Newspapers, nutritionists, magazines have long talked about the health benefits of drinking green tea. Health claims include:
- helps to burn fat
- cancer prevention
- lower cholesterol
- prevent Alzheimers
Current evidence (as published by the National Health Service on the 12th of August 2013) concludes the following:
- helps to burn fat – “a well-conducted review from 2012 of 18 studies involving 1,945 people found no significant effect of drinking green tea on weight loss.”
- cancer prevention – “There is no evidence that drinking green tea protects against different types of cancer. A good quality study from 2009 reviewed 51 studies involving more than 1.6 million participants. The studies looked for an association between drinking green tea and cancers of the bowel, prostate, breasts, mouth and lungs. The authors of the review concluded that the evidence of a link between green tea and cancer was weak and “highly contradictory”.
- lower cholesterol – “There is increasing evidence that both green and black tea are beneficial for cardiovascular disease prevention. A good quality review from 2013 of 11 studies involving 821 people found that daily consumption of green and black tea (as a drink or a capsule) could help lower cholesterol and blood pressure thanks to tea and its catechins. The authors of the review caution that most of the trials were short term and more good quality long-term trials are needed to back up their findings. Another good quality review from 2011 found that drinking green tea enriched with catechins led to a small reduction in cholesterol, a main cause of heart disease and stroke. However, it’s still not clear from the evidence how much green tea we’d need to drink to see a positive effect on our health, or what the long-term effects of green tea consumption are on our overall health.”
- prevent Alzheimers – “Evidence of a positive link between drinking green tea and Alzheimer’s disease is weak. A 2010 laboratory study using animal cells found that a green tea preparation rich in antioxidants protected against the nerve cell death associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Whether these lab results can be reproduced in human trials remains to be seen. As such, the findings do not conclusively show that green tea combats Alzheimer’s disease.”
Given my cholesterol is low, no more cat wee tea for me!