Green tea, one of the healthiest beverages we can drink, has been associated with about a 30 percent reduction in breast cancer risk, and may protect against gynecological malignancies, such as ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer, as well as lower our cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and body fat. It may also protect the brain from both cognitive decline and stroke. As well, tea consumption has been associated with decreased risk of diabetes, tooth loss, and up to half the risk of dying from pneumonia.
Caffeine found in coffee and tea may also help prevent and perhaps even help treat Parkinson’s, one of our most crippling neurodegenerative conditions. In a randomized controlled trial, giving Parkinson’s patients the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee a day (or approximately four cups of black tea or eight cups of green tea) significantly improved movement symptoms within three weeks.
Those who suffer from seasonal allergies may also benefit from drinking tea. Randomized trials have shown that drinking about three cups of Japanese Benifuuki green tea per day starting six to ten weeks before pollen season significantly reduces allergy symptoms.
Might green tea play a role in mood? The levels of an important class of neurotransmitters called monoamines, which includes serotonin and dopamine, are controlled by an enzyme called monoamine oxidase (known as MAO) that breaks down any excess monoamines. People who are depressed appear to have elevated levels of this enzyme in their brains. Thus, the theory goes, depression is caused by abnormally low levels of monoamine neurotransmitters due to elevated levels of the neurotransmitter-munching enzyme. It appears that many plant foods, including green tea, as well as apples, berries, grapes, and onions, contain phytonutrients that seem to naturally inhibit the MAO.
Phytonutrients exclusive to the tea plant appear so powerful that they may reverse disease even when merely applied to the skin. For example, the topical application of green tea in ointment form on genital warts reportedly resulted in an astounding 100 percent clearance in more than half the patients tested. It’s no wonder that this wonder treatment is now officially incorporated into the Centers for Disease Control STD Treatment Guidelines. There was even a remarkable case report of a woman whose skin cancers were apparently stopped with topical green tea application. Indeed, green tea has been shown to have positive effects on both the inside and outside of our body.
Image Credit: Gwen the Monster / Flickr. This image has been modified.
Popular Videos for Green Tea
All Videos for Green Tea
What Are the Best Beverages?
A review of reviews on the health effects of tea, coffee, milk, wine, and soda.
Alternate-Day Intermittent Fasting Put to the Test
Does every-other-day-eating prevent the metabolic slowing that accompanies weight loss or improve compliance over constant day-to-day calorie restriction?
Is Ginger Beneficial in a Diabetic Diet?
Ground ginger and ginger tea are put to the test for blood sugar control.
Benefits of a Macrobiotic Diet for Diabetes
What happens when you add massive amounts of carbs to the daily diet of type 2 diabetics in the form of whole grains?
Pros & Cons of a Macrobiotic Diet
What happens when you put diabetics on a diet composed of largely whole grains, vegetables, and beans?
How to Win the War on Cancer
How effective is chemotherapy for colon, lung, breast, and prostate cancer?
Shark Cartilage Supplements Put to the Test to Cure Cancer
Yes, shark cartilage supplements carry risks, but so do many cancer treatments. The question is does it work?
Dr. Greger in the Kitchen: My New Favorite Dessert
Dr. Greger whips up some matcha ice cream inspired by a recipe in his How Not to Die Cookbook.
Lycopene Supplements vs. Prostate Cancer
High doses of lycopene—the red pigment in tomatoes—were put to the test to see if it could prevent precancerous prostate lesions from turning into full-blown cancer.
The Best Food for Fibroids
Women with uterine fibroids should consider adding green tea to their daily diet, as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled interventional trial suggests it may help as well as surgery.
The Benefits of Açai vs. Blueberries for Artery Function
What are the effects of açai berries, cooked and raw blueberries, grapes, cocoa, green tea, and freshly squeezed orange juice on artery function?
Natural Treatment for Acne & Fungal Infections
Green tea may help with athlete’s foot, dental plaque, acne, impetigo, and bladder infections, but if it’s so good at killing bacteria, what may it do to our gut flora?