Camellia sinensis . Green Tea
Leaves from the plant Camellia sinensis have been used over the centuries to brew tea.
Black tea leaves are fermented tea leaves.
Fermentation of tea leaves causes the oxidation of most of its phytochemicals and renders them inactive. It also reduces the bitterness and makes the tea more appealing..
Green tea leaves on the other hand are unfermented and therefore retain the original library of phytohormones nature created.
Among the phytonutrients synthesized by the tea leave in its natural state are polyphenols.
Polyphenols are very strong antioxidants.
Many of the healing attributes of green tea are due to their antioxidant activity.
In fact, the anti-atherogenic effect of green tea may be due to its preventing the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol (lousy cholesterol) and preventing its conversion into the truly lousy form of cholesterol.
Green tea polyphenols are thought to prevent cancer and atherosclerosis. They are also believed to possess anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity.
It has been reported that green tea polyphenols produce a thermogenic effect on the body, similar to caffeine.
Increased core temperature helps lower body weight.
Catechins are one type of polyphenol and flavonoid.
They are classified as polyphenols since they contain ore than one phenol ring in its chemical structure.
These are the most medicinally important chemicals in green tea.
Green tea polyphenols are thought to prevent cancer, atherosclerosis, delay the appearance of wrinkles and aging and prevent infection by the AIDS virus.
There are of are four types of catechins in green tea. This accounts for one third by weight of the tea.
Green tea polyphenol (catechins) help prevent cancers of the gastrointestinal tract and prostate.
These phytonutrients are potent inhibitors of the enzyme tyrosine kinase, the enzyme that phosphorylates proteins, which is essential for cell mitosis and growth.
This interference by is believed to be the mechanism by which green tea prevents cancers of the gastrointestinal tract..
Green tea polyphenols are also able to cross the blood-brain barrier to neutralize the free radicals generated in the brain.
Preventing free radical damage delays senile dementia and other chronic brain diseases.
Green tea polyphenols may prevent AIDS by its ability to bind to membrane receptors.
They may prevent cancer by inhibiting certain enzymes and preventing the formation of nitrosamines.
Catechins can also cross the blood-brain barrier to neutralize free radicals in the brain and stimulate fat oxidation.
Green tea catechins, specifically the EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) model, are believed to raise core body temperature.
This thermogenic effect is similar to the one that caffeine produces, only of a longer duration.
Increased core temperature helps lower body weight. EGCG are now being used in natural weight loss formulas.
EGCG is purported to reduce food intake, lower body weight and decrease blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and is thought to interact with the leptin-appetite pathway to repress appetite