Research Confirms the Health Benefits of This Ancient Longevity Elixir
The healing capacity of green tea has been understood and cultivated by the Chinese for more than 5,000 years. Western medicine has been very slow to embrace the many health benefits attributed to drinking green tea, as it is with many superfoods known to lower the risk of chronic disease.
Researchers now have conclusive scientific evidence that green tea can protect the brain against developing Alzheimer’s disease and can play a vital role in protecting the body against cancer. Health-minded individuals can take advantage of the ancient Chinese tradition of drinking green tea each day to dramatically lower risk from dementia and cancer.
Green tea contains compounds known as catechins and commonly called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that are powerful antioxidants known to scavenge free radicals and lower the risk from many illnesses. Scientists have been unable to validate the specific effect of these catechins once they are broken down in the body through digestion. We now have confirmation that EGCG becomes more potent when subjected to post-digestive enzymes in the stomach.
Green Tea Protects Cognitive Health
The result of a study conducted at Newcastle University and published in the journal, Phytomedicine, demonstrates that our body activates green tea compounds to provide enhanced disease protection. Lead researcher Dr. Ed Okello found that “when green tea is digested by enzymes in the gut, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimer’s development than the undigested form of the tea.”
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease and is known to be a progressive and irreversible disorder resulting in loss of cognitive function. It is widely accepted that the disease is the result of damage from hydrogen peroxide free radicals and an inability to efficiently clear amyloid beta proteins that form plaques.
In this study, researchers demonstrated that compounds in the post-digestive tea extract were able to selectively bind with toxic chemicals in the brain and protect the delicate neurons and synapses that are essential to learning and forming new memories. As Dr. Okello explained, “Green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and what we have here provides the scientific evidence why it may be effective against some of the key diseases we face today.”
Green Tea Proven Effective in the Fight Against Cancer
In addition to being a powerful neuroprotective agent, green tea compounds are effective anti-cancer agents. The study authors were able to show that the digested tea catechins were able to significantly slow the growth of tumor cells in an experimental cancer model. A strong association has always existed between green tea consumption and lowered risk from cancer and this study provides conclusive evidence of the healing power of this natural agent.
Green tea has stood the test of time for more than five millennia and is finally vindicated as a critical tool in our health management regimen. Most adults will want to drink 2 to 4 cups of green tea each day to take advantage of the healing benefits of this natural superfood.
John Phillip is a diet, health and nutrition researcher and writer with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives.
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Article updated on: March 14th, 2011