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Green Tea Extract Shown To Be a Potent Free Radical Scavenger

An extract made from green tea may be one the most potent free radical scavengers available, according to a study by researchers at the University Annamalai, India.

The study was published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of Food Biochemistry.

Free radicals damage cellular DNA and are a primary cause of aging. Free radicals have been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, damage to the immune system, brain degeneration and damage to the skin.

These unstable molecules can be neutralized by antioxidants such as the powerful polyphenols found in green tea and other plant sources, also known as free radical scavengers. Free radical scavengers reduce the action of free radicals and help prevent cell damage.

The researchers tested the free radical scavenging power of Sunphenon, a polyphenol-rich fraction of green tea that contains between 75 and 80 percent green tea polyphenols.

They exposed the green tea extract to hydroxyl radicals and found that the extract was one of the richest sources of free radical scavengers available. Based on these findings, the researchers stated that the green tea extract is a highly potent antioxidant.

This new study adds even more scientific evidence to previous studies which have linked polyphenols like those found in green tea to various health benefits. These benefits include promoting weight loss, improving heart health, aiding digestion and decreasing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

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