(NaturalNews) Green tea has always been cited to improve a number of health benefits through its consumption. A recent study targeted LDL, or "bad" cholesterol and brought forth evidence that green tea reduces those levels. The question of how much and whether or not green tea should serve as a medical alternative remains to be seen; however, the overall benefits of green tea are difficult to ignore.
The study separated participants in two random groups: the first group who drank green tea and consumed green tea extract, and the second group that did not consume green tea. This study was staged for a period of time ranging from a few weeks up to three months, and the results showed that the former group who consumed high amounts of green tea had reduced levels of "bad" cholesterol. In fact, the participants who consumed green tea had a, on average, 7.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) reduction in total cholesterol levels compared to the participants who did not consume green tea. These participants also had their "bad" cholesterol levels dropped by 2.2 mg/dL.
Another study done by researchers at Western University of Health Sciences dissected the correlation between green tea and serum lipid levels, as well as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Over the course of three to 24 weeks, researches conducted 20 trials that resulted in lower LDL cholesterol levels. Specifically, the participants showed a five to six point reduction in their levels.
Why does green tea lower LDL cholesterol
Green tea contains catechin polyphenols, specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a very powerful antioxidant that has been known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels, and also inhibit abnormal formation of blood clots.
The particular reason green tea is always cited as a superior health choice when it comes to tea, is its minimal processing. Green tea leaves are withered and steamed rather than fermented like black and oolong teas. This is what prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized, resulting in its catechins and EGCG to be more concentrated.
Although green tea is not being "prescribed" for lowering LDL cholesterol levels, the evidence is clear that it can help with lowering the "bad" cholesterol levels. When consumed regularly, green tea contributes to an overall healthier lifestyle and even to the prevention of heart disease.