Storing Green Tea Depletes Antioxidants
Want to know how much of an antioxidant punch your green tea packs? Check how long it’s been in your cupboard (or sitting on a store shelf). At least, that’s what researchers at the Institute of Food Technologists say.
Green tea leaves produce organic antioxidant compounds called catechins, including the powerful EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). These catechins give green tea the health benefits it’s famous for, such as the ability to boost weight loss, improve brain health, fight pathogens and protect against cancer. But when commercial teas have been stored for long periods of time — say, six months — these antioxidants actually lose their healthful benefits. Even though the tea itself doesn’t spoil, the beneficial catechins may not remain stable during long-term storage periods as short as six months. (J Food Sci. 74 (2): H47 – H51, 2009.)
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: Green tea is delicious and drinking it is a great practice, but unfortunately, there’s really no way to know how much of the antioxidant benefits you are getting from your cup of tea. Even if you take care to consume your green tea promptly, the tea may have been sitting on a store shelf or stored in a warehouse for a long time before it gets to you. If you want to take advantage of the full therapeutic benefits of green tea, take an extract that provides high levels of catechins, most importantly, EGCG. For the best protection, we recommend using a standardized green tea extract containing at least 70% EGCG on a daily basis.