Video:What Is Special About Green Tea?with Adam Kochanowicz
Green tea has a reputation for promoting general health and even aiding weight loss. But are the benefits of green tea proven or just another health trend? Learn what makes green tea special and separate fact from fiction.See Transcript
Transcript:What Is Special About Green Tea?Hi, I’m Adam Kochanowicz for About.com. There are probably about as many different claims for the benefit of drinking green tea as there are people who make them. So what is the big deal about this Chinese beverage? Does it really cure cancer? Does it make you healthier? Or is it just a nice light beverage? In this video, I’ll tell you exactly what it is that is so special about green tea.
Studies Claim Green Tea Aids Weight LossGreen tea is comes exclusively from the plant Camellia sinensis. The introduction of the drink in the west has been popularized by a number of health claims, some more true than others. For example, the tea is claimed to aid in weight loss. This is backed by scientific studies in journals like the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which show the polyphenols in the tea help to oxidize fat beyond the effect from caffeine. And unlike caffeine, this fat oxidation does not increase your heartbeat.
Claims for green tea’s ability to reduce the risk for certain diseases are still questionable. However, recent studies such as one from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition are beginning to support the possibility that green tea reduces the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Green Tea May Promote Healthy CellsAccording to a study in Biochemical Pharmacology, green tea’s inclusion of a molecule called EGCG has very recently been linked to beneficial antioxidant effects for healthy cells. This means green teas with high levels of EGCG will help you to prevent and even to fight cancer if you’re receiving treatment. Green tea may also help to lower cholesterol. Research has confirmed that drinking the tea may significantly reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol, as opposed to HDL cholesterol is what the public refers to as “bad” cholesterol as it increases the risk for heart disease.
Some Green Tea Claims Have Been RejectedHowever, these claims should be taken with a grain of salt. In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration actually rejected an appeal from a green tea manufacturer to claim their product may prevent heart disease. The FDA stated “there is no credible evidence to support qualified health claims for green tea or green tea extract and a reduction of a number of risk factors associated with [cardiovascular disease]”
So, if you’re mystified about the health benefits of green tea, don’t feel alone. On the other hand, as long as green tea isn’t being used in place of medical treatment prescribed by a professional, there is no reason to believe green tea is harmful in reasonable amounts. The drink is very low in sugar, it’s fat free, and low in calories. Getting a green tea in place of your double mocha latte may be beneficial to your health in terms of what the drink lacks.Keep in mind before investing in some green tea at home, any of the general benefits for green tea, polyphenols, flavenoids, or anything else, may vary among the many varieties commercially available.
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