The Social Diary ~
on-line magazine covering High Society ..& more
on Health” - Going Green For Health
the Social Diary Health Columnist Ruth S. Jacobowitz
Column #6, March 6th, 2006
didn’t make little green apples; It don’t rain in
Indianapolis in the summertime……” That’s
undoubtedly true, but God surely may have made green tea.
We’ve long heard about the medicinal value of green tea
and yet did you ever really delve into what makes green tea so
special? I did and gave up my coffee habit, albeit decaf, because
what I learned really amazed me.
this is the month of the ‘wearing of the green’ I
thought I’d share what I’ve learned about green tea
in time for St. Patrick’s Day and maybe you’ll trade
in your green beer for green tea. We’re told that
green tea has been used in Asia for more than 4,000 years and
today scientific evidence in both Asia and the west continues
to provide hard evidence for green tea’s health benefits.
I first became fascinated with green tea in the early 1990s when
I learned of a study reported in the Journal of the National
Cancer Institute in 1994 detailing the results
of an epidemiological study which showed that drinking green tea
reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese individuals by
recently University of Purdue researchers concluded
that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
Other research shows that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol
levels and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad. Just
some of the medical conditions that green tea is reputed to be
helpful include cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease,
high cholesterol levels, infection, impaired immune function,
preventing tooth decay, and help for dieters. Wow!
what is the secret of green tea? Its magic lies in the
fact that it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin
gallate (EGCG), a powerful anti-oxidant. EGCG not only inhibits
the growth of cancer cells, but also kills them without harming
healthy tissue. Further, as mentioned EGCG lowers cholesterol
levels and inhibits the formation of blood clots, the leading
cause of heart attack and stroke.
don’t other Chinese teas offer the same benefits? It’s
interesting that green, oolong and black tea all come from the
from the leaves of the Carmellia sinensis plant, but only green
tea leaves are processed by steaming, thereby preventing the EGCG
compound from being oxidized. Oolong and black tea are made from
fermented leaves in which the EGCG is converted into other compounds,
negating their health benefits to a great extent. The only negative
to imbibing green tea is the fact that it contains caffeine.
research continues to support the healthful benefits of green
tea. From the Karolinska Institute in Sweden,
researchers report that women who drank two cups of green tea
a day had a 46 percent reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Mayo
Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota reported that patients
with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who began drinking green tea
showed general improvements in their condition such as a higher
white blood cell counts and regression of their cancer. Researchers
there also found that EGCG was able to kill cancer cells in a
test tube. Research conducted at the University of Florida suggests
that EGCG may protect the brain from Alzheimer’s Disease.
how much green tea should you drink each day? I’ve read
everything from two cups to ten cups per day. A cup of green tea
may provide 10-40millligrams of polyphenols and has antioxidant
activity greater than a serving of spinach, broccoli, carrots,
or strawberries, those anti-oxidant rich choices. Further that
EGCG tea in green tea has antioxidant activity between 25-100
times more potent than Vitamins E and C.
are as many answers to how much to consume as there are researchers
investigating the natural properties of green tea. For example,
Herbs for Health magazine cites a Japanese
report stating that men who drank ten cups of green tea per day
stayed cancer-free for three years longer than men who drank less
than three cups a day. A study by Cleveland's Case Western
Reserve University concluded that drinking four or more
cups of green tea per day could help prevent rheumatoid arthritis,
or reduce symptoms in individuals already suffering from the disease.
And Japanese scientists at the Saitama Cancer Research
Institute discovered that there were fewer recurrences
of breast cancer, and the disease spread less quickly, in women
with a history of drinking five cups or more of green tea daily.
this March 17th if you’re offered a choice of green beer,
green tea, or green apples, choose green tea.
Ruth S. Jacobowitz is a
health advocate, lecturer, and the author of five consumer health
books. Her newest book is Final Acts—a
Visit Ruth at her web site www.ruthjacobowitz.com
to New this Week......Jacobowitz
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