Green tea is a common, traditional herb that exists in a variety of forms. Aside from brewed green tea, green tea extract is perhaps the most popular alternative. This herbal product has a variety of potential health benefits.
Green Tea and Green Tea Extract
Green tea is an age-old herb that has most commonly been consumed as a hot, brewed drink. Green tea is produced from the plant Cemellia sinensis, which is the exact same plant from which black tea is made, believe it or not. The leaves of Cemellia sinensis are green. When green tea is produced, the leaves are picked and then soon heated and dried. These treated tea leaves are processed and used to make brewed green tea.
Green tea extract is produced a little differently. The most common method of producing green tea extract is through a process called chilly water extraction. This process involves steeping the tea leaves in water at room temperature, straining the water, and throwing out the tea leaves. Green tea extract is often sold as an oral supplement.
Benefits of Green Tea Extract
Green tea contains polyphenols, which have a variety of potential health benefits. Polyphenols are substances present in most plants used for human consumption. They are especially known for their antioxidant effects. Green tea also contains a moderate amount of caffeine, which can be beneficial.
There are various benefits that have been attributed to green tea extract supplements. These benefits of green tea extract are not supported by a wealth of scientific study, but they are colloquially regarded for their efficacy. Talk to a healthcare professional before using.
A mild stimulant effect is one of the most renowned benefits of green tea extract. This effect comes from the small-to-moderate amount of caffeine naturally contained in green tea. This effect can mean an increase in alertness, as well as a mild, temporary increase in overall energy. The side effects of this stimulant are similar to coffee, including anxiety and irritability. However, these are unlikely to occur in most people who use green tea extract.
A reduction of oxidative stress is possible with green tea extract because of its richness in antioxidants. Green tea contains various antioxidants, the predominant ones being substances known as catechins. A supplement rich in antioxidants, such as green tea extract, can help prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative stress in the body causes the release of free radicals, which are strongly linked to aging effects and some diseases.
Cognitive health is a specific benefit of the antioxidant effects of a substance like green tea extract. The antioxidants in green tea extract have been shown to protect brain cells from oxidative stress. This can reduce the chances of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Green tea can also reduce the effects of iron and copper present in the body, which can also bode well for brain health.
Balancing cholesterol, both good and bad cholesterol alike, is a potential benefit of green tea extract. Various studies have shown taking green tea extract correlates with a reduction in low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol. At least one study has also indicated this supplement to correlate with an increase in high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol.
The potential benefits of green tea extract are significant and worthwhile. There are others, but these four are the most significant and renowned benefits of this simple herbal extract. An oral green tea extract supplement can make for an excellent, affordable addition to a healthy diet.