Green tea is a tea which is derived from the leaves of the plant camellia sinesis with minimal oxidation during tea processing. Over the past few decades, the green tea has been associated with a long list of health benefits, ranging from cardiovascular protecting properties to cancer fighting and even weight management attributes. Numerous scientific and medical research on green tea has established that certain active ingredients in green tea namely catechins (polyphenols), most importantly, the epigallocatechin gallate has been responsible for its long purported health benefits. There also exists an abundance of nutrients like carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), minerals such as chromium, manganese, selenium or zinc, and certain phytochemical compounds in green tea.
In a recent study undertaken to determine the health effects of green tea consumption on a group of students between the ages of 19- 37 showed that short term consumption of commercial green tea reduces systolic and diastolic BP, fasting total cholesterol, body fat and body weight. No wonder then that the Green tea and its extracts are so highly sought after amongst health seekers and weight watchers.
Let’s look a bit closely at the chemical properties of green tea extracts with its manifold biological implications. The fundamental antioxidant ingredient in the green tea extract is green tea catechins (GTC). GTC comprises of four major epicatechin derivatives; namely, epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin gallate(EGCG) . It is this EGCG component which makes the green tea 20 times more antioxidant active than Vitamin C and 200 times more potent in fighting free radicals than Vitamin E. EGCG present in green tea extracts helps to protect against digestive and respiratory infections and also exhibits anti inflammatory and anti carcinogenic properties.
Effect of green tea extract on weight loss
The EGCG present in the green tea extract interacts with the caffeine in green tea and results in a boost in nor adrenaline levels which in turn helps to improve the body’s metabolism while suppressing appetite. This dual action helps to intensify the levels of fat oxidation and thermogenesis in the body (the rate at which we burn calories) by 4%.This is the reason that green tea extract are a common ingredient in most fat burners and help to induce weight loss without the typical side effects of increasing blood pressure and heart rate, commonly associated with other fat burners.
Green tea extract supplements are accessible over the counter in various standardized forms which are usually 90 percent total polyphenols. Studies have shown that on an average one capsule equals 5 cups of tea and a 300-400mg of green tea extract with 55%EGCG is usually recommended. However there also exists certain green tea extracts with as little as 15 percent polyphenols. The recommended dosage should ideally be as per the physicians or the nutritionist’s advice. It has also been reported that tea extracts work better when taken between meals in order to avoid decreased iron absorption. The only side effect of green tea extract is perhaps related to its caffeine content and hence the people which medical conditions that may get aggravated with caffeine should consult a medical expert before using green tea extract supplements. For such people, caffeine free green tea extract are also available in the market.
In nutshell, green tea and its derivative are scientifically proved to be bestowed with many health benefits and may also be used effectively in weight management programs as a metabolic booster and fat burner along with a healthy diet and regular exercise regime. So, go ahead and start drinking green tea for its potential health benefits, stress releasing and weight loss inducing properties and also for its fresh aromatic flavours.