Is Green Tea Really That Good for You?

Green tea is supposed to be the holder of all virtues: to lose weight, protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer, stimulate the intellect, or prevent aging.


Antioxidant property of green tea

Green tea contains antioxidant substances, in fact, known as catechins, particularly one called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG has antioxidant activity 25 to 100 times greater than that of vitamins C and E. Animal studies and more limited human studies have shown a significant antioxidant effect of green tea. This effect seems to be specific to the bad cholesterol, which when oxidized, seems to be more atherogenic. Green tea may decrease the oxidation of bad cholesterol and even have a slight cholesterol-lowering effect. In addition, studies are currently in the process of clarifying the green tea antioxidant effect not only on the cardiovascular system but also in connection with neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, for example, the preventive effect on cancer prostate and a possible protective effect against the development of metastasis in the case of several cancers.

Is green tea really different from black tea?

Yes, it is. As black tea undergoes fermentation, catechins are oxidized and polymerized during this fermentation, which makes them less antioxidant and less available to tissues. For this reason, the antioxidant effect of green tea is greater than that of the black tea.

What is the nutritional fundamental difference between tea (green / black) and coffee?

green-tea cup

Apart from the fact that both come from plants and contains psychoactive substances that are called methylxanthines (caffeine in coffee and caffeine in tea), these two infusions do not have other similarities. That said, the tea antioxidant effect is much more pronounced than that of coffee.

Is it fair to say that green tea prevents cancer and cardiovascular disease?

It would be simplistic to say that only a thing or type of behavior can prevent the risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease. The development of these diseases is so complex and the parameters influencing their occurrence are so many that it is more appropriate to take action on a combination of modifiable factors. Green tea intake is one of the factors that must be associated with any against a “lifestyle” health advocate to make sense. Take green tea and smoke a pack of cigarettes a day is such inadequate, because the second factor will negate any gain on the first pull.

What role does have antioxidant contained compared to free radicals? 

Catechins, particularly ECGC which is the 50-75% of green tea catechins, preventing the formation of free radicals and can contribute, in association with endogenous defense mechanisms against free radicals, regulate oxidative stress to external aggressions (UV rays, tobacco, etc.) or internal (cancer, diabetes, etc.).