Green Tea Extract: The Pros And Cons.

Green tea ingredients

A green tea extract is a derivative from the green tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Green tea contains antioxidants of which the major category is catechins.

These can be subdivided into epicatechin (EC) epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

EGCG accounts for more than 40% of the total content.

Other green tea ingredients are flavonoids (such as kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin) and caffeine.

Health benefits

Green tea extract has three major functions, responsible for all the green tea benefits:

  • green-tea-extractAntioxidant function
  • Anticarcinogen function
    (inhibitory effect on cancer cells)
  • Anti-inflammatory function

Read all about the green tea extract benefits.

Side effects

Excessive consumption of green tea in general, or caffeine in specific, may lead to side effects, such as insomnia (unable to fall asleep), restlessness, anxiety, irritability, or headaches. Other green tea ingredients may also cause side effects.

Read more on the caffeine and green tea side effects.

Different types

There are four types of green tea extracts:

1. Strong infusions: the green tea leaves are processed by soaking them in alcohol.

2. Soft extracts: the strong infusion is further concentrated. The catechin content is now about 20 per cent.

3. Dry extracts: the strong infusion has been concentrated to 40-50% solids, they are sprayed and then become dehydrated extract and powder. The leftovers – less than 5 per cent water content, and the extract – are usually processed as a powder to become suitable for a variety of uses (tablets, capsules, dry mixes, etc.).

4. Partly purified extracts: further purification processes are utilized in order to acquire a higher content of tea catechins.

It’s best not to get extracts where some green tea components have been extracted, such as caffeine, because it’s the combination of all ingredients which makes green tea so special. Together, they create synergy.

Always consult your doctor before buying green tea extracts.
Read the instructions carefully before use!


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Sources

Delanty N, Dichter M.A.: Antioxidant Therapy in Neurologic Disease. Arch Neurol; 57:1265 – 1270, 2000.

I.T. Johnson & G. Williamson, Phytochemical functional foods, Cambridge, UK: Woodhead Publishing, 2003, pp. 135-145.

A. Magaziner, The complete idiot’s guide to living longer & healthier, New York: N.Y. Alpha Books, 2000, p. 61.

E. Mindell, Earl Mindell’s Vitamin Bible for the 21st Century, [S.l.] E-Rights/E-Reads, Ltd., 1999, p. 135.

F. Murray, 100 super supplements for a longer life, Los Angeles: CA McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000, pp. 181–182.

Y.S. Zhen, Z.M. Chen, S.J. Cheng & M.L. Chen, Tea: bioactivity and therapeutic potential, London, UK: New York Taylor & Francis, 2002, pp. 121–225.

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