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Green Tea Extract : Health Benefits, Consumption, Dosage and Possible Side Effects

Green tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. In fact, it is often regarded as the healthiest drink to have. It is popular for its earthy flavour, aroma and its extremely powerful antioxidant action. Even on a scientific level, medical practitioners are huge fans of this potent drink.

But what is the main reason behind the many health benefits that green tea offers?

The answer to this is a plant based compound known as epigallocatechin gallate, also popularly known as EGCG. This belongs to a class of botanic organic compounds known as catechins. EGCG is basically the green tea extract and it has been scientifically established as a rich source of antioxidants, that help to protect the cells against damage by free radicals.

Green tea comes with numerous health benefits, which will all be highlighted in this write-up. However, EGCG is also found in other food sources such as black tea, strawberries, cranberries, red wine, pistachios, apples, dark chocolate, avocado and hazelnut. One common parameter that you can notice in all of these foods is that every single one of them are popular for their rich content of antioxidants.

The strong presence of antioxidants alone gives a high level of potency to green tea extract. In fact, many of the functionalities of EGCG are a direct correspondence to the antioxidant action.

The objective of this article is to convey all the health benefits of the green tea extract to you. This is backed by all the extensive research that has gone into the establishment of these benefits. The potential side effects and dosage would also be highlighted. So let us get on with it.

Health Benefits of Green Tea Extract

Antioxidant action

This one had to be stated first. Green tea is often synonymous with antioxidants, and that is exactly what EGCG is most potent at.

The free radicals are extremely reactive molecules that can go on to cause high levels of cellular damage through oxidative stress. EGCG helps to avoid the effects of oxidative stress and its chemical reactions work against inflammation characteristics. Extensive studies have supported this.

The anti-inflammatory functionality of green tea extract helps to protect your body against the risk of a variety of health conditions.

Promotes good cardiovascular health

Studies have confirmed that the consumption of green tea extract helps in reducing the risk of various conditions that lead to heart disease such as blood pressure fluctuations, LDL or bad cholesterol and the clogging of arteries.

A study conducted for 2 months demonstrated that the intake of just 250mg of green tea extract reduced resulted in a significant reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Further research have showcased the potency of green tea extract in fulfilling several functionalities that lead to good cardiovascular health. The antioxidants help in keeping the heart healthy and keep the blood clean and rich in oxygen.

Helps in weight loss

It has been indicated in several studies that the EGCG found in green tea extract, when coupled with caffeine, may result in significant loss in weight. There is substantial control in the accumulation of fat in several parts of the body. This leads to a noteworthy suppression in appetite.

Several experimental trials have demonstrated the ability of the caffeine and green tea extract to effectively aid in the loss of weight with effective fat burning and a positive change in body composition.

However, it has to be noted that this functionality of the EGCG derived from green tea extract in weight loss is successful only when coupled with caffeine.

Proper functioning of the brain

Research has shown that the consumption of EGCG through green tea extract acts as a catalyst in the proper working on the several cells in the neurological system. In addition, it is also reported to maintain food brain health as one ages. Moreover, these functionalities also work even if there has been an issue with the spinal cord. This has been confirmed by several animal studies.

Some studies have speculated that the intake of green tea extract is associated with the protection of the brain against age-related issues, and even conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Dosage

The determination of a specific dosage for EGCG derived from green tea extract has always been a issue for scientists. Studies have established that this may be due to the tendency of EGCG to disintegrate in the vicinity of oxygen. As such, EGCG gets through the small intestine in not time, and then they end up in the large intestine wherein gut bacteria basically breaks it down. In other words, the digestive tract does not absorb EGCG quite well.

A cup of green tea usually contains EGCG up to a concentration of 50mg to 100mg. This amount is safe and it also fulfils all the health benefits expected from the consumption of green tea extract.

Potential Side Effects

Several reports have shown that green tea extract does have some concerning side effects associated with its intake. These include problems in the kidneys and liver, varying blood sugar levels and light-headedness.

However, these side effects tend to arise only under the cases of overdosing or the inclusion of chemical additives or foreign particles in the EGCG supplements based on the green tea extract.

There is no conclusive research to support the safety in consumption of green tea extract by pregnant or breastfeeding women. As such, they should stay away from drinking too much of green tea during this phase.

Possibilities of suppression in the functionality of other medications do exist when they are taken along with green tea extract.

In order to avoid complications and be on the safe side, it is strongly recommended to have a thorough consultation with your medical doctor regarding the consumption of EGCG supplements.

Conclusion

Green tea is truly one of the healthiest and most widely enjoyed beverages from all across the world. With its calming effects, antioxidant activity and several other health benefits, it deserves that position.

EGCG, based on the green tea extract, is the primary reason behind the astounding effectiveness of this drink. The extract does have some side effects, but they don’t arise unless the recommended dosage is exceeded or there are other chemicals to interfere with it. Nonetheless, a normal consumption of green tea (which everyone should enjoy) would give you several benefits that go on to contribute towards your good health and wellness. As of now, you are highly recommended to get yourself a soothing cup of green tea and relish everything that it has to offer!

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Jen Uscher

I’m is a medical writer and a digital content strategist living in New York. I often define myself as a very detail oriented writer who enjoys combining science and medical knowledge in an article. Many of my works have been published in WebMD, Shape, ShopSmart etc. I obtained a graduate degree from Emerson Col-lege and went on to pursue a Master's degree in fictional writing from Columbia University in the city of New York.

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