Recent scientific studies have indicated that green tea could protect against cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis, as well as aid in weight loss. And you can’t walk into a cosmetics store these days without bumping into a skin care product containing green tea. Many believe the tea in skin products can help ward off skin cancer and signs of aging.
Of all the antioxidants known to mankind, the components of green tea are the most potent. Antioxidants are those agents which can counteract the effects of oxidant radicals. Oxidant radicals — or free radicals, as they are commonly called — are byproducts of the body that can cause damage to cells and tissues. Antioxidants bind to the free radicals, deactivating them before they can cause harm.
Green, black, and oolong teas — along with coffee, red grapes, kidney beans, raisins, prunes, and red wine — contain large quantities of polyphenols. Polyphenols, which are a class of bioflavinoids, have been shown to have antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
Most of the polyphenols in green tea are catechins. Catechins, which are antioxidants by nature, have also been shown to function as anti-inflammatory and anticancer agents. One of the major catechins in green tea has been shown to be the most effective agent against skin inflammation and cancerous changes in the skin.
A few recent experimental studies on human skin found that the polyphenols in green tea also had anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
In a Chinese study of men who drank green or oolong tea, the cells of the most enthusiastic tea drinkers showed about five fewer years worth of wear and tear compared to the cells of those who drank little tea. Those who benefitted drank three or more cups of green or oolong tea each day. Those who did not benefit drank less than one cup.
This study examined the participants’ telomeres to see how their cells had aged. Telomeres are the protective caps on the end of your DNA strands. Each time your cells divide the telomeres shorten a little, and eventually old cells are not able to replicate properly. The study showed that the most devoted tea drinkers had significantly longer telomeres than those who drank less than a cup a day.
The researchers think it’s the antioxidants in the tea that help maintain your telomeres. Interestingly, it was only men who benefited from this effect – not women. This may be because some of the feminine hormones already provide the same protection. But there are plenty of other reasons for women to drink green and oolong tea!
So in short, there are MANY MANY benefits to GREEN TEA, some of which have been studies and verified scientifically, and many that remain to be proven out. I think at the very least we can conclude that green tea DOES have health, anti-aging and beauty benefits, and s a very healthy habit to start including in your lifestyle for the long run!
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