Consuming Green Tea to Ward of Strokes.
Both population-based and laboratory-based studies show that green tea consumption is effective in preventing strokes in humans. Below are just a few of the studies that stand out the most from the literature on this subject.
A population based study conducted in 1989 by a group of researchers in Japan shows that people who drink green tea are less likely to experience a stroke. The study took into account the daily tea drinking habits of 5,910 nonsmoking, nondrinking Japanese women. It was found that even after adjusting the statistics in order to equalize for factors such as age, location, and salt intake, people who drank less than five cups of green tea per day were about two times more likely to have a stroke than those who drank more than five cups.
In more recent years other research groups have attempted to test these findings against laboratory studies. For example, a study conducted on stroke-prone rats in 1995 found that rats treated with the compound EGCg (which is a major component of green tea) had longer life spans and fewer incidents of stroke than rats who were not given the compound. This is important, because unlike the population based study cited above, this study actually isolated a single compound from green tea: EGCg. This discovery is also important because EGCg is available at very different levels in different forms of tea. It is almost nonexistent in black tea because it is converted into other compounds in the fermentation process. Also, while EGCg is available in large quantities in brewed green tea, it is far more plentiful in whole green tea leaves, up to 100 times more according to the USDA.
A more recent study published in 2004 attempted to measure whether or not stroke-prone rats could experience a reduction of blood pressure as the result of green tea consumption. The rats were split up into three groups, one that was given tap water, a second that was given water mixed with compounds from black tea, and a third that was given compounds from green tea including EGCg and other major catechins and flavonoids found in green tea. Both the green tea group and the black tea group showed lower average blood pressure after being measured every five minutes for twenty-four hours.
These results have encouraged researchers to conduct further population based studies in recent years. A study publised in 2006 researchers found that both men and women in a large population sample in Japan were less likely to die from stroke if they drank significant amounts of green tea. In particular, women who drank at least five cups of green tea per day were as much as 62 percent less likely to die from a stroke than those who drank less than one cup of tea per day.
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