Green Tea

Green tea is made with the leaves of Camellia sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. The tea originates from China and and is very popular in eastern cultures. Due to the health claims of green tea's benefits, there have been many studies and reports on this beverage. The findings may surprise you.

Green tea works to prevent tumors from developing the blood vessels they need to survive. It has also been shown to inhibit metastasis. And it is the first known natural telomerase inhibitor. That is to say, it eliminates the "immortality" of cancer cells which is their trademark and which makes them so deadly. Green tea is particularly effective in destroying the causes of leukemia, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.

And the benefits of green tea don't stop there. It has also been shown to be effective in regulating blood sugar, reducing triglycerides, and in reversing the ravages of heart disease. (Incidentally, the Japanese, who drink large amounts of green tea, have some of the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease in the world.)

Green tea seems to be able to almost totally prevent cancer causing DNA damage in smokers -- a possible explanation as to why the Japanese, who are among the world's heaviest smokers, have such a low incidence of lung cancer. And finally, green tea has great benefits for the brain as well, serving as an effective MAO inhibitor, protecting against brain-cell death from glucose oxidase, over-production of nitric oxide, and lowering the amount of free iron reaching the brain (a bad thing). The net result is that there are strong indications that green tea extract may play a major role in protecting against both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

So, how should you take your green tea? If you drink your tea (as opposed to taking a supplement), adding cream or milk to the tea "may" destroy the antioxidant benefits. Although the studies are conflicting, it's probably best to err on the side of caution. The studies are far less conflicted when it comes to milk reducing the antioxidant potential found in dark chocolate. The mechanism is simple. The caseins in the dairy interact with the polyphenols in the tea or chocolate and decrease their effectiveness. Then again, if you use a concentrated, full-spectrum green tea extract, you avoid the problem altogether.