6 Scientifically proven benefits of green tea By Zoey Sky for Nutrients
If you drink tea often, especially green tea, you have new reasons to keep drinking it.
Green tea has been the focus of many studies and findings show that drinking green tea regularly offers various health benefits, such as reducing bad breath and promoting weight loss.
Where does green tea come from?
For many years, tea has been used for therapeutic purposes in China and Japan.
The black, green and oolong teas all come from the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference between the teas lies in their preparation methods.
Green tea is made by steaming the leaves, pan-frying then drying them.
Since brewed green tea is primarily water-based, it’s free of the usual macronutrients found in other foods and drinks. Green tea doesn’t contain any fat, carbohydrates or protein. Unsweetened green tea is also calorie-free.
Green tea’s many health benefits are often accredited to compounds called catechins, specifically epicatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, epigallocatechin and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Experts think that these catechins are responsible for green tea’s potential “cancer-fighting, antioxidant, probiotic and metabolism-boosting benefits.”
It also contains trace amounts of potassium and moderate levels of caffeine. A cup of green tea contains 25 to 29 milligrams (mg) of caffeine.
Green tea is a popular beverage and it is often enjoyed in many countries worldwide.
Read on to learn more about the six evidence-based benefits of green tea.
Green tea has neuroprotective properties
According to research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, amyloid-beta protein has been shown to have a causal relationship with the development of dementia. Modulating amyloid-beta protein is a potential therapeutic modality that should be considered for further study.
Green tea has neuroprotective properties, particularly its reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging activity that can prevent oxidative stress.
The tea also contains EGCG, which suppresses the neurotoxicity induced by amyloid-beta protein. Scientists suggest that EGCG can help trigger glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3 beta) and also inhibits c-Abl/FE65 or the cytoplasmic nonreceptor tyrosine kinase with a role in nervous system development and nuclear translocation.
According to findings published in the journal Pharmacology & Therapeutics, when stimulated, many proteins translocate into the nucleus to regulate many different cellular processes that are crucial for brain health. These factors make green tea a potential agent to address neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Green tea has anticancer properties
Drinking green tea can also help prevent bladder, breast, esophagus, intestinal, lung, pancreatic and stomach cancers.
According to a 2020 article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, EGCG has the best anti-inflammatory and anticancer potential because it triggers apoptosis or cell death.
Researchers indicate that the control of catechins under an intracellular pool of nitro-oxidative stress is the primary reason for the potential anticancer properties. Additionally, catechins also scavenge harmful free radicals that are linked to chronic diseases. (Related: Drinking tea regularly linked to reduced cardiovascular disease risk.)
Green tea helps reduce fat and promote weight loss
Many fat-burning supplements contain green tea extract because this ingredient helps boost your metabolic rate.
Data from an older study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that green tea extract helped increased the number of calories burned by four percent in 10 healthy male participants. The extract can also help improve physical performance due to the increase in available energy because of the stimulation of caffeine and other compounds.
In a 2017 systematic review published in the journal Nutrición Hospitalaria, researchers examined the effects of green tea and its EGCG content on human fat mass and body weight. Findings showed that the daily consumption of green tea with EGCG doses between 100 and 460 milligrams per day effectively reduced body fat and weight in intervention periods of at least 12 weeks.
Green tea improves focus and boosts energy
If you have trouble concentrating but don’t like drinking too much coffee, you can improve your focus with green tea. An eight-ounce cup of brewed green tea contains 28 milligrams of caffeine, which is enough to stimulate both your body and brain without the jittery effects caused by overconsumption.
Green tea boosts your focus and energy because it contains caffeine that blocks adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
Additionally, caffeine boosts dopamine and norepinephrine signaling in the brain. This then helps improve your reaction time, memory and mood.
Green tea helps fight bad breath
Green tea catechins benefit your oral health by suppressing the growth of harmful bacteria.
Streptococcus mutans is a type of bacterium that often causes plaque and contributes to tooth decay and cavities. While there is no research on whether or not green tea can eliminate this bacteria, data suggests that green tea can help reduce bad breath (halitosis).
In a 2008 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, scientists analyzed the effects of green tea powder on volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth.
Findings showed that polyphenols in green tea had deodorizing and antimicrobial effects. Green tea extract presented the largest reduction in these bad breath compounds by significantly decreasing oral malodor temporarily.
Green tea helps improve skin health
The protective polyphenols in green tea can help increase collagen, improve elastic content and prevent wrinkles. A 2017 review published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition suggests that these compounds may also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
In a 2021 meta-analysis published in Phytotherapy Research, scientists analyzed the effects of green tea extract on acne vulgaris across five randomized clinical trials.
Review findings showed that topical green tea extract application benefits acne treatment without significant adverse events. On the other hand, oral GTE intake presents limited effects.
Topical green tea extract offered benefits for both inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions in the studies examined by the research team.
If you’re still on the fence about trying green tea, take this as a sign to start drinking this beneficial beverage. Consuming green tea regularly can offer many benefits, such as improving your skin health and lowering your risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers.