Healthy Outlook – AUG 2017 – Green Tea
Green Tea is one of the healthiest beverage on the planet and second only to water as the most consumed beverage in the world. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. Of these antioxidants, a major player is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). ECGC functions as an antioxidant that is 25 – 100 times more potent than vitamins C and E. One cup of green tea can provide antioxidant effects that are greater than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots, or strawberries. This has a positive effect on; improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.
Green Tea Reduces Mortality
By early 2017, several large cohort studies and meta-analyses of smaller cohort studies had been completed examining the association between green tea consumption and death from all causes. While the results varied somewhat by design and by the population being studied, they all had one thing in common: They found significate reductions in all-cause mortality among habitual green tea users, compared with nonusers or low-level consumers. Together these studies vividly illustrate the powerful ability of green tea consumption to mitigate the risk of dying from any cause.
Green Tea Fights Age-Related Diseases
How is green tea consumption capable of such drops in the risk of death across the board? The reason is that green tea possesses multi-targeted properties that combat five fundamental processes that underlie degenerative disease: oxidative stress, sugar –induces damage, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and disruption to the intestinal microbiome. As a result, green tea consumption has been found to have a beneficial impact on the chronic conditions responsible for killing most older adults, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes/obesity, and cancer, as well as some less obvious factors like dental problems.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading killer of older Americans and is, therefore a major contributor to all-cause mortality. Green tea consumption is widely recognized as a means of lower cardiovascular disease risk. These benefits are largely driven by green teas’ high content of catechins (a polyphenol) the most abundant of which is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Higher levels of green tea catechins are associated with lower levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. EGCG has potent proactive effects against the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This is important because oxidized LDL cholesterol is a major factor for, and early contributor to atherosclerosis and plaque formation that blocks arterial blood flow.
The combination of type II diabetes and obesity is another major contributor to premature death because it set up older adults for metabolic, cardiac, neurologic and malignant catastrophes by feeding inflammatory changes throughout the body. Other favorable effects of green tea extracts and EGCG include reductions in fat uptake and liver fat storage, reductions in markers of fat-induced chemical stress, reductions in fat-induced insulin production, and reductions in inflammation produced by fat cells. As an added benefit, green tea extract prevents fat absorption by inhibiting the pancreatic enzymes required for its digestion in the intestine.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s contribute to early death, and they represent a sizable slice of the overall mortality rate. EGCG may prevent Alzheimer’s disease by reducing production of the toxic protein called beta-amyloid, as well as the resulting inflammation, which other wise destroys brain cells. Not only does this increase the survival of brain cells, it also stimulated new brain cell production, especially in the memory-storage hippocampal area of the brain. In an exciting development, scientists used MRI scanning for the first time in a human clinical setting to watch the immediate boost in working-memory activity that green tea extract produces – illustrating in real-time the potent neuroprotection of green tea compounds
The second leading cause of death in the US. The Anitoxidants in green tea have been found to surpress cancer development and it aggressivness in many different cancers, including prostate, melanoma, breast, liver, lung, brain and bladder malignancies. Green tea extracts and EGCG act by a wide range of mechanisms to achieve these effects, including:
- Inhibiting the out-of-control cell replication cycle typical of cancers
- Inducing early cell death (apoptosis) in malignant cells
- Supressing the formation of new blood vessels to nourish rapidly-growing tumor masses, resulting in their destruction
- Reducing production of the “protein-melting” enzymes tumors use to invade cells and spread their malignant tissue
- Inhibiting a host of proinflammatory signaling systems, including nuclear factor kappa B and cyclooxygenese
Studies of breast cancer and prostate cancer in relation to green tea consumption are particularly compelling and deserve specific mention. Studies show, for instance, that among women diagnosed with breast cancer, those with higher green tea consumption are less likely to have tumors spread to regional lymph nodes, or to metastasize, compared with women who consume little or none of the beverage. In addition that there are around 400 published studies on the effects of green tea and prostate cancer. The perponderance of these studies showed that green tea (EGCG) may lower prostate cancer incidence. Data from a March 2017 analysis found a dose-associated reduction of prostate cancer risk in men who drank green tea. The more green tea men drank, the lower their prostate cancer risk. Infact a team at the Moffitt Cancer Center, in Tampa conducted a randomized trial to assess the safety and effectivness of the active components in green tea to prevent prostate cancer development in men who have premalignant lesions. According to the Moffit researchers: “Laboratory studies have shown that substances in green tea called ‘catechins’ inhibit cancer cell growth, motility, and invasion, and stimulate cancer cell death. Green tea catechins also prevent and reduce growth in animal models EGCG is the most abundant and potent catechin found in green tea responsible for these cancer prevention effects” The Moffitt researchers used decaffeinated green tea capsules that contained a mixture of catechins that predominantly consisted of EGCG at a dose of 200mg twice a day.
Oral health, tooth decay, and gum disease are rarely thought of as being associated with premature death, but that’s a dangerous misconception. The alarming truth is that people with gum disease can be anywhere from 34-72% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease and other complications compared to those in good oral health. Green tea extracts have been found to help slow or prevent tooth decay and loss. Research shows that green tea extract can reduce wear and roughness caused by chemical erosion on tooth material.