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Amazing New Benefits of Green Tea Found

Two separate studies recently found new health benefits associated with green tea consumption.

The first study found that an extract made from green tea may slow damage to the lungs caused by smoking cigarettes. The study was published in the November 2009 issue of the journal Respiratory Medicine.

Although it is clearly best for your health to avoid tobacco smoke altogether, the findings of this new study show that smokers may benefit from upping their green tea intake or taking a green tea supplement.

For the study, researchers with the University of Hong Kong randomly divided rats into four group:

1. Group 1: exposed to normal air

2. Group 2: exposed to air composed of 4% cigarette smoke

3. Group 3: exposed to normal air and fed green tea

4. Group 4: exposed to air composed of 4% cigarette smoke and fed green tea

After 56 days, the group of mice that were exposed to air containing smoke and fed green tea had lower levels of oxidative stress compared to the group that was just exposed to cigarette smoke and not given green tea.

The group exposed to cigarette smoke and no green tea also saw more damage to the lungs and increased numbers of mucus producing cells.

While the mechanism behind these results is not entirely clear, it is likely due to the high antioxidant content of green tea which has already been linked to a handful of health benefits including reductions in cancer risk and weight loss and, according to a new study, easing of mental stress.

The second study was published online in the September 2009 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

This new study, conducted by researchers with Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, included over 40,000 Japanese men and women, 6.6% (2,774) of whom suffered from psychological distress at the beginning of the study.

The researchers compared participants who drank 5 or more cups of green tea per day to participants who drank less than 1 cup per day. After accounting for a large number of lifestyle factors the researchers still found a 20% reduction in psychological stress among those individuals who drank five or more cups of green tea daily.

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 500 million people worldwide suffer from severe stress, and this finding could have a huge impact for them.

Finding natural ways to reduce stress is not only good for afflicted individuals, it is also good for our pocket books. In the US alone, the related cost of stress is estimated to be over 200 billion dollars annually.

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