“If we do not find time to take care of our health, we will reluctantly have to find time for our illness”

-Hippocrates

Lately there’s a lot of buzz in the news and online about green tea and its’ health benefits, particularly the role of polyphenols in green tea.

Polyphenols are chemical compounds found in fruits, vegetables and green tea and further divided into sub groups called catechins. There are 4 major catechins in green tea of which EGCG ((-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most potent and found in abundance in green tea.

This compound is dubbed the “super antioxidant” because it’s more powerful than the popular antioxidants Vitamin E & Vitamin C. This super antioxidant eliminates free radicals, the unstable molecules in the body that are the major cause of both aging and disease, which continually attack the body and leave the body vulnerable to disease.

Free radicals disrupt the biochemical processes within cells, and our body’s natural defenses become compromised leading to illness. Free radicals indiscriminately kill cells, destroy enzymes and produce toxic chemicals which cause damage to cellular functions. They are highly reactive molecules; their activities cause damage to critical structures such as DNA, lipids and proteins. All of which are vital for normal cellular function.

Free radicals in the body are toxic forms of reactive oxygen metabolites (ROM). It’s ironic that on one hand oxygen sustains us and on the other hand oxygen can be responsible for much of the destruction and aging of our cells. Free radicals are responsible for many ailments including but not limited to aging, cancer, heart disease, stroke and arthritis.

Without an antioxidant line of defense, your cells oxidize or breakdown faster thus speeding up the aging process, it’s the free radicals oxidative damage that makes us age.

Since EGCG contained in green tea is a potent antioxidant it neutralizes free radicals and hence is responsible for the health promoting benefits listed below.

Lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad)-cholesterol levels

Increase HDL (good)-cholesterol levels

Reduce the risk of cancer

Reduce the risk of heart attack

Decrease the risk of stroke

Decrease the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis

Enhance immune function

Act as an antibacterial and antiviral agent

Help in weight loss

Boost longevity due to potent antioxidant properties

One cup of green tea usually provides 100-300 mg of polyphenols and contains EGCG in high concentrations. As mentioned above EGCG is believed to possess 100 times more potency as an antioxidant than Vitamin C and at least 25 times more potency than Vitamin E and protects cells and DNA from damage believed to be linked to cancer, heart disease and other potentially fatal illnesses.

Green tea has been used for centuries in China for the health benefits it provides. We’re just now scratching the surface of what green tea has to offer, new studies come out constantly that provide data on the effectiveness of green tea against various ailments.

The latest research indicates that green tea may help in Alzheimer’s disease by decreasing the production of a protein which in large amounts causes nerve damage and memory loss. All of the benefits of green tea can be attributed to polyphenols, particularly EGCG.

Green tea comes in various dosage forms but the more popular versions are the liquid forms and the patch. The patch seems to be gaining in popularity due to the convenience factor and delivery of the same amount of the active ingredient of green tea at a constant rate. Place the patch on the skin and wear it for 48 hours and replace it every other day. It can’t get any simpler than that 🙂

As you can see EGCG is an important component of green tea responsible for all of the health benefits listed above. Recent studies also indicate green tea as being effective in promoting weight loss.

Green tea is truly a ‘wonder compound’ with a large array of benefits for improving health. It’s been around for thousands of years and now it has finally been re-discovered for our benefit.

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