Green tea

Green tea, unlike black tea, is made from leaves that are not fermented before they are dried. The primary constituents in green tea thought to provide the most health benefits are the polyphenols. Members of the flavonoid family, polyphenols are catechins made of several ringlike structures. Four are of particular interest: epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate, the most potent. In laboratory studies presented at a September 1997 meeting of the American Chemical Society, epigallocatechin gallate proved to be 100 times more effective at neutralizing free radicals than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E. Research does suggest that this antioxidant power may translate into helping to maintain immunity. In animal studies conducted in Japan in the early 1990s, green tea polyphenols increased activation of macrophages, B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, and natural killer cells. All of these are white blood cells. Studies indicate that green tea also helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, helps reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, and helps reduce the formation of dental plaque. A recent study affirms that green tea is helpful with bone mineralization and therefore osteoporosis. Green tea also contains oligomers of proanthocyanidins (OPCs), also in the flavonoid family, that have been shown to have positive effects on blood vessels.

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Reference The AIM Companies Proancynol 2000 data sheet 2005

 

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