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Drinking Green Tea Shown to Help Lower Bad Cholesterol

Chinese culture has sworn by the health benefits of green tea for thousands of years. Now a meta-analysis from researchers at Western University of Health Sciences adds to this growing body of research by showing that there may be a link between green tea consumption and lowering bad cholesterol levels.

The study was published in the November 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

The researchers examined data from 20 clinical trials that included more than 1,400 participants in total. They examined the relationship between green tea intake and total cholesterol, low-density (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol, high-density (HDL or “good”) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Included in the study were trials ranging from three weeks to six months. Additionally, the intake levels of green tea in the trials ranged from 145 to 3,000 mg daily.

The researchers found that individuals who drank green tea or took a green tea supplement daily showed a 5 to 6 point drop in LDL cholesterol when compared with individuals who consumed a placebo. There was no noted drop in HDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Green tea in beverage form was found to be more effective than green tea in capsule or supplement form.

The positive effects shown in this analysis are most likely the result of catechins, which are polyphenolic compounds. These powerful antioxidants can also be found in red wine, apples, and berries.

In addition to lower cholesterol, green tea or green supplements have also been linked with weight loss, improved heart health, aiding in digestion and decreased risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

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