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
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.