The body needs cholesterol, a waxy molecule, to create hormones and cells. There are two main types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Unhealthy cholesterol levels raise the risk of severe medical conditions like heart attacks and strokes.
Tea is the second most popular beverage in the world after water. Numerous studies have demonstrated that it has several health advantages. For example, it creates a beneficial impact on cholesterol levels. The most well-known of these tea varieties is green tea. It has a long history of usage in traditional medicine for conditions like bleeding and stomach issues.
The Benefits of Green Tea
As per one study, green tea offers numerous health advantages. There is evidence from in vitro and animal studies on the underlying mechanisms of green tea catechins and their biological actions.
There are also human studies on using green tea catechins to treat metabolic syndrome. These are obesity, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors.
Long-term consumption of tea catechins could be beneficial against high-fat diet-induced obesity and type II diabetes. In addition, it could reduce the risk of coronary disease.
Green tea is distinct from other forms of tea because it has undergone less processing. Therefore, the leaf bud, leaf, and stem of a green tea plant are all useful.
Many of its antioxidants, particularly catechins, are maintained because it does not go through the thorough fermentation process that other teas do.
As a result, catechins’ antioxidant activity has been linked to several health advantages, including cancer prevention, lowering cholesterol, relief from rheumatoid arthritis, and antibacterial activity.
Green Tea for Cholesterol – An Overview
Most research on the cholesterol-lowering properties of green tea uses catechin extract. It is an active component of the beverage.
According to some research, green tea catechin extract can reduce total and LDL cholesterol. However, the majority of this research depends on the participant’s health and the quantity of catechin extract used. Despite these findings, it is still unknown how green tea lowers cholesterol.
Although the exact mechanism of tea’s cholesterol-lowering effects is still unclear, it seems to –
- Boost LDL receptor activity in the liver
- Prevent cholesterol absorption in the intestines
- Lower LDL cholesterol
- Increase HDL cholesterol
- Lower total cholesterol
According to a study, you need to consume a large volume of green tea to lower cholesterol. The levels of HDL also increase with the use of caffeine.
Some researchers have shown concerns about the potential negative consequences of excessive green tea or green tea extracts. For instance, there have been a few dozen cases of liver injury. Additionally, green tea may interact negatively with several medicines, lowering their efficacy.
Thus, there are conflicting findings about green tea’s capacity to lower cholesterol. And there has not been definite research to state that green tea lowers cholesterol.
The HealthifyMe Note
The steeping time and temperature of green tea significantly impact how much antioxidant content is present in it. Warm, natural temperatures are the greatest for preserving antioxidants. Let the boiling water slightly cool off. Then, add the leaves and steep them for two to three minutes before consumption.
Benefits of Drinking Green Tea
Drinking green tea has several advantages. After consulting with a doctor, you can also include it in your regular diet. You can connect with coaches at healthifyme as they can guide you on what will be the best way to include it in your diet.
Some studies demonstrate that green tea significantly reduces LDL and triglycerides, simultaneously raising HDL levels. Green tea also helps to manage blood pressure and reduces the chance of developing heart disease.
Enhances Weight Loss
Green tea’s abundance of flavonoids, caffeine, and catechins is known to speed up metabolism, burn excess fat, raise energy expenditure, and help people lose weight.
Prevents Bad Breath
The active ingredients in green tea help maintain good oral hygiene. They battle the microorganisms that cause bad breath. As a result, it reduces the number of dental cavities and infections.
Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
The polyphenol components in green tea help limit the rise in blood sugar. Like insulin, catechins reduce hepatic glucose synthesis and stabilise blood sugar levels.
Green tea’s antioxidants and polyphenol compounds scavenge free radical damage, kill cancer cells, and prevent the spread of cancerous cells.
Side Effects of Drinking Green Tea
Although the health advantages of caffeine and catechins in green tea are known, some people may experience its disadvantages, especially when taking high dosages.
Effects of Excessive Caffeine
Anxiety levels can rise with excessive caffeine use. It can also disrupt sleep, upset stomachs, and give some people migraines. The quantity of tea used and the amount of time the leaves steep affect how much caffeine is in a cup of green tea.
Research that included more than 400 trials discovered that healthy persons who drank up to 400 mg of caffeine daily had no effects. But still, people with health issues, especially pregnant women, should avoid excessive caffeine intake.
Catechins May Reduce Iron Absorption
Those who have iron deficiency should think about drinking tea between meals and waiting at least an hour after meals before doing so. Green tea supplements, which have a far higher concentration of catechins, are most frequently associated with toxic effects.
The HealthifyMe Note
It is best to sip green tea between meals. It ensures that the potential benefits of green tea are not diminished by the catechins in green tea reacting with the casein protein found in milk and other animal protein. Green tea shouldn’t be consumed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach since the caffeine and tannins encourage the creation of gastric acid, which can cause ulcers or upset stomachs. Additionally, drinking green tea an hour before bedtime is ideal because it promotes fat loss without affecting your sleep cycle.
The healthiest beverage to consume regularly is green tea. It is brimming with antioxidants and other vital minerals. Due to its high antioxidant content and other health advantages, green tea is ideal for decreasing cholesterol.
Regularly consuming green tea can lower your risk of developing several illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and help you lose weight. However, excess green tea should not be taken as excess consumption of caffeine may prove harmful to health.
Green tea must be consumed right to reap its benefits. You should avoid consuming it before bed or with meals because it contains caffeine and several substances that can inhibit the absorption of essential minerals.
The Supporting Sources
1. Chacko SM, Thambi PT, Kuttan R, Nishigaki I. Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chin Med. 2010 Apr 6;5:13. Doi: 10.1186/1749-8546-5-13. PMID: 20370896; PMCID: PMC2855614.
2. Babu PV, Liu D. Green tea catechins and cardiovascular health: an update. Curr Med Chem. 2008;15(18):1840–1850. doi:10.2174/092986708785132979
3. Maron DJ, Lu GP, Cai NS, et al. Cholesterol-lowering effect of a theaflavin-enriched green tea extract: a randomised controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(12):1448-53. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.12.1448
4. Khan N, Mukhtar H. Tea and health: studies in humans. Curr Pharm Des. 2013;19(34):6141–6147. doi:10.2174/1381612811319340008
5. Shapiro RE. Caffeine and headaches. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2008 Aug;12(4):311-5. doi: 10.1007/s11916-008-0052-z. PMID: 18625110.
6. Richards G, Smith A. Caffeine consumption and self-assessed stress, anxiety, and depression in secondary school children. J Psychopharmacol. 2015 Dec;29(12):1236-47. doi: 10.1177/0269881115612404. Epub 2015 Oct 27. PMID: 26508718; PMCID: PMC4668773.
7. Wikoff D, Welsh BT, Henderson R, Brorby GP, Britt J, Myers E, Goldberger J, Lieberman HR, O’Brien C, Peck J, Tenenbein M, Weaver C, Harvey S, Urban J, Doepker C. Systematic review of the potential adverse effects of caffeine consumption in healthy adults, pregnant women, adolescents, and children. Food Chem Toxicol. 2017 Nov;109(Pt 1):585-648. Doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2017.04.002. Epub 2017 Apr 21. PMID: 28438661.
8. Samman S, Sandström B, Toft MB, Bukhave K, Jensen M, Sørensen SS, Hansen M. Green tea or rosemary extract added to foods reduces nonheme-iron absorption. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Mar;73(3):607-12. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/73.3.607. PMID: 11237939.