Category Archives: Green tea

GREEN TEA UPDATE

The benefits of green tea have not been disputed, but there have been recent articles about lead and the effect of green tea extract on the liver, so its time for an update.

“Green tea benefits your health as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-carcinogenic, antihypertensive, brain protector as well as lowers cholesterol.(1)” We also know that it has a long list of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Green tea has been shown to reduce cancerous tumors in skin, colon, liver, and mammary glands.

The above study reports that in Canada, black, green and oolong teas taken from local store shelves contained lead. Green tea from China had lead while green tea from Sri Lanka did not. Organic teas had the same concentrations. So, it’s not the tea itself, but where it’s produced that matters.

According to the National Institute of Health(2), “Drinking green tea has not been associated with liver injury or serum aminotransferase elevations.” But, the tea extract in diet supplements like Exolise(now rescinded) has caused some warnings. The problem is that the extracts have various concentrations levels. Even then, the article concludes that, “Liver injury from green tea is rare.”

What to do? You might hear that green tea is considered unsafe during pregnancy and lactation. Although, confirming studies are needed, it’s probably a good idea for women to refrain from tea “extract” and matcha use during this period.

In the NIH article, “Human clinical studies demonstrate that single doses of up to 1.6 grams of green tea extract are well tolerated.” That is equivalent to about 4 cups in extract from. However, if the extract form is questionable, why use it al all?

CONCLUSIONS:

1.  “The amount of lead is not dangerous if it is brewed. This is because 90% of the lead stays in the tea leaf itself.”(3)

2.  It is prudent to avoid green tea “extracts” or supplements until better research is available for both genders.

3.  Drinking green tea powder or Matcha can have concentrated levels of all ingredients.  “If in doubt(about its content), limit yourself to just one cup of Matcha a day and drink brewed tea for the rest of the day.”(3)

4.  Be more aware where your tea is grown and look for testing of the ingredients.

5. GREEN TEA WITHOUT LEAD: Bigelow Green Tea Naturally Decaf(bags), Salada Green Tea Naturally Decaf(bags), and Tevana Gykuro Loose Leaf. Matcha without lead is matchadna.com/organic/(based on studies that DNA can be restored).

So, we can continue to drink brewed green, white, black and oolong teas, but should switch to a higher non-lead quality for matcha drinkers and avoid extracts for now.   L. Johnson   www.creativeretirementforwomen.com

528E7GeI1KL1. Thyr, S. ND, “Green Tea Update” 6-24-2014. Retrieved on 6-16-15 from: http://www.naturopathic.org/article_content.asp?edition=105&section=157&article=926            2. National Institute of Health. “Green Tea” 4-3-2015. Retrieved on 6-16-15 from: http://livertox.nih.gov/GreenTea.htm         3. Becki. “What you need to know about green tea and lead” 10-14-2014 Retrieved on 6-16-15 from: http://www.green-tea-guide.com/green-tea-lead.html

Green Tea and Dr. Oz

GREEN TEA and DR. OZ

Regardless of how we feel about Dr. Oz or green tea, we still want to get the best advice based on the best research. He has taken a lot of flack over his weight loss program that does not involve diet or exercise. So, lets take a look at the green tea part.

Dr. Oz’s Rapid Belly Melt Plan includes green tea as one of the three parts. The green, white, black, oolong and matcha teas are all derived from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Each of these teas are harvested from a different part of the plant and processed or oxygenated differently. Amazing-green-tea.com(1) has identified 16 green tea benefits:

1. ANTIOXIDANT EFFECT: The catechins in tea can prevent heart disease, strokes and cancers.
2. EXERCISE LONGER AND BURN FAT: Exercise endurance increases as the catechins burn fat and enable you to exercise longer.
3. CANCER PREVENTION: Tea blocks the production of destructive enzymes that promote cancer.
4. SLOWS AGING: Studies show the more tea consumed, the less change of premature death.
5. REDUCES STRESS WHILE INCREASING CONCENTRATION: Theanine in tea calms the body by producing alpha brain waves and results better attention spans.
6. CARDIOVASCULAR PROTECTION: The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in tea speeds the recovery process from heart attacks and strokes while reducing heart disease risk.
7. BLOOD PRESSURE: Tea drinkers are 65% less likely to develop hypertension.
8. DIABETES: Tea tends to regulate blood sugar levels by increasing insulin activity.
9. INFLAMMATION REDUCTION: This is especially for women who are three times more likely to be affected by rheumatoid arthritis caused by inflammation.
10. LUNGS: Cell damage caused by cigarettes leading to lung cancer is reduced.
11. ARTERIES: Tea helps inhibit arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
12. ORAL HEALTH: Green tea fights mouth viruses, tooth decay, and bad breath.
13. LIVER PROTECTION: It reduces liver damage from alcohol and possible other substances.
14. OSTEOPOROSIS: Tea preserves bone density and reduces this risk.
15. IMMUNE RESPONSE:  Antigens found in tea can increase our immunity level.
16. HYDRATION: There is a myth held by some doctors that any caffeine dehydrates you. It turns out that not only does tea hydrate you, you get all the extra benefits as well.

There are thousands of scientific studies on green tea that confirm the above results. The most antioxidant potent of the teas is Matcha, then white, green, oolong, and black tea. Matcha is simply green tea leaves grounded to a power. It’s then mixed into hot water like instant coffee. This is over 100 times more potent than just pouring hot water over leaves. I’ve been drinking matcha for about two years now and it has replaced coffee. It is a much calmer alertness in my opinion and I love the health benefits.

So, the studies certainly support Dr. Oz’s recommendation of green tea. Maybe some of you have visited an Asian tea tasting room that is popping up in many metro areas. This is a good way to become familiar with the world of teas. The finer teas available in the tea rooms or online are greatly improved over the cheaper bag teas and are much easier on the stomach.

1. Amazing Green Tea Staff.(2014 copyright) “Green tea benefits: The 16 things that make miracles possible”. From ‪amazing-green-tea.com‬.
Photo: Ruven Afanador

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