According to numerous studies, green tea has heart health related benefits ranging from prevention of heart attacks and the lowering of blood pressure, to prevention of coronary heart disease.
Heart Attack Risk
A 2003 study by the Mitsukoshi Health and Welfare Foundation found that the daily intake of green tea reduces the chances of having a heart attack. The researchers performed examinations on 318 patients with coronary artery disease and gave then questionnaires about their daily intake of various beverages. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the patients who drank green tea daily were less likely to have a heart attack than patients who didn’t. In one tea-drinking group, 27 percent of the patients with coronary artery disease had heart attacks, while 44 percent of the non-drinking group had heart attacks. The study shows a dramatic reduction of the risk of heart attack among those who consume green tea.
High Blood Pressure
Another study conducted in 2004 by a group of Japanese researchers found that both black and green tea reduced high blood pressure in laboratory rats. The researchers noted that since the doses given to the rats roughly correspond to the human equivalent of about one liter of tea, green tea could have an anti-high-blood-pressure effect in humans as well.
And in fact, at least one human population study backs up these findings. A Chinese population study published in 2004 followed 1507 Taiwanese men and women for one year. Careful note was taken of their tea drinking habits while other factors such as diet, sex, weight, etc. were statistically accounted for in the final analysis. Researchers found that the risk of high blood pressure decreased by 46 percent among those who drank between 120 and 599 milliliters of green or oolong tea every day. For those who drank at least 600 milliliters of tea, the risk was decreased by 65 percent.
Coronary Heart Disease
In a study published in 1995 a group of researchers undertook the examination of a cross-cultural sample of individuals living in seven different countries, to see if flavonoid intake had any effect on death from coronary heart disease. The study found that flavonoid consumption actually contributed to a 25 percent variance in the rate of coronary heart disease across the seven different countries.
It should be noted that green tea is one of the richest sources of flavonoids. This is significant not only for tea drinkers, but even more so for people using green tea leaves as a dietary supplement or as an ingredient in foods. This is because according to a USDA comparison table, green tea has far more flavonoids when it is in whole leaf form than when it is brewed. The main flavonoid in green tea, EGCg, is present in levels that are 100 times greater in whole leaves than in brewed tea.
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