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Green Tea Catechins May Lower Cholesterol in Post-Menopausal Women

Catechins are powerful antioxidants found in green tea. A recent study suggests that taking catechin-rich green tea supplements for one year may lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels in post-menopausal women.

Green tea contains four main catechins: epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epicatechin (EC).

Participants in the study included 1,075 post-menopausal women, 936 of whom completed the study. The women were given either a placebo or a decaffeinated green tea supplement containing 1,315 mg of catechins consisting of 845 mg EGCG, 202 mg EG, 107 mg EGC, and 107 mg EC for 12 months.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a 2.1% reduction in total cholesterol and a 4.1% reduction in LDL cholesterol in the green tea supplement group. In comparison, the placebo group had increases of 0.7% and 0.9%, respectively. However, they also noted a 3.6% increase in triglycerides in the green tea group, compared with a 2.5% decrease in the placebo group.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Southern California conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 2, 2016, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The health benefits associated with green tea are usually attributed to the high level of powerful disease-fighting catechins found in green tea. Catechins have been linked to other health benefits including lower cholesterol, weight loss, improved heart health, aiding in digestion and decreased risk of neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to green tea, they can also be found in red wine, apples, and berries.

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