supplements of extracts from green tea (Camellia sinensis) may reduce
blood pressure, cholesterol
and markers of oxidative stress, and all within three weeks, says a new
Reductions of systolic and diastolic blood pressures of 5 and 4 mmHg,
respectively, were observed following daily supplements of green tea extracts,
while total cholesterol levels were reduced by 10 mg/dL, according to
findings of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel study.
The study adds to an ever growing body of science reporting the potential
health benefits of green tea and its extracts, which already range from
reduced risks of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain
Researchers from the University of Florida, Brigham and Women’s
Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and the Nutritional Science Research
Institute, Boston, report their findings in Nutrition.
Green tea contains between 30 and 40 per cent of water-extractable polyphenols,
while black tea (green tea that has been oxidized by fermentation) contains
between 3 and 10 per cent. Oolong tea is semi-fermented tea and is somewhere
between green and black tea.
The four primary polyphenols found in fresh tealeaves are epigallocatechin
gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and
Meri Nantz and co-workers recruited 52 healthy men and 72 healthy women
with an average age of 29 and randomly assigned them to receive daily
supplements of green tea extract (Cardio Guard, containing 100 mg of L-theanine
(Suntheanine, Taiyo International) and 200 mg of a decaffeinated catechin
green tea extract (Sunphenon 90DCF, Taiyo International)) or placebo for
At the end of the supplementation period the researchers found that total
and LDL cholesterol levels had decreased by 10 and 9 mg/dL, respectively.
In addition to the blood pressure improvements, improvements in malondialdehyde
(a marker of oxidative stress) and amyloid-alpha (a marker of chronic
inflammation) were also recorded. Specifically, 12 and 42 per cent reductions,
respectively, were observed.
“Camellia sinensis compounds may be an option for people who have
mild to moderate high BP, elevated LDL cholesterol, elevated markers of
inflammation, or a combination of these three CVD risk factors,”
wrote the researchers.
“It may be helpful for individuals whose health care providers suggest
a trial of diet and exercise before resorting to prescription medication,”
High blood pressure (hypertension),defined as having a systolic and diastolic
blood pressure (BP) greater than 140 and 90 mmHg, is a major risk factor
for cardiovascular disease (CVD) - a disease that causes almost 50 per
cent of deaths in Europe, and reported to cost the EU economy an estimated
€169bn ($202bn) per year.
By Stephen Daniells, 30-Oct-2008
Published online ahead of print, 9 October 2008, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2008.07.018
“Standardized capsule of Camellia sinensis lowers cardiovascular
risk factors in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study”
Authors: M.P. Nantz, C.A. Rowe, J.F. Bukowski, S.S. Percival
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