Green tea is rich in antioxidants, improves heart and brain health, promote weight loss, and liver functions. Green tea also has anti-cancer properties and can improve skin health.

Green tea is globally revered for its high antioxidant content. Green tea extract is the concentrated form of green tea content. It is estimated that one capsule of green tea extract is equivalent to one cup of green tea. It has high antioxidants and is credited with several health benefits, such as liver, heart, and brain health. Some studies also claim it can promote weight loss. Nevertheless, this extract can result in toxicity if consumed in excess amounts, hence the need to consult with your physician if you want to include this supplement in your diet. Let’s now dive into the science-based health benefits of this extract.

It is rich in antioxidants.

Antioxidants are primed to fight against oxidative stress, thus limiting cell damage due to free radicals. Cell damage often causes various diseases and aging. The antioxidants in green tea extract are polyphenols known as catechins. The most researched of the catechins is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), believed to have the most health benefits.

It could enhance heart health.

Studies indicate that oxidative stress causes an increase in the fat build-up in the blood, causing inflammation of the arteries and high blood pressure. It means that an intake of green tea extract could help reduce inflammation due to its antioxidants, reducing blood pressure. The antioxidants could also hamper fat absorption in the cells, with one study showing that individuals taking green tea extract reduced their blood fat levels. For example, one study with a healthy population of 33 people daily taking 250 mg of green tea extract found that their total cholesterol levels have dropped by 3.9% and bad cholesterol by 4.5% in eight weeks.

It could promote brain health.

The EGCG from green tea extract has demonstrated its ability to protect brain cells from oxidative damage. Protected brain cells would reduce brain disorders, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s. Green tea extract also fights against the effects of heavy metals that could damage brain cells. People also use the extract for memory enhancement. A study conducted in 2014 in which 12 people were either given a placebo or 27.5 g of green tea showed that those taking green tea had an improved brain function than the placebo group.

Green tea extract can promote weight loss.

The catechins in green tea extract have an adequate amount of caffeine which is believed to propel its weight loss properties. Catechins and caffeine regulate the release of certain hormones, enhancing thermogenesis-a process in which the body burns calories to produce heat. Some studies also show that caffeine coupled with EGCG from green tea can increase calorie burning by a larger margin. On the other hand, other studies demonstrate that the caffeine in green tea extract is solely responsible for the weight loss characteristics.

Green tea extract could improve liver functions.

The catechins from green tea extract can also help in reducing inflammation due to liver diseases. For instance, a study of 80 populations with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), taking either a placebo or 500 mg of green tea extract, indicated a considerable reduction in liver enzyme levels for those taking the extract than the placebo group, indicating improved liver health. However, green tea extract should be taken in moderation since excessive intake of this product has been shown to damage the liver.

It could limit the risk of cancer.

Special cells called stem cells produce new cells that replace the old dying cells, keeping the body organs and tissues functional. If the function of stem cells is destabilized, cancer takes place. The EGCG from green tea can balance the death and production of cells, keeping the body in balance. For example, one research examined the value of consuming 600 mg of catechins daily by men for one year. The study found that these men had a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer.

 Green tea extract can improve your skin health.

One review study demonstrated that when green tea extract is topically applied to the skin, it can correct various skin concerns, such as rosacea, dermatitis, and warts. Many people also take green tea extract supplements to inhibit skin aging and treat acne. Some studies also indicate that topical application and green tea extract supplements can help prevent skin issues, such as inflammation, loss of skin elasticity, cancer from UV rays, and premature aging. Interestingly, green tea extract is a common ingredient of several cosmetic products intended to provide the skin with a moisturizing effect.

Green tea can improve exercise performance and injury recovery.

 Though exercise is associated with many health benefits, it is believed to cause oxidative stress in the body. However, catechins from green tea extract act as a powerful antioxidant that helps delay muscle fatigue and reduces cell damage. One study conducted on 35 men indicated that a combination of green tea extract and strength training accelerated the body’s antioxidant protection within four weeks. Another study also showed that sprinters’ intake of green tea extract enhances protection against any oxidative stress resulting from repeated sprint bouts.

It could help reduce blood sugar levels.

Green tea extract compounds, EGCG, have been found to improve insulin sensitivity, thus regulating blood sugar production. One study demonstrated that green tea extract enhanced insulin sensitivity in healthy men by 13%. However, since green tea extract can affect liver enzyme levels, individuals with diabetes do well to talk to their doctors before incorporating these supplements into their diet.

It is easy to incorporate into your diet.

Green tea extract is found in various forms, such as capsule, powder, and liquid forms. It means that you can incorporate green tea extract in various ways. For example, the powder can be sprinkled in food or mixed with smoothies. It is recommended that you take between 250-500 mg of green tea extract daily to avoid toxicity. You should also verify the content, purity, and safety of these supplements since the FDA does not regulate them. Doctors also recommend taking green tea extracts with food and in the correct dosage because taking the supplement on an empty stomach can result in serious liver damage.

The Bottom Line

The high antioxidants in green tea extract make it a golden product in improving body composition and health. Several studies have demonstrated that green tea extract can promote disease prevention, blood sugar regulation, exercise recovery, and weight loss. Additionally, it has been found to improve skin and liver health, improve brain function, and reduce fat blood levels. The supplement exists in liquid, powder, and capsule forms mixed with food or soluble in water for drinking.

MS, Lund University, Sweden

Nutrition plays an important role in human life. Eating habits are one of the factors that affect our health. There is often a misconception among people that nutritionists force a very restrictive diet, but that is not true. In fact, I don't ban any products, but I point out dietary mistakes and help change them by giving tips and new recipes that I've tried myself. I advise my patients not to resist change and to be purposeful. Only with willpower and determination can a good result be achieved in any area of life, including changing eating habits. When I don't work, I love to go climbing. On a Friday evening, you are most likely to find me on my couch, cuddling with my dog and watching some Netflix.

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