Green Tea: The Best-Known Benefits and Side Effects

Tea is a beverage grown in almost 30 countries and is being consumed worldwide, although in different forms. Aside from water, it is one of the most widely consumed beverages. Green tea is considered to be one of the healthiest drinks loaded with many nutrients and antioxidants that leave a positive effect on one's body. The positive impact which includes, aiding in weight loss, an enhanced brain function, lowering the risk of various forms of cancer and many other such benefits.

Below mentioned are a few health benefits and uses from consumption of green tea supported by various studies. Four major polyphenols found in green tea plays a very important role in several conditions. They are commonly studied in conditions of genital warts, cancer, weight management, and cardiovascular disease. 

Benefits and Uses

1. Perianal and Genital Warts

An ointment approved by FDA (Veregen, Bradley Pharmaceuticals; Polyphenon E ointment 15%, MediGene AG) with a particular green tea fragment is used for treating Perianal and genital warts. The results have been positive in many cases.

2. Brain Health and Green Tea

The caffeine in the green tea helps in improving the memory of a person. L-theanine and EGCG are known to increase memory in conditions where minor brain damage has occurred. At the same time, it also helps in relaxing and reducing fatigue. Polyphenols found in green tea is also effective against diseases like Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's.

3. Losing Weight with Green Tea

There are studies supporting that green tea consumption increases the metabolism which in turn aids in fat loss. It also is known to subdue one's appetite. Several clinical tests have examined the result of green tea on weight management of which a few have shown considerable results however not all the studies show the same kind of result though.

4. Cardiovascular Health and Green Tea

A large part of the world population is affected by the condition. It is now known that the Polyphenols found in the green tea aids in reducing cholesterol, the main aspect of heart disease. It is also known to lower blood pressure level by increasing in the body the blood flow.

5. Risk of Diabetes and Green Tea

Catechins present in green tea are natural antioxidants which help in preventing cell damage and also provides other benefits to the body. It improves insulin sensitivity in the body with type 2 diabetes which in turn would lower the blood glucose level.

6. Green Tea and Types of Cancer

Cancer is an abnormal and uncontrolled division of cells in a part of the body. In order to prevent free radicals from harming one's body, a defense system of antioxidants go to work. Working together with free radicals the antioxidants dismiss the chain reaction before any vital molecules could be damaged. Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants.

7. Dental Health and Green Tea

EGCG present in Green tea aids in defense mechanisms in the mouth and can prevent inflammation of the gums. It also provides extra protection towards oxidative stress in one's mouth.

Some Known Side Effects

By and large Green tea is a safe beverage if consumed in moderate quantity for many, however, there are some side effects known to a few individuals as well. The few side effects known are such as stomach upset or constipation in a few cases. Green tea abstracts have been reported to cause a liver and kidney problems in very rare cases. Some study says that Green tea taken for a long-term on high doses could be unsafe. The reason is the caffeine in the tea could be harmful to the body. The side effects mentioned could range from trivial to severe and the person can have symptoms like: 

1. Feeling nauseous

The presence of tannins in green tea increases the stomach acids leading to stomach aches and feeling nauseous. For such people, it should be avoided on an empty stomach. Though it can be consumed after a meal in moderation.

    2. Anxiety

    An increased consumption of green tea can lead to anxiety in a few individuals

    3. Headache

    Green tea is also known as a natural diuretic which means it causes the body to lose water. Hence drinking the same in excessive amount leads to excessive urination causing electrolyte imbalances and dehydration leading to severe headaches and fatigue.

    4. Insomnia

    In some cases, some medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan) along with green tea could cause caffeine to stay in the body for a longer duration thereby leading to insomnia 

    5. Diarrhea and Trembling feel

    Caffeine in Green tea especially when taken in larger quantity leads to diarrhea in some individuals.

    6. Irritability and Irregular heartbeat

    It's a cause of concern for people with caffeine sensitivity. They would be more vulnerable to these side effects.

    7. Confusion, Giddiness and Convulsions

    Green tea consumed in moderation would be good for alertness however if consumed in larger quantity can lead to confusion, giddiness and convulsions. The excess of caffeine reduces the blood flow to one's brain which causes morning sickness and in some rare cases convulsions and giddiness. 

    8. Heartburn

    It would be best to drink Green tea after a meal as it reduces the chances of stomach acid formation due to the presence of tannins in green tea.

    Green tea is also associated with liver disease when taken on high volume. A study showed that the consuming green tea had caused 20% of testosterone level to be low and also 2% of sperm count to be low which could affect the reproduction. Also, in pregnant and feeding mothers the study showing the concern that consuming a larger quantity of green tea may lead to antifolate activity, which could possibly increase the threat of birth defects due to the folic acid deficit in the body. However, taking green tea in moderation is considered safe i.e. 2 cups a day which provides no more than 200 mg caffeine. It is advised for a nursing mother also to have green tea in moderation as the caffeine could be passed on to the infant through breast milk which can be detrimental.

    Green tea is available in numerous makings. Usual intake should be about two to three cups a day which is to be precise 1 teaspoon of tea leaves in one cup of water each.

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