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Green Tea and Cholesterol

Green Tea May Help You Balance Your Cholesterol.

For over twenty years, scientists have known that green tea has cholesterol reducing effects. In a study conducted in 1986, Japanese scientists found that giving green tea to rats was effective in lowering their overall cholesterol levels.  In the study, two groups of rats were fed high cholesterol diets for twenty-eight days. One group was also given green tea catechins (the primary compounds found in green tea) mixed into its food supply. This group showed markedly lower cholesterol levels at the end of the trial.

Green Tea and Cholesterol

Green Tea and Cholesterol

A Chinese study conducted many years later in 1999 further confirmed these results.  In this study, the researchers discovered that greater concentrations of green tea result in lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Once again, rats were given high cholesterol diets, but this time they were divided into four separate groups: a control group who drank plain water, a group who drank green tea at a one percent concentration, a group who drank green tea at a two percent concentration, and a group who drank green tea at a four percent concentration. The researchers found that the greatest reduction of cholesterol occurred in the group given green tea at a four percent concentration, indicating that the greater the concentration of green tea catechins, the more beneficial the treatment.

A third study conducted in 2002 went into further detail concerning the anti-cholesterol properties of green tea.  The study compared the effectiveness of green tea as a method of reducing cholesterol against a standard anti-cholesterol drug called probucol. Probucol proved to be effective in lowering the amount of LDL cholesterol (which is commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol). While it took more green tea to attain an equal reduction of LDL cholesterol as with probucol, green tea also had the advantage of actually increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol (i.e. “good” cholesterol) in the blood stream as well. Hence, green tea seems to offer a more comprehensive and targeted anti-cholesterol treatment.

So far in this article, we have only referenced studies conducted on rats. However, a long-term study published in 1995 confirms these findings using analysis of a large human population sample.  This fourth study surveyed 1371 men on their living habits and daily consumption of green tea. The researchers found that men who drank large amounts of green tea were less likely to have high cholesterol and had a better ration of LDL to HDL overall. The researchers further reported that green tea consumption was most effective in men who drank at least ten cups per day.

Now, it may seem that drinking ten cups of tea per day is unreasonable, and few people would argue. However, a USDA data table shows that whole leaf green tea has far greater concentrations of green tea catechins. For example, the main compound in green tea, EGCg, is found in a concentraion 100 times greater in whole leaf tea than in brewed green tea.  This seems to indicate that green tea consumers may be able to bridge the gap by consuming some of their green tea in whole leaf form using recipes that require the whole leaf rather than the liquor created from brewing tea. This would allow them to consume much more than the equivalent of 10 cups worth of green tea catechins in a much more efficient form.

We invite you to re-post this recipe on your own web site with the following hyper-linked attribution
“Republished with permission from EatGreenTea.com, the original edible green tea.”


1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3585557
2] http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0024-3205(99)00607-4
3] http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf020029h
4] http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/310/6981/693?view=full&pmid=7711535
5] http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/Flav/flav.pdf







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One Response to "Green Tea and Cholesterol"

  • Walter Glueck
    February 22, 2011 - 6:56 PM

    Hi Anthony, I would like to publish 1 or 2 of your recipes in my matcha – book – ok? – How do you prepare the green tea leaves – dry leaves or with hot water ? – greetings, walter