Green Tea Supplements: Are They Really Beneficial?
Green tea supplements have green tea extract, which is rich in antioxidants. This product is believed to be useful for treatment of a range of health problems. There are different antioxidants in green tea extract, including EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). Also, many green tea supplements have theanine, which is believed to have a calming effect.
What Can Green Tea Supplements Be Used For?
You can use green tea supplements for the following purposes:
• Prevention of cardiovascular disease;
• Cancer prevention;
• Weight loss;
• Cancer treatment;
• Managing high blood pressure.
Health Benefits of the Product
Some studies suggest that green tea supplements may allow obtaining the following health benefits:
Treatment of prostate cancer
There was a study conducted in 2009, during which 26 men with prostate cancer took 4 capsules of green tea extract every day, which resulted in decrease of certain markers indicating the progression of prostate cancer. Each dose is the equivalent of 12 cups of brewed green tea. The period of treatment ranged from 12 to 73 days.
Prevention of cold and flu
A study conducted in 2007 checked the effectiveness of green tea supplements in prevention of cold and flu. A group of adults took either green tea extract or a placebo capsule two times a day for three months. People taking green tea supplements had fewer symptoms of cold and flu, and their illness lasted for fewer days if compared to those using placebo capsules.
Decreasing cholesterol level
A study conducted in 2003 suggests that the use of green tea supplements can help decrease cholesterol level. They had to be used along with a low saturated fat diet. There were 240 adults participating in this study, and they all had either mildly or moderately elevated cholesterol levels. The group of people taking green tea extract for 12 weeks had a more significant decrease in LDL cholesterol than those people taking a placebo capsule.
Supplements vs. Green Tea
Why do you have to use green tea supplements if you just can have a nice cup of green tea? Green tea supplements are available in liquid and capsule form, and they are often marketed as a quicker and more effective way of increasing your antioxidant intake than drinking many cups of green tea every day. Anyway, most scientific studies have focused on the health benefits of green tea, not supplements.
Can Supplements Cause Side Effects or Other Health Problems?
There is very little information on possible side effects and safety issues associated with the use of green tea supplements. You should note that this product contains caffeine, so it is possible to have adverse reactions due to the use of this substance, including the following:
• Ringing in the ears,
• Increased heart rate;
• Increased blood pressure;
• Worsening of ulcer symptoms.
According to some opinions, the supplements can exacerbate glaucoma, reduce the absorption of iron and lead to liver damage or even death. You should also remember that antioxidants are not desirable during chemotherapy treatment, because they may decrease the effectiveness of the drugs. That is why you should avoid using green tea supplements if you are undergoing cancer treatment with chemotherapy.
Another important thing about supplements is that they are not regulated properly, which means that they may contain something else than specified on the label.
You should be very careful with the use of supplements in the following cases:
• If you are a pregnant woman;
• If you are a breastfeeding mother;
• If you want to give it to your child;
• If you have certain medical conditions;
• If you use some medications or other supplements.
How to Use Green Tea Supplements
Different green tea supplements may have different amounts of green tea extract per capsule, and you should keep it in mind. Anyway, there is no particular dosage recommended for the users of green tea extract. Still, if you wish to use green tea supplements, you should consult your healthcare provider. You should not just rely on the information that you can find on the Internet, because it may be dangerous to use this or other supplements for treatment of certain health conditions.