What is green tea?
Green tea is one of the products of the tea tree. This the same tree where one of the commonest types of beverages is derived from. That is black tea leaves that are used for making ordinary tea. Scientifically the tea tree is called Carmellia sinensis. The only difference comes about through the mode of preparing these two products.
To make green tea, the leaves are lightly steamed to retain their color. The history of tea as a health product dates back many centuries. It was used for this purpose in Japan and in China. The health benefits of tea generally, and green tea in particular is popular today where many nutritional supplements products have been developed.
What are the active ingredients of green tea?
The main active ingredients in green tea are called catechins. They are in a class of compounds called polyphenols. These are thought to be responsible for the many health benefits of green tea. One of the actions of polyphenols, is that they act as antioxidants. With this property they are capable of controlling the levels of free radicals in the body.
High levels of free radicals are associated with an increased risk of an imbalanced immune system and many health disorders including serious chronic health conditions including cancer.
According to a report published in the Oregon State University Newsroom, these compounds can positively affect body cells associated with the immune system. These are called regulatory T cells. One of the effects of these cells is to balance the immune system and reduce the conditions that promote the development of an imbalanced immune system that can lead to autoimmune diseases whereby the immune system acts against various body parts and system – the way it would treat harmful substances from outside the body.
While medications for autoimmune conditions are widely available, they are known to cause a wide range of side effects. On the other hand, green tea will help to achieve a balanced immune system without such toxic effects. These leads to many specific health benefits of green tea.
Health benefits of green tea
A lot of research on green tea has been done and more is ongoing on the health effects of green tea. Some of the findings have suggested that, there are health benefits associated with this product. Some of these science-backed benefits include:
- Supports mental functions. It improves alertness. It contains some caffeine which is thought to be behind this effect.
- May reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease
- It stabilizes blood sugar in diabetic people
- Green tea oil is an FDA approved product for genital warts
- It supports heart health. It reduces blood pressure and bad cholesterol which can reduce risk of heart disease
- May reduce the risk of cancer.
- Reduces risk of abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix that may be brought about by the virus called human papilloma virus.
- Makes the arteries of the heart more patent which in turn reduces the risk of heart attack
- Normalizes the blood pressure in the elderly who may develop low blood pressure after eating.
- Supports oral health
- Promotes bone health
- When in combination with specific other nutritional products, it increases fertility and conception rates in women
- May be useful in the management of iron overload in the liver
- May help in supporting better health in people living with HIV.
Although green tea has been promoted as a weight loss product, research has not supported this notion. There are many other benefits that appear to be associated with green tea and research is ongoing to gather more data on these.
Green tea products come in many different forms. It can be as a standalone nutritional product or it can be one of the ingredients in a supplement that contains many other ingredients. As a single ingredient it can be found as a:
- Plain beverage
- Liquid extracts and
Sometimes green tea can also be found as skin topical application.
While all these presentations of green tea offers health benefits, it has many more widespread benefits when available as part of a nutritional supplement with many other ingredients. Why is this so?
Good health is not achieved through one magic product. It is achieved through the working together of many different health products and situations working together to achieve it. Belisan’s multivitamin and multi-mineral Essential health product is a good example. In this product, green tea works with other ingredients for better overall and balanced health. Each ingredient confers the body with specific benefits. But when put together, the ingredients achieves much more what the individual ingredients can achieve. This is called synergy advantage.
Side effects of green tea
Green tea is a generally safe product when taken as recommended. However, if taken in high doses and for prolonged periods, it may cause undesirable effects such as:
- Digestive problems
- Liver damage
Children and pregnant women should avoid concentrated forms of green tea. An example is tea extracts. This form is very concentrated and has been associated with liver damage in adults
It reduces the absorption of iron. This is however, the case where green tea is taken in high doses and for long. It augments the effects of stimulant drugs which may lead to serious side effects. Other medical products that may interact with green tea include:
- Hormonal contraceptive
- Some antibiotics
- Some heart medications
- Some ulcers medications
- Antidepressant medications
The caffeine component in green tea is a stimulant and one of the main causes of interaction with many medications. To be on the safer side, always consult your health expert before using concentrated forms of green tea products.
Green tea is a versatile product. When used in moderations, there are many health benefit associated with it. When in combination with specific other health ingredients, the benefits are more. Belisan’s Multivitamin Essential is a product that contains green tea in a safe dose (only 50mg) per serving) that will help you achieve these and other health benefits.
To learn more about Belisan’s Multivitamin Essential, click here.
Catechin and Caffeine Content of Green Tea Dietary Supplements and Correlation with Antioxidant Capacity Navindra P. Seeram,*, Susanne M. Henning,Yantao Niu,Rupo Lee,H. Samuel Scheuller, and, and David Heber Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2006 54 (5), 1599-1603 DOI: 10.1021/jf052857r
Megan Ware RDN LD. (2017, March 28). "Green tea: Health benefits, side effects, and research." Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538.php
Chacko, S. M., Thambi, P. T., Kuttan, R., & Nishigaki, I. (2010). Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review. Chinese Medicine, 5, 13. http://doi.org/10.1186/1749-8546-5-13
Green and Black Teas Inhibit Atherosclerosis by Lipid, Antioxidant, and Fibrinolytic Mechanisms Joe A. Vinson,*, Karolyn Teufel, and, and Nancy Wu Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2004 52 (11), 3661-3665 DOI: 10.1021/jf035255l
Carmen Cabrera, Reyes Artacho & Rafael Giménez (2013) Beneficial Effects of Green Tea—A Review, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 25:2, 79-99, DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2006.10719518