6 Evidence-Based Benefits of Green Tea
For thousands of years, tea has been used for therapeutic purposes in China and Japan. Oolong, black and green teas originate from the Camellia sinensis plant, but the difference between the teas lies in their preparation methods. Green tea is made by steaming the leaves, pan-frying and drying them.
Green tea is now one of the most popular beverages consumed across the world for wellness and enjoyment. Below, we’ll discuss six evidence-based benefits of green tea.
1. Green Tea Can Improve Skin Clarity
Green tea has shown promise in increasing collagen, improving elastic content and fighting wrinkles due to its protective polyphenols. The effects of these compounds also include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to a 2017 review published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
A 2021 meta-analysis, published in Phytotherapy Research, analyzed the effects of green tea extract (GTE) on acne vulgaris across five randomized clinical trials. The review found that topical GTE application benefits acne treatment without significant adverse events while oral GTE intake presents limited effects. Topical GTE benefited both inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions in the studies analyzed by researchers.
2. Green Tea May Mediate Neurodegenerative Diseases
According to the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, amyloid beta protein (Aβ) has been shown to have a causal relationship with the development of dementia. Modulating Aβ is a potential therapeutic modality that merits further research.
Green tea contains neuroprotective properties, including its reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging activity—which can prevent oxidative stress. Additionally, green tea contains a catechin called epigallocatechin (EGCG) which suppresses the neurotoxicity induced by Aβ. Researchers indicate that this protein triggers glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and also inhibits c-Abl/FE65—the cytoplasmic nonreceptor tyrosine kinase involved in nervous system development and nuclear translocation. When stimulated, many proteins translocate into the nucleus to regulate a variety of cellular processes important for brain health. These factors make green tea a potential agent to mediate neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, according to the findings published in Pharmacology & Therapeutics in 2015.
3. Green Tea Can Boost Focus and Energy
An eight-ounce cup of brewed green tea contains 28 milligrams of caffeine. That’s enough to stimulate the body and brain without the jittery effects caused by overconsumption.
Caffeine blocks adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, and enhances dopamine and norepinephrine signaling in the brain. This activity can boost one’s reaction time, memory and mood.
4. Green Tea Is a Potential Anticancer Agent
Green tea may help prevent certain cancers: bladder, breast, esophagus, intestinal, lung. pancreatic and stomach. Green tea contains catechin derivatives: epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate and epigallocatechin gallate. It’s the last catechin listed that presents the best anti-inflammatory and anticancer potential, as it induces apoptosis, according to a 2020 article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Researchers indicate the control of catechins under an intracellular pool of nitro-oxidative stress is the primary reason for their anticancer properties. Catechins also scavenge free radicals, which contribute to chronic disease, as one of their basic functions.
5. Green Tea Can Help You Burn Fat
Many fat-burning supplements contain green tea extract, an intrinsic ingredient that boosts the metabolic rate. An older study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea extract raised the number of calories burned by 4% in ten healthy male participants. Physical performance may also be improved due to the increase in available energy, thanks to the stimulation of caffeine and other compounds.
A 2017 systematic review, published in Nutrición Hospitalaria, analyzed the effects of green tea and its epigallocatechin (EGCG) content on human fat mass and body weight. Researchers found that daily consumption of green tea with EGCG doses between 100 and 460 milligrams per day was effective in reducing body fat and weight in intervention periods of at least 12 weeks.
6. Green Tea Could Reduce Bad Breath
The catechins in green tea benefit 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. There is no research on whether or not green tea can eliminate this bacteria, but some evidence exists that green tea could reduce bad breath (halitosis).
A 2008 study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, studied the effects of green tea powder on volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth. The polyphenols in green tea have deodorizing and antimicrobial effects. Green tea extract presented the largest reduction in these bad breath compounds, significantly decreasing oral malodor temporarily, according to researchers.
Consider integrating green tea into your everyday routine to make the most of its possible health benefits. From improving skin clarity to lowering your risk of neurodegenerative and certain cancers, green tea and its many forms enhance a life well-lived.