Monday, January 21, 2013

Green Tea for your Cholesterol?

I hear the argument for green tea often and get into discussion about how it can cure cancer, lower your cholesterol and generally just make you more healthy.  And although I believe it is high in anti-oxidants which is never a bad thing to consume, I also feel that many health benefits attributed to Green Tea are not as easily proven.  For example, have you heard that it will lower your cholesterol.  I dug into this because I, like most people of my background, have cholesterol issues.  This is what I found.
A new analysis of 20 clinical trials about green tea and one of its products found that the drink reduced people's total cholesterol and LDL levels by 5 to 6 points.

The reviewed studies which involved more than 1,400 people looked at green tea and capsules containing its compounds called catechins, which are thought to decrease cholesterol absorption in the gut.

According to the findings published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, adding green tea to daily diet may reduce cholesterol, but the effect is not strong enough to replace cholesterol lowering medications.

“If someone is already taking medication for their cholesterol, they should stick with it and not try to trade it for green tea, either capsules or the beverage,” lead author Olivia Phung of Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California told Reuters Health.

The researchers found that the subjects who received the green tea, on average, did see an effect on their cholesterol, but it was minimal. Over all, their levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, fell by 2.2 milligrams per deciliter, a change of roughly 2 percent. There was no effect on their levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol.
So in other words, the study also couldn't find any strong links between green tea consumption and increase of "good" HDL cholesterol, or decrease of triglycerides, another type of blood fat.
Green tea is considered safe in moderate amounts, but it should be avoided by some people due to its caffeine. For some it may be worth a shot. But for others there could be side effects: A compound in green tea called EGCG may interfere with medications like anticoagulants and the cancer drug bortezomib.  To avoid medicinal interactions, talk to your physician.
As I always say, enjoy your tea for its taste and let the benefits come as the happy afterward of the relaxation and enjoyment tea will bring!


  1. Too late, my cholesterol was slightly elevated! Need to work on that green tea! I have enough choices! It would be my luck that the caffeine would be a problem for me! It doesn't seem to effect or is it affect me! Thanks as always for sharing your knowledge, Marcy. xxoo LVL


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