Green Tea Lowers Cholesterol
Results were seen in as little as three weeks of green tea use
A favorite beverage in many parts of the world, green tea's low caffeine, low calorie, and high antioxidant content may explain why we have been encouraged to think of green tea as a healthy drink. Numerous studies have found that it has anticancer and heart-healthy effects, and a meta-analysis has now established that drinking green tea or taking green tea extract can reduce total cholesterol and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels.
Pooling the green tea data
The meta-analysis, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, included 14 trials with a total of 1,136 participants. These trials looked at the effect of taking green tea, either as a beverage or as a supplement, on cholesterol levels. The analysis yielded the following findings:
"These results suggested that green tea may be incorporated into a targeted dietary program as part of public health policy to improve cardiovascular health," the study's authors said. "Because most Americans drink high-calorie beverages or alcohol on a daily basis, and only 20% of Americans consume low-calorie green tea, the potential for meaningful intervention is real."
Getting the most out of your cup of green tea
Adding green tea to your daily routine may be an easy way to enhance a cholesterol-lowering lifestyle that includes daily exercise and a healthy diet. Here are some things to know to help you get the most out of each cup:
(Am J Clin Nutr 2011;94:601-10)
Maureen Williams, ND, received her bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. She has a private practice on Cortes Island in British Columbia, Canada, and has done extensive work with traditional herbal medicine in Guatemala and Honduras. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.