Add this to your list of benefits for green tea: it can help to reduce blood pressure too!
New research says that green tea’s antioxidants do more than keep you healthy. Compounds like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) help to protect the heart. However, when a good quality green tea extract was given to obese study participants, researchers realized that those on the extract saw improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and even markers of inflammation.
Could this be related to the antioxidants in green tea? It turns out that there are four major types:
- pigallocatechin gallate or EGCG
- Epigallocatechin or EGC
- Epicatechin gallate or ECG
- Epicatechin or EC
These are all healthy – but the latest research focused on EGCG. Polish researchers recruited obese participants and gave them a relatively low dose of EGCG – about 200 mg. All of the people in the study were not only obese, but also had high blood pressure. They were divided into two groups: one getting green tea extract with EGCG and one group receiving a placebo.
Given the low dose of EGCG, the results are even more significant. After three months on the green tea extract EGCG, participants saw average drop in systolic pressure of 4.9 points and an average drop in diastolic pressure of 4.7 points. Many medications cannot boast better results than that!
In addition, participants getting the green tea extract (as opposed to a placebo) saw both their blood sugar and insulin levels improve. Participants receiving the placebo saw no such benefit.
Another benefit to those taking green tea extract was a significant drop in their C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a known marker for inflammation in the body. CRP was lowered by 1 point, which is a big drop in this substance. All age related decline is linked to inflammation, so any drop in CRP is a very positive thing.