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Health Benefits of Green Tea Extract

Tea is made from the dried leaves of a shrub called Camellia sinensis. Historically, India, China, Japan, and Thailand have been drinking its brew for thousands of years. Because ancient sages realized the health benefits of green tea, it became part of their rituals and ceremonies.

Tea drinking is inculcated in the culture of most Asian countries. India and China were the first cultivators of tea and still are today, the largest producers of tea.Chemical Composition of Green TeaGreen tea is made from unfermented leaves and reportedly contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, the most important of which are flavonoids (catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate, and proanthocyanidins).

Out of these flavonoids, Epigallocatechin gallate is the most significant active compound.Dried green tea leaves generally contain from 8-12% total polyphenols, caffeine (3.5%), theanine (~4%), lignin (6.5%), organic acids (1.5%), protein (15%), and chlorophyll (0.5%). Green tea contains B-vitamins and ascorbic acid, which are destroyed in the process of making black tea. The essential oil contains more than 300 components including aldehydes, phenylethyl alcohols, phenols, hexenal, linalool, dihydroactinidiolide and p-vinylphenol.Traditional UsesTraditionally, Chinese and Indian medicine used green tea as a stimulant, diuretic (to promote the excretion of urine), astringent (to control bleeding and help heal wounds), and to improve heart health. Other traditional uses of green tea include treating flatulence (gas), regulating body temperature and blood sugar, promoting digestion, and improving mental processes.

Health Benefits of Green TeaExtensive medical research on the benefits of Green Tea is showing positive results. Studies indicate:

* Green Tea can help to protect against a range of cancers.According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, polyphenols containing catechins present in green tea may play an important role in the prevention of cancer. Emerging studies also suggest that polyphenols inactivate oxidants, reduce the number and size of tumors, and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. (New Scientist, 20 March 2004). Studies in particular have been conducted on cancers of the bladder, breast, ovaries, esophagus, lungs, pancreas, prostate, skin, and stomach

* Green Tea can help to prevent Atherosclerosis.Antioxidants in green tea are believed to prevent fatty buildup in the arteries by suppressing the oxidation of LDL ("bad") cholesterol. They may also reduce the likelihood of blood clot formation and help in relaxing blood vessels thereby improving blood flow.

* Green Tea can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Research indicates that green tea lowers total cholesterol and raises HDL ("good") cholesterol in both animals and people. Polyphenols in green tea help block the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and promote its excretion from the body.

* Green Tea can help to control Diabetes. Green tea has been used traditionally to control blood sugar in the body. Studies indicate Green tea may help regulate glucose in the body. 5. Green Tea can help to protect against Liver disease. Green tea seems to protect the liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances such as alcohol. 6. Weight loss. Studies suggest that green tea extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat. Some researchers speculate polyphenols, specifically catechins, are responsible for the herb's fat-burning effect.

* Relaxation. Due to the presence of the amino acid, L-theanine, drinking a hot cup of green tea helps produce a relaxed feeling, increasing alertness of mind.

* Green tea can help to boost the immune system. The Brigham and Women's Hospital research suggests that theanine present in green tea boosts the disease fighting capacity of Gamma Delta T cells and helps the body to fight infections.

* Green tea helps to make the digestive and respiratory system strong because it is rich in bioflavonoids.

* Green tea is anti-bacterial and helps prevent dental cavities.

Two to three cups of green tea per day (for a total of 240 to 320 mg polyphenols) is recommended. It is best to get green tea antioxidants from its natural form, green tea itself. But if you don’t like the flavor, or don’t have the time, and would like to make sure your body is benefiting from green tea antioxidants you may want to try Green Tea Extracts or Green Tea Drops. Green Tea Plus is a heavily concentrated form of green tea. It has an antioxidant value of 7800 units. Green Tea Plus has added trace minerals to aid in regular body functions. It can be added to any beverage, even water.

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