The health benefits of the tea leaf (Camellia Sinensis) are derived from a group of phytochemicals known as polyphenols. Polyphenols in fresh green tea leaves are present as a series of chemicals called catechins. The dominant and most biologically active among the catechins is Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG).
Many of the wide range of health benefits derived from green tea are dose-dependent and most Americans are not willing to consume the necessary 5-10 cups of tea a day. Careful processing of the tea into an extract highly concentrates the key beneficial constituents. Each highly concentrated 600 mg capsule of green tea contains 60% polyphenols, 30% catechins and 18% EGCG. This is the equivalent of about 10 cups of green tea. Each capsule contains about 36 mgs of caffeine, roughly the equivalent of a can of cola and less than the 60-120 mgs of caffeine in an 8 oz cup of brewed coffee. Naturally - occuring caffeine in green tea is believed to act synergistically with the polyphenols.
Green tea’s benefits are based upon four actions: 1.) it is a powerful antioxidant that protects against DNA damage; 2.) it induces detoxifying enzymes; 3.) it effects gene signaling that regulates cellular growth, development, and apoptosis; and 4.) it selectively improves the function of the intestinal bacterial flora.
EGCG has been shown to have selective immunomodulatory effect on macrophages, which have a critical role in infections. It has also been shown to have a moderate inhibitory effect against Herpes Simplex 1. Other green tea catechins, also contained in Green Tea™ had a strong inhibitory effect against this type of virus.
Reseachers have reported still other benefits of green tea. For example, green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond what might be explained by its caffeine content. EGCG significantly reduced food intake; body weight, blood levels of leptin, insulin-like growth factor I, glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride. Benefits depending upon circumstances, it also reduced LH, testosterone, and estradiol. Green tea’s ability to chelate iron may offer neuroprotection in related disease such as alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc. Tea catechins also inhibit pro-inflammatory signal transduction.
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