Drinking Green Tea improves glucose control and insulin sensitivity

A new meta-analysis indicates that green tea intakes may have a favorable effect on glucose control and insulin sensitivity, especially in individuals at risk for metabolic syndrome.

Although there are a few published reports regarding the effect of green tea on insulin sensitivity and glucose control in humans, the results have been inconsistent.

In a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers aimed to more accurately quantify the effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity.

Researchers completed a thorough literature search to find all randomized controlled trials that included information on the effects of green tea and green tea extracts on insulin sensitivity and glucose control in humans.

There were 17 trials, including a total of 1,133 subjects that met the criteria and were included in this meta-analysis. The studies were mostly of a short duration, and 7 of the studies were considered of high quality.

Overall, green tea consumption significantly reduced fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c (a long-term measure of blood glucose control). These results were more significant in studies including subjects at risk for metabolic syndrome, and in subject with higher catechin (a compound in green tea) intakes. When only the high quality studies were included, green tea significantly reduced fasting insulin concentrations.

The results of this meta-analysis suggest that green tea intake may lower fasting glucose, insulin and HbA1c concentrations, especially in people at risk for metabolic syndrome. Researchers noted that long-term randomly controlled trials of higher quality should be conducted to further confirm these findings.

In plain English, if a person is pre-diabetic, or diabetic, then drinking green tea daily can help improve the condition. I take a supplement twice a day which includes green tea extract which may have the same effect, but that has to be studied.

Kai Liu et al. Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trial. First published June 26, 2013, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.052746 Am J Clin Nutr August 2013 ajcn.052746.

Green tea can protect your skin from UV damage and benefit your skin.

A report published online on April 27, 2011 in the Journal of Nutrition describesprotective benefits for green tea polyphenols against ultraviolet light-induced skin damage, as well as an ability to improve elasticity, density and other skin properties.
Researchers at the University of Witten-Herdecke and Heinrich Heine University in Germany assigned 60 women with light to normal ultraviolet sensitivity to receive a green tea beverage containing 1,402 milligrams per liter total catechins or a control beverage daily for twelve weeks. Before the treatment period and at six and twelve weeks, participants received a dose of irradiation to the skin from a solar simulator. Reddening, elasticity, roughness, scaling, density and water homeostasis were evaluated at these time points and blood samples were analyzed for flavonoids and other variables.
Ultraviolet-induced reddening of the skin was reduced by 16 percent after six weeks and 25 percent at 12 weeks compared to pretreatment responses among those who received green tea, indicating increased photoprotection. Skin elasticity, density, hydration, blood flow and oxygen saturation increased in those who received green tea, while roughness, volume and scaling declined. A decrease in scaling and volume and an increase in hydration were also observed in the control group; however, the degree of improvement was significantly less than that experienced by women who received green tea.
“Our green tea catechin beverage data are in accordance with the literature reporting protective effects of various polyphenols against UV-induced photo oxidation, induction of inflammation, oxidative stress, and DNA damage from different stress sources in cell cultures and animals,” the authors write. “The mechanisms underlying photoprotective effects of flavonoids in humans have not been elucidated; however, they are efficient antioxidants contributing to photoprotection in plants.”
“We demonstrated that ingestion of green tea catechins improved skin hydration, transepidermal water loss, density, and elasticity,” they observe. “These observed skin changes were probably an outcome associated with long-term consumption of green tea polyphenols and not likely a transitory response.”
What if you can’t drink several cups of green tea a day or you don’t like green tea? Well do what I do, take a high quality multivitamin which includes the beneficial green tea extract.
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Green Tea Extracts vs. Green Tea Beverages – Which is better?

Green Tea Extracts vs. Green Tea Beverages

Mainstream doctors often advocate obtaining nutrients from foods rather than supplements. A problemwith certain nutrients, however, is that they are bound so tightly to food that less-than-optimal amounts of the active constituents are absorbed into the bloodstream.

Examples of nutrients that are better absorbed from supplements than from food include vitamin K, folic acid, and chlorophyll.3-5 Lycopene, on the other hand, may be better absorbed from cooked tomato products6 than from supplements.

In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists sought to determine whether the active ingredients in green tea were better absorbed from green tea extract capsules or by drinking green tea. Thirty healthy test subjects were recruited and given either a specially prepared green tea beverage standardized for green tea’s most active constituents (such as EGCG and ECG) or equally standardized green tea extract capsules.7

The results showed that subjects who received the green tea extract caps had a 60% greater increase in EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) and a 90% greater increase in ECG (epicatechin gallate) compared to those who drank the identical amounts of these green tea constituents in standardized beverage form. The antioxidant effects in those who swallowed the green tea caps were also greater than in the green tea drinkers.7

The scientists concluded that when administered in the form of a green tea supplement, the active constituents (polyphenols) showed enhanced bioavailability compared to when identical amounts of polyphenols were provided in a green tea beverage.7

One reason for conducting this study was previous findings that green tea polyphenols might be effective in preventing and treating cancer. By documenting that green tea extract supplements are superior to drinking green tea beverages, scientists now have a solid basis to test green tea extract capsules in human clinical studies.

Not All Green Tea Beverages Are the Same

The amount of polyphenols contained in green tea beverages varies considerably, depending on where the tea is harvested and how it is processed. One study examined 19 commercial brands of green tea and found significant variation in the content of the polyphenols EGCG and ECG. The scientists who conducted this study recommended that the labels of green tea bags state the amount of the polyphenols (EGCG and ECG) contained in each cup so that consumers know how many milligrams of these active ingredients they are consuming each day.8




References:
1. Wu F, O’Connell M, Roberts S, et al. Do the effects of testosterone on muscle strength, physical function, body composition and quality of life persist six months post-treatment in intermediate-frail and frail elderly men. J Endocrinol. 2011 Feb. [Accepted for publication]
2. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/news/20101027/green-tea-doesnt-prevent-breast-cancer-study-finds. Accessed October 27, 2010.
3. Garber AK, Binkley NC, Krueger DC, Suttie JW. Comparison of phylloquinone bioavailability from food sources or a supplement in human subjects. J Nutr. 1999 Jun;129(6):1201-3.
4. Berg MJ. The importance of folic acid. J Gend Specif Med. 1999 May-Jun;2(3):24-8.
5. Ferruzzi MG, Schwartz SJ. Thermal degradation of commercial grade sodium copper chlorophyllin. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Sep 7;53(18):7098-102.
6. van het Hof KH, de Boer BC, Tijburg LB, et al. Carotenoid bioavailability in humans from tomatoes processed in different ways determined from the carotenoid response in the triglyceride-rich lipoprotein fraction of plasma after a single consumption and in plasma after four days of consumption. J Nutr. 2000 May;130(5):1189-96.
7. Henning SM, Niu Y, Lee NH, et al. Bioavailability and antioxidant activity of tea flavanols after consumption of green tea, black tea, or a green tea extract supplement. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6):1558-64.
8. Seeram NP, Henning SM, Niu Y, et al. Catechin and caffeine content of green tea dietary supplements and correlation with antioxidant capacity. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Mar 8;54(5):1599-603.
Article from LEF magazine.

Drinking tea cuts risk of heart disease by one-third

Drinking several cups of tea or coffee daily appears to cut your risk of heart disease by more than one-third, Dutch researchers have found.

“It’s basically a good news story for those who like tea and coffee,” said lead researcher Yvonne van der Schouw. “These drinks appear to offer benefits for the heart without raising the risk of dying from anything else.”

The study appeared in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers followed 40,000 healthy people for 13 years, then compared rates of heart disease with consumption of coffee and tea. They found that participants who drank between three and six cups of tea per day were 45 percent less likely to die from heart disease than those who drank less than a cup a day.

Drinking coffee or larger amounts of tea was also protective against death from heart disease, but not as strongly. People who drank more than six cups of tea a day reduced their risk by 36 percent compared with the low tea-drinking group, while those who drank between two and four cups of coffee daily reduced their risk by 20 percent compared with those who drank either more or less coffee. These effects remained after researchers adjusted for other heart disease risk factors, such as smoking and exercise level.

Neither coffee or tea consumption appeared to affect the risk of dying from any other cause, including stroke or cancer.

The study did not include people already suffering from heart disease, so its results cannot be generalized to such high-risk populations.

“But for healthy people, it appears that drinking coffee and tea is not harmful and it may even offer some benefits,” van der Schouw said.

Part of the study’s significance lies in the fact that the most popular tea consumed in the Netherlands is black tea, while most prior studies have focused on the benefits of green tea.

“The perception has been that green tea is the ‘healthy’ tea, but this study suggests black tea may be just as good for the heart,” said nutrition professor Rachel K. Johnson of the University of Vermont. “That will be good news to people like me who are not big green tea lovers.”

Johnson is also an American Heart Association spokesperson.

In the United States, levels black tea consumption are significantly higher than green tea consumption.

Johnson notes that while the consumption levels found to be beneficial in the study might seem high, they are relatively easy to achieve.

“Iced tea is very popular in some parts of the country, especially in the summer,” she said. “Just make sure to go easy on the sugar. I would hate for people to get the message that they should be drinking more sugar-sweetened beverages.”

Scientists remain unsure why tea, and to a lesser extent coffee, appear to offer heart protective benefits. Research thus far has focused on a family of plant chemicals known as polyphenols, particularly the flavonoids. Studies on individual flavonoids and on other foods containing them (such as red grapes and wine, dark berries, red beans and dark chocolate) have confirmed their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other health-promoting benefits

Ellen Mason of the British Heart Foundation noted that while tea and coffee in moderation may provide some heart benefits, they cannot undo the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle.

“It’s worth remembering that leading a healthy overall lifestyle is the thing that really matters when it comes to keeping your heart in top condition,” she said. “Having a cigarette with your coffee could completely cancel any benefits, while drinking lots of tea in front of the TV for hours on end without exercising is unlikely to offer your heart much protection at all.”

Sources for this story include: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20100618/tea-coffee-drinkers-have-lower-heart-risk

If it is difficult to drink this much tea a few high quality pharmaceutical grade multivitamins, like the #1 rated product I use contains green tea extract so you can get your daily dose of the beneficial tea polyphenols.

Green Tea May Protect against Heart Disease

The Department of Cardiology in Nanjing, China followed 520 patients who underwent coronary angiography for the first time. The men who drank green tea showed a significant decrease incidence of having coronary artery disease compared to those who did not drink green tea. Although this finding was not seen in women, it is encouraging that green tea may potentially decrease the risk of coronary artery disease at least in men. Further investigations are obviously needed.
If you can’t drink green tea every day then try the top rated nutritional supplement we recommend. They contain green tea extract so you receive the benefits of green tea daily.

Green tea reduces risk of lung cancer

Drinking green tea may help protect smokers from lung cancer, a study has shown.

Scientists found smokers who drank at least one cup of the antioxidant-rich beverage a day were almost 13 times less likely to develop the disease than those who drank no green tea.

Among smokers and non-smokers combined, drinking green tea led to a more than five-fold reduced risk of lung cancer.

The study was conducted in Taiwan, where people drink a lot of green tea.

Lead researcher I-Hsin Lin, from Chung Shan Medical University on the island, said: “Lung cancer is the leading cause of all cancer deaths in Taiwan.

“Tea, particularly green tea, has received a great deal of attention because tea polyphenols are strong antioxidants, and tea preparations have shown inhibitory activity against tumourigenesis.”

Mr Lin’s team compared 170 lung cancer patients and 340 healthy individuals who were asked to provide information on their smoking habits, green tea consumption, diet and family history.

Participants were also tested for growth factors – biological chemicals – that stimulate cell growth, known to be associated with cancer.

Green tea drinkers genetically predisposed to have less harmful growth factor variants were 66% less likely to develop lung cancer than tea drinkers with a more hazardous version.

“Our study may represent a clue that in the case of lung cancer, smoking-induced carcinogenesis could be modulated by green tea consumption and the growth factor environment,” said Mr Lin.

The findings were presented yesterday at the Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer conference in Coronado, California. The meeting was jointly organised by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the Inter-national Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).

Green Tea Helps Prevent Periodontal Disease

According to a study just completed in Japan, daily intake of green tea helps reduce the risk of periodontal or gum disease. The study looked at nearly 1,000 middle-aged Japanese men who initially underwent periodontal exams. Follow up exams showed that those individuals who consumed the higher levels of green tea had a significant decrease in periodontal or gum disease. Those consuming at least one cup of green tea daily had the best results.

Previous research indicates that green tea catechins inhibit periodontal bacterial growth and also exert an antioxidant effect that inhibits inflammation.

Men – Follow these 10 habits and keep your heart healthy for life

The smartest plan for attacking a heart attack is, of course, preventing one from ever happening. Choose three of the following preventive strategies that you’re currently not doing. Make them a habit. The closer to the top of the list you get, the more you reduce your risk of heart disease.

1. Convince Your Wife to Stop Smoking
Nonsmoking husbands of smoking wives face a 92 percent increase in their risk of heart attack, according to a report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Breathing secondhand smoke boosts LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, decreases HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and increases your blood’s tendency to clot.

2. Walk, Run, or Lift Weights for 30 Minutes Four Times a Week
Middle-aged men who exercised vigorously for 2 or more hours cumulatively per week had 60 percent less risk of heart attack than inactive men did, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

3. Lose 10 to 20 Pounds
If you’re overweight, dropping 10 to 20 pounds could lower your risk of dying from a first heart attack by 16 percent. Being overweight drives up cholesterol and blood pressure, the precursors to coronary disease. A 10-year Mayo Clinic study found that overweight people had heart attacks 3.6 years earlier than normal-weight people did, and that obese heart-attack patients tended to be 8.2 years younger than normal-weight victims.

4. Drink Five Glasses of Water a Day
In a study at Loma Linda University, men who drank that many 8-ounce glasses we
re 54 percent less likely to have a fatal heart attack than those who drank two or fewer. Researchers say the water dilutes the blood, making it less likely to clot.

5. Switch from Coffee to Tea
A Dutch study found that people who drank 3 cups of tea a day had half the risk of heart attack of those who didn’t drink tea at all. Potent antioxidants, called flavonoids, in tea may provide a protective effect.

6. Grill Salmon on Saturday, Have a Tuna Sandwich on Tuesday
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health say that eating fish at least twice a week can lower your heart-disease risk by more than 30 percent. The magic ingredient is the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. In another study, men without heart disease were 10 percent less likely to die suddenly when their blood levels of omega-3s were high.

7. Ask Your Doctor About Vitamin E and Aspirin
Men who took the antioxidant and the blood thinner daily cut the plaque in their clogged arteries by more than 80 percent, according to a recent University of Pennsylvania study.

8. Eat a Cup of Total Corn Flakes for Breakfast
This cereal contains one of the highest concentrations of folate (675 micrograms) of any cold cereal. Taking in that much folic acid daily (the recommended amount is 400 mcg) cuts your risk of cardiovascular disease by 13 percent, according to researchers at Tulane University. Folate works by reducing blood levels of artery-damaging homocysteine.

9. Count to 10
Creating a 10-second buffer before reacting to a stressful situation may be enough to cool you down. Men who respond to stress with anger are three times more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease and five times more likely to have a heart attack before turning 55, say researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

10. Eat Watermelon
It contains about 40 percent more lycopene than is found in raw tomatoes, and a new study by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service shows that your body absorbs it at higher levels due to the melon’s high water content. Half a wedge may boost heart-disease prevention by 30 percent.

Courtesy Men’s Health

Mushrooms, green tea may lower breast cancer risk

Women who get plenty of mushrooms and green tea in their diets may have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, new study findings suggest.

The study, of more than 2,000 Chinese women, found that the more fresh and dried mushrooms the women ate, the lower was their breast cancer risk.
The risk was lower still among those who also drank green tea everyday.
It’s known that the rate of breast cancer in China is four- to five- times lower than rates typically seen in developed countries — though the rate has been climbing over the past few decades in the most affluent parts of China.
The current findings suggest that traditional diets — and specifically, large quantities of mushrooms and green tea — may help explain China’s lower breast cancer incidence, according to lead researcher Dr. Min Zhang, of the University of Western Australia in Perth.
She and her colleagues report the findings in the International Journal of Cancer.
The study was conducted in southeast China and involved 1,009 breast cancer patients between the ages of 20 and 87, and an equal number of healthy women the same age. All completed a detailed dietary questionnaire that asked them how often they ate specific foods.
Overall, Zhang’s team found, women who ate the most fresh mushrooms — 10 grams or more per day — were about two thirds less likely to develop breast cancer than non-consumers of mushrooms. Meanwhile, women who ate 4 grams or more of dried mushrooms per day had half the cancer risk of non-consumers.
Finally, mushroom eaters who also drank green tea everyday had only 11 to 18 percent of the breast cancer risk of women who consumed neither.
The study does not prove cause-and-effect, the researchers point out.
They did account for several kinds of risk factors for breast cancer – such as the women’s weight, education level, and exercise frequency and smoking habits — but there could be other factors that explain the findings.
This is also the first study linking high dietary amounts of mushrooms and green tea to lower breast cancer risk, Zhang told Reuters Health.
Therefore, she said, it’s too early for women to assume that the foods will help them avoid the cancer.
Still, it is biologically plausible, the researchers point out.
Lab research has shown that mushroom extracts have anti-tumor properties and, in animals, can stimulate the immune system’s cancer defenses. For its part, green tea contains antioxidant compounds called polyphenols that have been shown to fight breast tumors in animals.

SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer, March 15, 2009