Green Tea Catechins: Key To Your Well-Being!

Antioxidants

Green tea catechins are polyphenols. These are very strong antioxidants found in tea, fruit and vegetables, wine and even chocolate.

Antioxidants are the ones protecting your body against unstable molecules in our body, called “free radicals”.

Polyphenols are divided into four groups where one group, the flavanoids, makes up two-thirds of all polyphenols in our diet. By far, the most important flavanoids are the flavanols, also called catechins!

Since green tea is the least processed of all teas, it contains the largest amount of catechins, otherwise lost during processing. That’s why they’re often called green tea catechins.

green-tea-catechins

Four groups of catechins

Green tea catechins are, once again, subdivided into four groups:

  • Epicatechin (EC)
  • Epicatechin gallate (ECG)
  • Epigallocatechin (EGC), and
  • Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)

According to Bronner, Chinese and Taiwanese green teas provide between 20 and 70 mg of catechins per 200 ml serving. Another study by Astill showed that teas available in the European market delivered on average approximately 90 mg of catechins per 200 ml serve. The differences in data might result from differences in growing, quality and processing of the tea leaves.

Go to what is green tea for more on this.

Health benefits green tea catechins

Catechins often contribute to the bitterness and astringency of tea.

More importantly, however, catechins have various protective effects, such as “antioxidative, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, anti-thrombogenic, and lipid lowering effects(Babu, 2008).

As a result, scientific studies have indicated that the consumption of green tea catechins (EGCG in particular), may benefit our health, from body weight, fat distribution, to fighting acne, diabetes, high and bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, and even different forms of cancer.

Go to green tea and health for more on these topics.

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Sources
Babu PVA, Liu D. Green Tea Catechins and Cardiovascular Health: An Update. Curr Med Chem. 2008;15(18):1840-50.

Bronner W. E , Beecher G. R. (1998). Method for determining the content of catechins in tea infusions by high-performance liquid chromatography. Journal of chromatography A, 805, 137-142.

Dulloo AG, Duret C, Rohrer D, et al. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999(70):1040 –5.

Dulloo AG, Seydoux J, Girardier L, Chantre P, Vandermander J. Green tea and thermogenesis: interactions between catechin-polyphenols, caffeine and sympathetic activity. International Journal of Obesity Related Metabolic Disorders, 2000(24):252–8.

Huxley R; Man Ying Lee C; Barzi F, Timmermeister L, Czernichow S, Perkovic V, Grobbee DE, Batty D, Woodward M. Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, and Tea Consumption in Relation to Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(22):2053-2063.

Kao YH, Hiipakka RA, Liao S. Modulation of endocrine systems and food intake by green tea epigallocatechin gallate. Endocrinology 2000;141:980-987.

Kobayashi Y, Suzuki M, Satsu H, et al. Green tea polyphenols inhibit the sodium-dependent glucose transporter of intestinal epithelial cells by a competitive mechanism. J Agric Food Chem. 2000;48(11):5618-5623.

Lipton Institute of Tea. Green tea catechins and body shape. 2009:1-7.

Nagao T, Komine Y, Soga S, Meguro S, Hase T, Tanaka Y, Tokimitsu I. Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2005(81):1 122-129.

St-Onge M. 2005. Dietary fats, teas, dairy, and nuts: potential functional foods for weight control? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 81:7–15.

Waltner-Law ME, Wang XL, Law BK, Hall RK, Nawano M, Granner DK. Epigallocatechin gallate, a constituent of green tea, represses hepatic glucose production. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2002(277):34933-34940.

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