Green Tea A Review of Potential Health Benefits
Green tea is one of four types of tea (white, green, black, and oolong) that come from the plant Camellia sinensis. White tea is the least processed form of tea, while black tea leaves are fermented. Green tea leaves are steamed, not fermented and hence preserve more polyphenols.
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Green tea has polyphenolic catechins, of which (-)epigallocatechin— 3—gallate (EGCG) is one of six. EGCG is the most abundant catechin, accounting for 65% of green tea’s catechin content, and seems to produce most of the beneficial effects found in green tea. One cup of green tea contains approximately 100-200 mg of EGCG. Other components found in green tea include: caffeine, theanine, theaflavins, theobromine, theophylline, and phenolic acids such as gallic acid.
Overview: Green tea polyphenols (catechins) are potent antioxidants which reduce free radical damage to cells and prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Preventing oxidation of the LDL particle inhibits the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. Therefore the consumption of green tea is believed to be linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
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