Green tea is more of a type of tea preparation from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis
that has undergone oxidation in the steaming process. It has its origins from China
that eventually found its ways in many Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. It is predominantly
used in Japan after it was introduced there as about the same time as Zen Buddhism
was introduced by a Japanese Buddhist monk schooled during the Song Dynasty in China.
Since then, there have been a number of plant varieties used for green tea preparation
with Gyokura as the highest grade Japanese green tea.
Research made in Japan claims that taking 5 cups of green tea each day burns 70 to
80 calories. Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a self-anointed anti-aging specialist guessing
in the “Oprah Winfrey show” claimed to have lost 10 lbs in 8 weeks drinking green
How Does Green Tea Work For Weight Loss?
The main benefit of green tea lies on its abundant content of catechins polyphenols,
especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This is a powerful anti-oxidant that
is also known to lower LFL cholesterol levels.
Green Tea has been associated with the French Paradox where despite consuming fat-rich
diets, the French have lower incidence of heart disease, live healthier and longer
lives than Americans. It’s all because of red wine which contains a polyphenol Resveratrol
that also reduces if not neutralize the ill-effects of smoking and a high fat diet.
But a 1997 research study at the University of Kansas have unraveled that EGCG is
twice more potent than Resveratrol.
But while there is little doubt about its beneficial heath benefits, claims about
its weight-reducing properties have yet to be independently confirmed from human
Is Green Tea Safe?
For a long time, the only unwanted side effect from consuming green tea is insomnia
which is more the result of caffeine in the tea preparation itself. But it contains
a lot less caffeine, about 60mg in 8 ounces of tea than coffee which has over 100mg
of caffeine in the same amount. It is generally a safe substance.
But in 2008, the US Pharmacopeia indicated that among green tea drinkers, there had
been reported serious side effects that included 34 cases of liver damage out of
the millions of green tea drinkers. But it remains inconclusive as these cases were
categorized merely as possible or probably. The risk of such side effects was increased
when the tea is taken on an empty stomach.