Green Tea and Cholesterol: Drink More Green Tea = Lower Bad Cholesterol
Green Tea is a type of tea whose leaves have went through minimal oxidation through processing. Translation, green tea leaves are green while other tea leaves are black.
Cholesterol is a waxy alcohol substance that is essential to your cell membrane walls. Cholesterol levels are raised when we eat foods saturated in animal fats, such as fried foods and dairy products. There are two types of Cholesterol, LDL (the bad kind) and HDL (the good kind). If you don’t have enough of the good kind, the integrity of your cell membranes may be compromised. If you have too much of the bad kind it can block an artery, causing a heart attack, stroke, or death.
Green Tea and Cholesterol
The good news is that Green Tea consumption will lower your bad cholesterol while raising your good cholesterol. Green tea helps your body excrete bad cholesterol, and it prevents LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. (When cholesterol oxidizes, it gets sticky and can cling to artery walls.)
Research On Green Tea Lowering Cholesterol
Various studies back up the assertion that drinking green tea can lower your bad cholesterol. A study done in central Japan shows that people drinking 10 cups of green tea per day had significantly lower levels of cholesterol than those who didn’t.(1)
A study of two hundred and forty men and women in China with elevated LDL cholesterol levels showed a decrease of 11.3 percent after consuming green tea extract for twelve weeks.(2)
In another study, rats were given a diet that included large amounts of lard, and half the rats were given green tea with the lard. The cholesterol levels of all the rats rose, but the LDL levels of the rats that were also given green tea rose less than the amount for the rats that had none.(3)
Like an all pro professional football lineman, green tea blocks LDL cholesterol from being absorbed in the intestines. It has also been found to prevent cholesterol from oxidizing (which means “going bad”). Green tea tastes great and it’s much healthier to drink during dinnertime (or any time) than soda pop. Studies have shown that it may also prevent cancer, tooth decay, high blood pressure, and depression. WOW!
Side Effects Of Drinking Green Tea
There are a couple of side effects that I can think of. Green tea contains a fair amount of caffeine, and caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake at night. The good news is that it can help you wake up in the morning. Drinking large amounts of green tea can also cause you to need to go to the restroom more frequently, so don’t drink a bunch of it before going to the movies.
Look at it this way: Green tea is something you can buy at a grocery store. It’s not something a doctor prescribes to you, and then the pharmacy has to fight with the insurance company to get them to pay for it. You can buy green tea for a lot less money than what your co-pay on a drug with the same health benefits would be. And the side effects (sleeplessness, frequent trips to the bathroom) are much less hazardous than most of the medications shown on television commercials. So, Drink Up & Enjoy!
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References For Green Tea And Cholesterol:
1. Annals of Epidemiology 2002;12(3):157-65.2. Arch Intern Med 2003;163(12):1448-533. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 1986;32(6):613-22.