CHINA GREEN TEA catechins have been found to improve wellness and longevity. What are the health benefits of green tea polyphenol catechins other than cardiovascular health, improving immune function and reducing the risk of cancer? Well let’s take a look shall we.
Over recent years green tea has built up quite the reputation for being a superfood. Specific epidemiological studies have found the following attributes to those individuals that consume up to three cups of green tea per day.
• Prevention of all causes of death
• Tumor suppression
• Increased concentration and brain activity
• Protection against neurodegeneration
• Prevention and reversal of metabolic syndrome
• Free radical scavenging
• Obesity and cancer prevention
• Reduction in LDL cholesterol levels
What are catechins?
Catechins are naturally occurring polyphenols that are commonly found in chocolate, green and black tea, red wine, and a few other plant foods. Catechins seem to scavenge cancer causing free radicals and regulates DNA function in cells within the body.
Green tea has been found to be a potent source of catechins. Because of the limited process of green tea, it contains 30-40% of catechin concentration, compared to the 10% that is left after the extensive processing of black tea. The four main catechins molecules that give green tea its potency are epicatechin (EC), gallocatechin (GC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Catechins and Cancer Prevention
The catechin ECGC in particular shows to be the most potent tumor suppressing molecule found within the tea leaf structure. Many studies have found the cell lines treated with ECGC have gone into remission and have reversed themselves in time. Catechins seem to reduce oxidative stress within the body. The first notion is that polyphenols activate certain enzymes within the cell that set off a series of redox reactions that changes its oxidative state.
Catechin Effects on Metabolism
Green tea catechins have a positive effect on both lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Green tea increases the absorption of triglycerides and cholesterol, and studies have shown that individuals that ingest green tea tend to excrete more fatty acids. Green tea catechins have also been found to decrease plasma cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol and decrease LD cholesterol. Green tea has also been found to lower levels of blood glucose and tri-glycerides and an improved insulin response.
Catechins and the Prevention of Neurodegeneration
To recap, green tea catechins have been found as a potent inhibitor of oxidative stress. Oxidative damage is the defining characteristic of brain aging and neurodegeneration found in mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, whose prevalence increases with age. Many of the modern drugs used to treat these diseases mimic the anti-oxidizing functions found in polyphenols and other plant compounds.
The catechins found in green tea modulate a variety of signaling systems in the Central Nervous System as well as a part of the brain called the hippocampus which controls spatial memory and emotional responses.
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