Next to water, green tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, green tea is one of the richest natural sources of antioxidants. Green tea is derived from a plant called Camellia sinensis. The leaves of this plant are used to make the tea. The different processing methods determine if Camellia becomes green, black, or oolong tea.

Green teas have been studied in humans and animals, as well as in test tubes studies. Catechins are what are believed to be the affective part of green tea, which yields the medicinal benefits. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that catechins, whether you take them in green or black tea, in beverage form or in pill form, yield health benefits. Some of the benefits of green tea are protecting the heart, cancer prevention, exercise endurance, and weight loss.

Italian researchers found that green tea catechins were 90 percent effective in preventing prostate cancer in men with pre-malignant lesions. People have used green teas for increasing energy levels. A recent study by the American Physiological Society demonstrated that green tea markedly enhanced the endurance of laboratory animals.

Other studies reveal that green tea consumption helps to burn off fats in the blood, by increasing energy expenditure. Catechins are a key ingredient in green tea that is believed to have reduced the body weight, waist circumference, body fat mass, and subcutaneous fat in Japanese men who were given catechins. This study appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and suggests that catechins might be helpful in controlling obesity.



For full story, please see the April 22, 2006 edition of The Union-Recorder.

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