A 2012 study from Poland shows that regular consumption of green tea extract improves blood pressure (BP), while simultaneously lowering blood sugar levels and markers of inflammation in obese patients with hypertension.
Depending on how it’s made, tea can be either green, black or Oolong - all of which are harvested from the leaves and buds of the same plant, Camellia sinensis, using different methods.
The beneficial actions of green tea in the prevention of cancer as well as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and other diseases are well known. For example, regular consumption of green tea extract has been shown to significantly reduce weight, body mass index (BMI), waist size and total body fat. Levels of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol were also reduced.
Most of these consequences of green tea consumption are attributed to a group of green tea polyphenols called flavonoids that are known to be strong antioxidants, although exactly how they do this still remain unclear. Studies also indicate that green tea catechins - powerful flavonoid antioxidants found in high levels in green tea - may lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
In the current study carried out at the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland, three months of consuming green tea extract significantly lowered levels of inflammation, along with reducing both systolic and diastolic BP.
Green tea extract also influenced cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors such as insulin resistance and oxidative stress in these patients, reported the study authors.
In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 56 obese subjects with hypertension were randomly assigned to be supplemented daily with either green tea extract or a control treatment for up to 3 months. BP, levels of blood lipids, blood sugar, insulin and markers of inflammation as well as total antioxidant status were measured both before the start of the study and after 3 months of treatment with green tea extract.
After 3 months, both systolic and diastolic BP had significantly decreased in patients consuming green tea - not only that, fasting blood sugar, insulin and insulin resistance were all reduced in this group as well.
Inflammation markers were also significantly lower after green tea extract therapy, while total antioxidant status was higher in this group after 3 months.
Supplementation with green tea extract also contributed to significant lowering of both total and LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides, along with increased levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol.
The study authors wrote in their conclusion that daily supplementation with green tea extract favorably influences BP, insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress, along with improving lipid profiles in obese patients with hypertension.
The implications are clear - regular consumption of green tea extract is very beneficial for your overall cardiovascular health.
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