Drink Up! Green Tea May Lower Your Cholesterol
A new study suggests that green tea lowers cholesterol overall and, more importantly, lowers levels of LDL ( "bad") cholesterol.
The study was conducted at the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing and was published on June 29, 2011 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
While no new research was conducted for this study, the scientists examined the results of 14 trial studies. The trials were conducted for different durations, from three weeks to three months. In each trial, one group received a green tea supplement or drank green tea and one group received a placebo.
At the conclusion of the trials, the average green tea recipient had a cholesterol level that was 7.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) lower than that of the placebo group recipients. The green tea group also showed an average decrease of 2.2 mg/dl (a little less than 2%) in their LDL cholesterol. Both groups had equal levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
The study group for this analysis was small, so scientists caution that more research needs to be conducted in order to determine the exact effects of green tea on cholesterol levels.
The scientists believe that the catechins found in green tea are responsible for its cholesterol lowering ability. Catechins are a type of antioxidant that decrease the absorption of cholesterol in the gut. They can also be found in chocolate, red wine, apples, and berries.