There are three major green tea extract benefits; these are:
- The antioxidant function
- The anticarcinogen function (inhibitory effect on cancer cells)
- The anti-inflammatory function
1. Antioxidant function
One of the green tea ingredients, is EGCG.
EGCG accounts for more than 40% of the total content and has extremely strong antioxidant characteristics, accounting for most of the green tea extract benefits.
This makes green tea extract 20 times stronger in antioxidant protection than Vitamin C – found in fruits and vegetables!
The free radicals (molecules) in our body damage our healthy cells. This causes cell aging and it makes us more sensitive to dangers from outside.
EGCG and the other antioxidants in green tea scavenge these so-called free radicals to prevent them from harming our body.
Since green tea is less processed than black tea, antioxidants are better preserved. This makes green tea extract more effective compared to black tea extracts.
For more info on processing techniques go to what is green tea?
2. Anticarcinogen function
Researchers around the world found that green tea extract has an inhibitory effect on cancer cells. The catechins and caffeine block the cell cycle of cancer cells and induce programmed cell death.
From epithelial ovarian cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer to lung cancer, green tea consumption reduces the risk of getting any of these types of cancer.
Also, patients diagnosed with any of these types of cancer had a better chance of survival when drinking green tea on a daily basis, in larger quantities, over a longer period of time than patient who didn’t.
The effects on other types of cancer such as gastro-intestinal cancer have been mixed.
Read more on: green tea and cancer.
3. Anti-inflammatory function
Green tea extract is a natural source of fluoride which helps to prevent cavities and strengthens tooth enamel.
What’s more, its anti-inflammatory characteristics help to break down bacteria responsible for forming plaque or infections in the mouth. These infections often cause bad breath.
Go to Does green tea stain teeth to read more on green tea and oral hygiene.
Besides the green tea extract benefits, excessive consumption of green tea may lead to side effects.
Examples of side effects are insomnia (unable to fall asleep), restlessness, anxiety, irritability, or headaches. Other green tea ingredients may also cause side effects.
Read more on green tea side effects.
For the different types of green tea extract, click here.
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