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Green Tea Shows Significant Heart Health Benefits for Obese Individuals

A recent investigation suggests that drinking green tea could improve blood pressure, blood sugar levels and markers of inflammation for obese people with high blood pressure.

Researchers recruited 56 obese adults who had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Over the course of 3 months, half of the group took either 379 mg of green tea extract or a placebo. At the end of the 3 months, significant improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels were seen in the participants in the green tea group.

Specifically, a 4.9 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure (top number in a reading) and a 4.7 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure (bottom number in a reading) in the green tea group but only 0.8 mmHg and 0.6 mmHg decreases, respectively, in the placebo group.

They also observed lower insulin and blood sugar levels in the green tea group, as well as a 0.9 mg/L decrease in C-reactive protein (a common marker of inflammation). In comparison, the placebo group showed a 0.11 mg/L increase in CRP.

The green tea extract used in the study contained 208 mg of the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, an important polyphenol found in green tea. Previous studies have shown that this polyphenol—along with three others—are the forces behind the health benefits of green tea.

The study was published online ahead of print on June 22, 2012, in the journal Nutrition Research. It was conducted by researchers at the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland.

This study adds to an already impressive body of science backing the various health benefits of green tea, which include promoting weight loss, improving heart health, aiding digestion and decreasing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

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