The American Journal of Clinical Study has reported that:
"Green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content per se. The green tea extract may play a role in the control of body composition via sympathetic activation of thermogenesis, fat oxidation, or both."
Green tea is a potent source of healing antioxidants--the same beneficial compounds found in fruits and vegetables, and even in red wine. The leaf also boasts the presence of a superstar antioxidant called EGCG (epigallocatechin-gallate) as well as other notable healing substances, including fluoride, catechins, and tannins.
Ongoing research suggests that thanks to its numerous and varied antioxidant compounds, sipping green tea regularly may help to prevent various types of cancer, guard against heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure, promote longevity, stave off tooth decay (the tea contains the cavity fighter, fluoride), help heal gum infections, and provide a number of other benefits.
Green Tea Boosts Production Of Detox Enzymes, Rendering Cancerous Chemicals Harmless
ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2007) Concentrated chemicals derived from green tea dramatically boosted production of a group of key detoxification enzymes in people with low levels of these beneficial proteins, according to researchers at Arizona Cancer Center.
These findings, published in the August issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggest that a green tea concentrate might help some people strengthen their metabolic defense against toxins capable of causing cancer.
In a study of 42 people, the concentrate -- composed of chemicals known as green tea catechins in amounts equal to that found in 8-16 cups of green tea -- boosted production of the enzymes, which belong to the glutathione S-transferase (GST) family, by as much as 80 percent in some participants.
GST enzymes are believed to be crucial to the body's defense against cancer-causing chemicals and other toxins, according to the study's lead investigator, H.-H. Sherry Chow, Ph.D., a research associate professor at the University of Arizona. They modify the cancer-causing molecules that would otherwise damage cellular DNA, thus rendering them inert.
"They actually convert known carcinogens to non-toxic chemicals, and studies have shown a correlation between deficient expression of these enzymes and increased risk of developing some cancers," Chow said.
"Expression of this enzyme varies dramatically in people due to genetic variation and environmental factors," Chow added. "Green tea catechins somehow increase gene expression of these enzymes, which can be an advantage to people with low levels to start with."
Green tea has long been of interest to researchers given studies that have shown populations in which it is often consumed, such as the Chinese and Japanese, generally have lower rates of cancer. To find out if green tea can protect against cancer, the NCI has sponsored a number of rigorous scientific studies testing capsules of the extract, Polyphenon E, that have been prepared in Japan to meet exact specifications. These pills contain epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a catechin known for its potent antioxidant activity, and are currently being tested against a variety of cancers in clinical trials.