves are made from fermented leaves, which results in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.

    Other Benefits

    New evidence is emerging that green tea can even help dieters. In November, 1999, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Researchers found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.

    Green tea can even help prevent tooth decay! Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also kill the bacteria that causes dental plaque. Meanwhile, skin preparations containing green tea - from deodorants to creams - are starting to appear on the market.
     
  3. X-PASTER

    X-PASTER Moderator

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    Harmful Effects?

    To date, the only negative side effect reported from drinking green tea is insomnia due to the fact that it contains caffeine. However, green tea contains less caffeine than coffee: there are approximately thirty to sixty mg. of caffeine in six - eight ounces of tea, compared to over one-hundred mg. in eight ounces of coffee.

    How much Green Tea should you drink?


    There are as many answers to this question as there are researchers investigating the natural properties of green tea. For example, Herbs for Health magazine cites a Japanese report stating that men who drank ten cups of green tea per day stayed cancer-free for three years longer than men who drank less than three cups a day (there are approximately 240 - 320 mg of polyphenols in three cups of green tea). Meanwhile, a study by Cleveland's Western Reserve University concluded that drinking four or more cups of green tea per day could help prevent rheumatoid arthritis, or reduce symptoms in individuals already suffering from the disease. And Japanese scientists at the Saitama Cancer Research Institute discovered that there were fewer recurrances of breast cancer, and the disease spread less quickly, in women with a history of drinking five cups or more of green tea daily.

    Consider the following - One pound of fat (.45 kg) is equivalent to approximately 3500 calories. Whether using green tea for weight loss or any other method, in order to lose one pound of fat over the period of a week, a person must maintain a calorie deficit of 3500 below their normal "set point", that "set point" being the amount of calories consumed in one's diet where a person neither loses nor gains fat. This calorie deficit can come through the modification of diet, through exercise, or a through a combination of both. In the case of a pound per week weight loss, that works out to a needed calorie deficit of 500 calories per day.

    Research by Japanese and other researchers(1) suggest that if the average person were to drink five cups of green tea a day, they would burn an extra 70 to 80 extra calories through an effect known as thermogenesis - the process of heat production in organisms. While much of the thermogenesis effect in green tea is derived from caffeine, studies also suggest(2) that thermogenesis in green tea occurs to some degree beyond its caffeine content from epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG.)

    Regardless, 70-80 calories per day does not quite come close to the 500 calorie deficit needed per day to lose a pound a week, and for sure it's nowhere close to the calorie deficit needed to lose "inches per week" from one's waistline as some green tea web sites would have consumers believe. According to the research, if a person were to change nothing outside of adding five cups of green tea to their diet per day, then over the course of 43 days one could expect to lose 1 pound. Over the period of one year, one could expect a loss of about 8 pounds. Yes, there is some correlation between green tea and weight loss, unfortunately it's not on the level many would have you believe.

    Clearly, drinking green tea alone is not going to be satisfactory for significant weight loss. Still, green tea can still be quite useful as a weight loss aid. The extra 80 calories per day can be just what a person needs to tip the scale from a calorie surplus to a calorie deficit, especially when following a balanced nutrition and exercise regime.
    _________________________________________________

    (1) Dulloo AG, Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans, Am J Clin Nutr 70: 1040-1050, 1999
    (2) The Effects of Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate on Thermogenesis and Fat Oxidation in Obese Men: A Pilot Study Michael Boschmann, MD and Frank Thielecke, PhD. Universitary Medicine Berlin, Charité Campus Buch, Franz Volhard Center for Clinical Research, and HELIOS Clinic Berlin. J Am Coll Nutr. 26 (4); 389-3995. 2007
     
  4. Spear

    Spear JF-Expert Member

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    sasa hiyo chai ya kijani inapatikana hapa Tz?
     
  5. X-PASTER

    X-PASTER Moderator

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    Jaribu kuulizia kwenye supermarket au kwenye maduka ya wahindi.
     
  6. Babylon

    Babylon JF-Expert Member

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    nafikiri itakuwa jambo la busara kama utatowa maelezo ya kina.
     
  7. X-PASTER

    X-PASTER Moderator

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    Nadhani ukiulizia madukani unaweza kuipata, au unaweza kutafuta mchai chai.
     
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