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Green Tea Inhibits Weight Gain: Study
7 Oct 2011
There has never been a better time to go green, according to a team of US food scientists who say that green tea may slow weight gain and has the potential to play an integral role in the battle against obesity.
Publishing their findings in online journal Obesity, researchers from Pennsylvania State University found that a control group of obese mice who were fed Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) - a compound found in most green teas - in addition to a high-fat diet gained weight 44 per cent slower than their counterparts who were fed the same diet without the compound.
"Our work suggests that EGCG inhibits an enzyme called pancreatic lipase (PL), which is secreted into the intestine when you eat and is the most important enzyme for the digestion of dietary fat," explains study author Joshua Lambert, assistant professor of food science at Pennsylvania State University. "EGCG, in the test tube, inhibits this enzyme at relatively low concentrations. Definitely concentrations that are achieved in the intestine when you drink a cup or two of tea."
The study also proposes that it could provide a cheap alternative to clinical weight-loss drugs, proving to be as effective while lacking the sometimes debilitating side effects. Though Lambert advocates drinking tea over the use of pills containing pure compounds, as human case studies have shown links between consumption of high doses of green tea-based dietary supplements and liver toxicity.
"We think this mechanism is relevant in animals, and probably in people, because mice treated with EGCG have elevated faecal fat content," he adds. "To us, this suggests that the fat is not being digested, and is instead passing through the intestine and into the faeces. One pertinent point is the PL is the target for Orlistat [Australian trade name Xenical], a clinically used drug for weight loss."
The findings support earlier research undertaken at the Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Scientists there conducted a meta-analysis of multiple studies on the effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance in humans and concluded that its consumption "significantly decreased body weight and significantly maintained body weight" after a period of weight loss.
"It has only been scientifically evaluated in the past 11 years, and it is thought that the combination of EGCG and caffeine are responsible for the weight loss," says Teresa Mitchell-Paterson, Head of Academic Studies (Natural Therapies) at the Australasian College of Natural Therapies. "However the consumption of caffeine alone does not give the same fat-loss benefit."
Extrapolating from the mice study, Lambert says a human being would have to drink 10 cups of green tea per day to ingest a dose of EGCG equivalent to that given to the mice, but further research is required to establish a more effective dose, and what the magnitude of the effect actually is.
It's advised that those with heart conditions or major cardiovascular problems strictly limit their intake of caffeine, while pregnant and breast-feeding women should drink no more than one-to-two cups of green tea per day, since it can cause an increase in heart rhythm. Given these concerns, Mitchell-Paterson says a more pragmatic approach might be suitable for everyone.
"Studies suggest that approximately 150mgs of green tea is needed to gain a therapeutic effect, which is approximately three-to-four cups daily," she says. "Dosage must be kept to three-to-four cups per day due to the caffeine content of green tea, [and] there is no data regarding toxicity of long term use." -- Luke Malone
Ref: Sydney Morning Herald
Study Cautions Against Concentrated Green Tea Extract
(U.S.) 11 Oct 2011
A recently published study, published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, indicates that excessive green tea extracts consumption increases the risk of liver damage, potential interaction with prescription drugs and a chance to cause harm when combined with other highly popular herbal remedies.
Catechin is the most abundant components of green tea. Cachectin is also produced by the human body as an inflammatory signals. The synonymous word for Cachectin is Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNF-Alpha), which in cancer patients is the cause of cachexia (weight loss). (1)
Exogenous (supplemental) consumption of Cachectin (green tea extract) would have the same effect as the endogenous Cachectin: weight loss. However, Cachectin (TNF-Alpha) from dietary supplementation would also have to same effect as the internal TNF-Alpha: Insulin Resistance. Amongst plethora of studies, Harvard School of Public Health reported that TNF-Alpha (Cachectin) is a key mechanism for insulin resistance. (2)
Continuous Insulin Resistance not only is a cause for diabetes but also obesity, now even seen in youth. (3)
While Cachectin (TNF-Alpha) might have a place in the therapy of chronic diseases, its role and side effects had not yet been studied in healthy subjects, until this recent study.
According to the study, in 2008, the USP Dietary Supplement Information Expert Committee (DSI EC) systematically reviewed the safety information for green tea concentrated products. Of the 34 case reports indicating hepatotoxicity (liver damage), 27 were classified as "possible causality" and 7 as "probable causality". Additionally, 13 individuals in Spain and France taking supplements containing green tea extract demonstrated elevated liver enzymes (ALT and AST, indicating liver damage) with an onset that ranged from 9 days to 5 months. However, further studies are needed to make a definitive conclusion.
Elevated serum (blood) levels of Cachectin is associated with sub-clinical, chronic inflammation. Cachectin activates a protein inside all human cells, called NF-kB, which is the master switch of inflammation. While activation of Cachectin (TNF-Alpha) might be beneficial in cancer patients, but the excessive activation of NF-kB has been blamed as a cause of chronic inflammation. (4,5)
Green tea, itself, has anti-oxidant properties. Anti-oxidants neutralize free radicals.
Free radicals are imbalanced molecules desperately looking to balance themselves; they look for any molecule that could give them an electron (hydrogen). In the search for that hydrogen (Electron), when they reach the cellular membrane, vitamin E inside the membrane gives away an electron to the free radicals in order to protect the cell and, as the result of the process, Vitamin E becomes inactive.
Vitamin C, which circulates in the blood, when encounters an inactive vitamin E, donates an electron to an inactive vitamin E, making vitamin E active but rendering the vitamin C inactive.
The inactive vitamin C can only be re-activated by an internal anti-oxidant called glutathione. These three anti-oxidants: Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Glutathione are called the internal anti-oxidant cycle:
Glutathione activates vitamin C, which goes to activate vitamin E to preserve the integrity of the cellular membranes.
Ref: San Francisco Chronicle
Study Looks at Green Tea for Colon Cancer Prevention
(Germany) 3 Oct 2011
Drinking green tea is generally recognised as heathful, though scientific studies on this have been few. A new trial aims to determine whether green tea can prevent colon cancer -- the biggest such trial in the world to date, according to Thomas Seufferlein, director of the Department of Internal Medicine at Halle University Hospital in Germany and co-head of the research team.
The study will investigate the effect of green tea on the formation of colon polyps, sometimes seen as precancerous. German Cancer Aid, a non-profit organisation that receives no public funds, is paying the entire 2.1-million-euro (2.8 million dollars) cost of the project with donations. 'In the interests of the people concerned, we need to exhaust all possibilities for cancer prevention. This includes naturopathic therapies,' said German Cancer Aid spokeswoman Christiana Tschoepe.
The trial, comprising 3,000 participants, has just got under way. 'They were recruited for a three-year trial, but since it's staggered, the last ones won't be finished until six years after the trial starts,' Seufferlein said. Selected from 30 large medical practices and clinics throughout Germany, the participants have all had colon polyps removed and are seen as having a heightened risk of colon cancer. Researchers also want to learn whether green tea can help prevent a recurrence of the polyps.
Along with bitter-tasting substances and caffeine, green tea contains the plant hormone epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG). 'Various research has shown that EGCG inhibits the formation of tumours of the prostate, breast and uterus,' Seufferlein said. For simplicity's sake, the trial uses green tea in capsule form; the dosage is two capsules daily.
'That's the equivalent of about five to ten cups of tea, depending on the method of preparation,' noted Julia Stingl, a clinical pharmacologist at Germany's Ulm University and the other co-head of the research team. The capsules contain an extract with all of green tea's active components except caffeine, which has been removed.
One group of participants receives capsules containing green tea extract, the other takes placebo capsules. Neither the participants nor the researchers know which group is which.
'This makes an objective assessment possible,' Stingl said. The trial participants are given a blood test every four months to check their liver and blood values. They are also asked whether they have drunk any green tea or taken medications. After three years, each participant has a colonoscopy to see whether, or how many, new polyps have formed.
The co-heads of the research team concede that even if green tea is found to inhibit the formation of colon polyps, it is rather unlikely that Europeans will drink up to ten cups of it daily. Capsules with green tea extract are already commercially available, however.
'Should its effectiveness be scientifically proven, the extract could be taken affordably in capsule form as a dietary supplement,' Stingl pointed out.-- Thomas Schoene
UAB finds green tea component that reduces skin cancer spread
(U.S.) 15 Oct 2011
Scientists form the University of Alabama at Birmingham published research at the Public Library of Science web site on October 13, 2011, that identifies the component of green tea that is most affective in reducing the metastasis (spread) of skin cancer.
The efficacy of the green tea catechin is dose dependent and is enhanced by COX-2 inhibitor drugs.
"Together, the results from this study have identified for the first time that EGCG, a major component of green tea catechins or polyphenols, inhibit the invasive potential of melanoma cells and that involves: (i) the inhibitory effect of EGCG on endogenous COX-2 expression and successive down-regulation of PGE2 and PGE2 receptors, (ii) the inhibitory effect of EGCG on the activation of NF-κB/p65, which is the upstream regulator of COX-2, and (iii) the mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition. Further mechanism-based in vivo studies are required which can establish the importance of EGCG and its development as a pharmacologically safe non-toxic agent for the treatment of malignant melanoma by using either alone or in combination with other phytochemicals or anti-metastatic drugs." --
This Month's Green Tea Recipe
Green Tea Truffles
- 6 ounces Valrhona chocolate (56% cacao)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (make sure there is no gelatin in the cream!)
- 3 TBSP of Matcha (Powdered Japanese Green Tea). Sencha which has been placed in a blender until powdered then sifted as you only want the powder
Directions in making green tea truffle
Start chopping 4 ounces of the chocolate and set aside. Bring heavy cream to a boil. Make sure your cream is heavy, to keep the cream from scorching. Add the Matcha powder and stir until Matcha is dissolved. The resulting cream will be green.
Pour the cream over the chocolate. Smooth out any big chunks.
Stir (don't beat)with a whisk in concentric circles until smooth.
Let the cream stand at room temperature until thick enough to hold a shape. Shape into balls and place onto a parchment lined tray. Put tray into the freezer for 15 minutes until they set hard.
Melt 2 more ounces of the same Valrhona and smear some on a gloved hand. Gently rub each chilled truffle to coat lightly with chocolate.
Sprinkle with the powdered Sencha. Then just try and resist eating them!
Makes about 15 green tea truffles.
|Try Our Unique Flavored Green Teas!
Try our green tea natural flavor blends for some really unique and refreshing ice tea taste in our Flavor Blends/Jasmine
In addition to our traditional blends we introduced a few new flavors:
- Balinese Rainbow Jasmine Green
- Tres vert French Green
- Buckingham Palace Green
In addition three new flavor blends with significantly high antioxidant content:
- Ginger Green
- Citron Green
- Pommes Green
- Riverdance Green
will also appear in the Ultra High Antioxidant
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