Made from unfermented tea leaves, green tea is believed to provide numerous health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and promoting weight loss. The tea contains several different polyphenols that may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. It also contains caffeine, which could increase alertness but may also cause side effects. Although green tea is most commonly used in beverages, it is also a popular ingredient in dietary supplements.
What Is Green Tea?
Green tea is made from unfermented tea leaves. While most commonly used in beverages, the tea has become a popular ingredient in dietary supplements. It is claimed to provide a wide variety of health benefits, including weight loss and lower cholesterol.
There are numerous known active components in green tea. It contains several different polyphenols. Polyphenols may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. The tea also contains caffeine, which is why it may increase alertness (but may also cause some side effects).
Is It Effective?
It is clearly not the "cure-all" that it is often claimed to be. However, it may be effective for a number of different uses (see Does Green Tea Work? for more information).
It is difficult to recommend a universal dosage, since there are so many different forms of green tea products that may contain differing amounts of the active components. Also, clear dosing recommendations for green tea have not yet been established.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed January 31, 2008.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: green tea (May 2006). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/greentea/. Accessed January 31, 2008.
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