Cultivation of tea plants in China dates back thousands of years, and today green tea makes up over 50% of the teas produced in China.
It is produced in all of China’s tea growing provinces, and several Chinese varieties known by the name of the province in which they were grown.
Dozens of Chinese green tea varieties are available in the United States and other countries.
Lately, there has been a lot of talk about green tea. Why is there so much new interest in a product that has been around for thousands of years? Is this plant deserving of all of this attention?
Most of the buzz centers around its antioxidants- called polyphenols, or more specifically catechins  , which scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots and arteriosclerosis.
Antioxidants have incredible health benefits and definitely deserve top priority in your diet. Green tea is minimally processed- its leaves are withered and steamed, not fermented like black and oolong teas.
The result is that green tea’s unique catechins, most notably epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) , are more concentrated.
Green Tea Health Benefits
Green tea may be consumed for it’s numerous other health benefits. It is known to prevent or ease a myriad of health problems, including many types of cancer, heart problems, liver damage, prostatitis, obesity and tooth decay.
Green tea extract  is made from the plant leaves. This extract may be standardized to contain a certain percentage one or more active compounds.
A standardized extract usually contains a guaranteed amount of polyphenols, ECGC, or catechins per milligram of extract.
Studies suggest that it retains the health benefits of green tea, but delivers it in a more concentrated form.
Antioxidants Fight Free Radicals
Antioxidants are the same beneficial types compounds found in many fruits, vegetables, and in red wine. Antioxidants  are a class of natural substances – vitamins E and C are other examples of antioxidants – which deactivate free radicals.
Free radicals  are potentially harmful substances produced as by-products from many chemical processes in the body, as well as from cigarette smoke and radiation.
They cause damage to cell structure and to DNA, leading to disease and cancer. Antioxidants in green tea neutralize free radicals before they can cause this damage.
Hundreds of studies have been conducted in the past several years, and have revealed the extraordinary health benefits of green tea.
These studies indicate that green tea has many health and disease-prevention benefits.
Research indicates that it may play a part in preventing cancers of the esophagus, stomach, bladder, colon, rectum, pancreas, liver, lung, and prostate.
Studies show that green tea protects the heart by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and reducing the risk of heart attack. The antioxidants may reduce heart attacks and strokes by reducing clotting.
Green tea may also ease the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, by reducing inflammation.
Beneficial molecules from this plant may protect the liver from toxins, including those from tobacco smoke and alcohol.
Green tea appears to have protective effects on the teeth, possibly by reducing the decay causing bacteria that exist in the mouth. It also contains natural fluoride, which is a known cavity fighter.
Animal and human studies on green tea are ongoing, and they continue to reveal the many health benefits of this amazing natural product.
Green Tea for Cancer Prevention
Green tea’s main antioxidant, EGCG, is many times more powerful an antioxidant than vitamin E. According to the National Cancer Institute, antioxidants in green tea may inhibit cancer growth .
Studies show that the antioxidant EGCG found in green tea plays a part in apoptosis (or cell death) of cancer cells . Remarkably, the cell killing actions of this antioxidant affect only cancer cells, and leaves healthy cells undamaged.
Studies have shown that Japanese women who regularly drink green tea have a lower occurrence of breast cancer .
In addition, they have a higher breast cancer survival rate. Researchers believe this is due to a potent anti-cancer antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Human studies have shown that drinking at least two cups of this tea daily inhibits cancer growth in general . This health benefit alone warrants the addition of green tea into your diet.
The studies that point to green tea as beneficial in cancer prevention or as an inhibitor of the spread of cancer are too numerous to list, but a few examples follow.
Polyphenols from this plant have been shown to inhibit the growth of human lung cancer cells and prostate cancer cells in test tubes.
A large scale clinical study  confirmed that green tea drinkers were less likely to develop pancreatic cancer – men were 37% less likely and women were 50% less likely to develop the disease.
A study of women with breast cancer showed that those who drank the most green tea experienced the least spread of cancer .
A different study found that women under the age of 1009 who consumed 3 or more cups of this tea per day were 37% less likely to develop breast cancer in the first place .
There are several ongoing studies looking into the healing properties of this amazing beverage and its role in cancer prevention.
Four to six cups daily is probably needed to get the breast cancer fighting health benefits of green tea. Alternatively, green tea extract provides green tea’s health benefits in a more concentrated form, and with little or no caffeine.
It appears that the combination of green tea and turmeric together may be especially powerful against Lymphocytic Leukemia .
It can triple the cancer fighting power of turmeric, and turmeric can increase green tea’s cancer fighting potency by up to eight times.
Green Tea and Alzheimer’s
Recent research indicates that green tea extract may be useful for Alzheimer’s Disease, memory loss, and preserving memory function .
It inhibits certain enzymes linked with the development of Alzheimer’s Disease .
Green tea inhibits enzymes which play different roles in Alzheimer’s, among other the one that is associated with the production of protein deposits that occur in the brain . These protein deposits are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Another study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that drinking this beverage may not be enough.
This research indicates that some of green tea’s other antioxidants may counteract the effects of EGCG, green tea’s main Alzheimer’s fighting antioxidant .
The researchers suggest that a green tea extract with concentrated EGCG might be necessary to overcome the counteractive effects of the other antioxidants from this plant.
Green tea is long revered as a healthful drink with medicinal powers in Asian cultures. But it has only become widely recognized as a powerful health supplement just recently in Western cultures.
Numerous studies have been conducted by researchers on the effects of green tea on health. The results have shown that drinking this beverage can lower cholesterol, boost the immune system and even prevent cancer.
Now there is even evidence that green tea can help in relieving stress.
The modern times have given us a lot of advancement in medicine and technology. And we should not forget the major improvement of communications. But this has lead to more stress.
Our lifestyles nowadays are very hectic and may lead to stress related issues. Sometimes it seems impossible to slow the pace or keep up with the demands of modern society.
A lot of people turn to medicines for stress relief. However, those people are confronted with a list of potentially dangerous side effects instead of stress relief.
Our modern age however gives us the opportunity for natural solutions to fight stress. Not only will a tea therapy help with weight loss and preventing illness, it can also help to improve sleep and reduce stress.
The active ingredient comes from an amino acid called theanine  (sometimes L-theanine,). This is found almost exclusively in green tea leaves.
Theanine works within the human brain. It shifts the brain waves into an alpha pattern. And that configuration is the same that occurs naturally when we are content and peaceful, but at the same time awake and alert.
The GABA levels within the brain are also increased by theanine . This is a neurotransmitter that has been shown to affect dopamine and serotonin levels.
The relaxation properties of theanine have been clinically tested . The results are remarkable. One large-scale Japanese study included 42,093 participants. 2,774 of those participants suffered from psychological stress.
Medical researchers concluded that participants who consumed 5-6 cups of tea (which equates 200 mg of theanine) per day became noticeably more relaxed than the participants who consumed less than one cup of tea per day.
A great deal of its true value and some of the health benefits come from the level of relaxation that usually accompanies taking time out of your day for a great cup of tea.
The stresses of everyday life seem to melt away with the first sip. The simple act of taking a few minutes out of your day to sit peacefully with your tea and your thoughts can reward you beyond measure.
Chronic stress has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and lowered immunity response.
Green Tea and Weight Loss
It sounds too good to be true: could green tea really help us to lose weight or is it just another weight loss myth?
In fact, studies show that the caffeine and polyphenols in green tea increase thermogenesis , the rate at which calories are burned, and therefore raises metabolism.
Another natural fat burning ingredient that works by increasing thermogenesis is Capsaicin, a compound found in hot peppers.
Raising metabolism causes the body to burn more calories, which in turn can lead to weight loss.
In addition, research indicates that its consumption activates a higher rate of fat oxidation, which can also help weight loss.
Non Stimulant Aid for Weight Loss
In a human study, participants taking green tea extract and still following a typical Western diet experienced a significant increase in their energy expenditure.
The researchers concluded that participants using green tea extract had increased fat oxidation  beyond what could be attributed to the caffeine they consumed.
This indicates that it contains beneficial components that affect the body’s metabolism in such a way that favors fat burning.
In addition, researchers observed that participants using green tea extract did not have increased heart rate, suggesting that it may be an alternative to many stimulant based diet aids.
Another great non-stimulant weight loss ingredient is Garcinia Cambogia extract made from a rind of tamarind plant.
Using green tea for dieting offers several benefits. Research indicates that the combination of components in this plant, including caffeine and certain antioxidants, stimulate metabolism as well as oxidation of fat .
Human studies show that consuming green tea increases the body’s rate of calorie burning, which can lead to weight loss, and this research supports use of green tea for dieting.
It is a proven, natural metabolic booster and fat oxidizer. It has been shown to increase the metabolic rate which in turn burns up to an extra 80 calories per day . This adds up to 8 pounds worth of calories burned within a year.
And if the green tea is used as a substitute for two 12 oz sodas every day, the combined calories saved and burned could add up to 38 pounds per year! All that just for drinking a delicious beverage with numerous health benefits!
Studies in the Netherlands and Japan have shown that green tea extract fights obesity and lower LDL “bad” cholesterol– two risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
In a Japanese study, 240 men and women were given varying amounts of green tea extract for three months.
Those who were given the highest amount of extract lost the most weight and fat and also had lower blood pressure and LDL “bad” cholesterol .
Supports Dieting by Suppressing Appetite
In addition to increasing calorie and fat burning, green tea aids dieting by suppressing appetite. In an animal study , rats given green tea extract ate 60% less food, which led to over 20% weight loss.
Note that drinking this beverage probably does not deliver enough of its important components to aid dieting.
Dieters may need to use more concentrated green tea extracts to achieve weight loss. Green tea extract provides more concentrated amounts of antioxidants, but with less caffeine, reducing the risk of caffeine-induced side effects.
Green Tea Diet – Fact or Fad?
Studies indicate that a “green tea diet” increases metabolism and fat oxidation without causing elevated heart rate, as many stimulant fat burning ingredients may do.
The combination of beneficial chemicals found in this plant appears to affect the body’s metabolism in such a way that calories and fat are burned at an increased rate, which could potentially lead to weight loss.
However, a green tea diet probably shouldn’t be relied upon as a sole means to effortlessly shed pounds, but rather a boost for those who have a healthy diet with appropriate portions, get plenty of exercise, and are in a good general state of health.
Green Tea Side Effects
The side effects of green tea are mostly related to the caffeine it contains.
Each cup of tea has around 25-50 milligrams of caffeine  (a cup of coffee has about 90-100 milligrams of caffeine).
Too much caffeine from green tea may cause side effects such as difficulty sleeping, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, reduced appetite, diarrhea, or headache.
Using green tea extract, rather than drinking the tea, provides the health benefits with little or no caffeine.
Among other effective weight loss ingredients, Phen24 supplements contain green tea extract. To be more precise, you can find this extract in the Phen24 Night supplement.
Using green tea extract supplements will deliver higher concentrations disease-fighting antioxidants than drinking tea, and with less caffeine.
Green Tea Conclusion
Is Green Tea worthy of the praise heaped upon it? It certainly is! What else can you add so easily to your diet that has so many potential health benefits?
Green tea extract delivers disease-fighting antioxidants in a more concentrated form than drinking your regular cup of tea.
When using this tea for health benefits, green tea extract provides a way to get disease fighting antioxidants in a more concentrated form.
While a cup of green tea may contain less than 10% antioxidants, green tea extract may contain well over 50% antioxidants.
In addition, green tea extract contains much less caffeine than the drink, reducing the side effects due to its caffeine content.