Green tea is one of the most commonly consumed teas in the world.
Green tea extract is its concentrated form, with just one capsule containing the same amount of active ingredients as an average cup of green tea.
Like green tea, green tea extract is a great source of antioxidants. These have been credited with a range of health benefits, from promoting heart, liver and brain health to improving your skin and even reducing the risk of cancer
What’s more, many studies have looked at green tea extract’s ability to aid weight loss. In fact, many weight loss products list it as a key ingredient.
This article explores 10 science-based benefits of green tea extract.
1. High in Antioxidants
The health benefits of green tea extract are mostly due to its high antioxidant content.
Antioxidants can help reduce oxidative stress by fighting cell damage caused by free radicals. This cell damage is associated with aging and several diseases.
Polyphenol antioxidants called catechins comprise the majority of green tea extract’s antioxidant content. Among the catechins in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most researched and thought to provide the most health benefits.
Green tea extract increases the antioxidant capacity of the body and protects against oxidative stress
Green tea extract boosts antioxidant capacity, which may help prevent various health problems caused by oxidative stress.
2. May Promote Heart Health
Oxidative stress increases fat buildup in the blood, which promotes inflammation in the arteries and leads to high blood pressure
Fortunately, the antioxidants in green tea extract can decrease inflammation and help reduce blood pressure. They can also inhibit fat absorption in cells, helping reduce blood fat levels
People with high blood pressure take 379 mg of green tea extract daily for three months. They showed a significant decrease in blood pressure, compared to the placebo group. Additionally, they experienced significant reductions in blood fat levels, including lower triglycerides and total and LDL cholesterol
Given that high blood pressure and high blood fat levels are risk factors for heart diseases, regulating them can promote heart health.
3. Good for the Brain
The antioxidants in green tea extract, especially EGCG, have been shown to protect brain cells from oxidative stress .This protection can help reduce brain damage that could lead to mental decline and brain diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Furthermore, green tea extract can decrease the action of heavy metals like iron and copper, both of which can damage brain. It’s also been shown to help memory by enhancing the connection between different parts of the brain. Then, while the participants worked on memory tests, brain images were obtained to assess brain function. The green tea extract group showed an increase in brain function and improved task performance, compared to the placebo group.
4. Can Help With Weight Loss
Green tea extract is rich in catechins, and it contains a decent amount of caffeine.
Interestingly, it seems that this combination of ingredients is responsible for its weight loss properties
Both catechins and caffeine have been shown to assist in weight loss by regulating the hormones that can enhance thermogenesis.
Thermogenesis is the process by which your body burns calories to digest food and produce heat. Green tea has been shown to boost this process by making your body more effective at burning calories, which can lead to weight loss
5. Might Benefit Liver Function
The catechins in green tea extract may also help reduce inflammation caused by some liver diseases like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
The green tea extract group showed significant reductions in liver enzyme levels, which is an indication of improved liver health . NAFLD took 700 ml of green tea, which contained at least 1 gram of catechins, daily for 12 weeks. They had significant decreases in liver fat content, inflammation and oxidative stress .
Interestingly, it’s important to stick to the recommended dosage for green tea extract, as exceeding it has been shown to be harmful to the liver.
6. May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
The maintenance of your body’s tissues and organs is characterized by cell death and regrowth. Specialized cells known as stem cells produce new cells to replace those that die. This process keeps cells active and healthy.
However, when this balance is disrupted, cancer can occur. This is when your body starts producing dysfunctional cells, and cells don’t die when they should. The antioxidants in green tea extract, especially EGCG, seem to have favorable effects on the balance of cell production
7. Its Components May Be Good for the Skin
Whether taken as a supplement or applied to the skin, green tea extract has been shown to improve skin health
A large review demonstrated that when applied to the skin, green tea extract can help treat a variety of skin problems, such as dermatitis, rosacea and warts. Also, as a supplement, it has been shown to help with skin aging and acne
Moreover, both supplements and the topical application of green tea extract seem to help prevent skin conditions like loss of skin elasticity, inflammation, premature aging and cancer caused by exposure to UV rays.
Applying a cream containing green tea extract to the skin for 60 days resulted in improved skin elasticity
Interestingly enough, adding green tea extract to cosmetic products has been shown to benefit the skin by providing a moisturizing effect .
8. May Benefit Exercise Performance and Recovery
Green tea extract seems to be helpful in exercise, whether it’s by improving exercise performance or enhancing recovery. While exercise has many health benefits, it’s known to produce oxidative stress and damage cells in the body. Fortunately, antioxidants like green tea catechins can reduce cellular damage and delay muscle fatigue. In fact that green tea extract combined with strength training for four weeks enhanced the body’s antioxidant protection
Furthermore, green tea extract seems to benefit exercise performance.
9. May Help Lower Blood Sugar
The catechins in green tea, especially EGCG, have been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity and regulate the production of blood sugar, both of which can lower blood sugar levels . The green tea experienced better blood sugar tolerance after 30 minutes, and continued to show better results. Green tea extract improved insulin sensitivity in healthy .
Green tea extract is useful in decreasing fasting blood sugar levels. It can also help lower levels of hemoglobin A1C, which is an indicator of blood sugar levels over the past 2–3 months
10. Easy to Add to Your Diet
Green tea extract is available in liquid, powder and capsule forms. The liquid extract can be diluted in water, while the powder can be mixed into smoothies. However, it has a strong taste. The recommended dosage of green tea extract is between 250–500 mg per day. This amount can be obtained from 3–5 cups of green tea, or about 1.2 liters.
But it’s important to know that not all green tea extract supplements are created equal. Some supplements contain only dry green tea leaves, while others contain isolated forms of one or more catechins.
The catechin most closely linked to the health benefits of green tea extract is EGCG, so you’ll want to make sure that the supplement you are consuming contains it. Finally, it’s best to take green tea extract with foods. Both exceeding the recommended dose and taking it on an empty stomach may cause serious liver damage