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Green Tea A Natural Remedy

The natural health researchers at Institute for Vibrant Living (IVL) have investigated the health benefits of natural green tea. Here is their report:

Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and green tea (GT) has been touted to be among the healthiest types of tea. The benefits of drinking tea are many. It is chock full of antioxidants and has been considered by residents of India, China and Japan to possess properties that prevent many illnesses.

The health-promoting benefits of green tea extract include: destruction of harmful free radicals in the body, protection from digestive, respiratory and bacterial infections and enhancement of metabolism.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) Benefits

More than 2 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, pain, stiffness and occasional joint damage. The prevailing treatment for RA has been nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS).

However, extended use of these drugs can cause discomfort and unfavorable side effects, like gastrointestinal disturbance and kidney problems. Also, these medications do not change the course of RA or prevent joint damage. Recent studies have shown that drinking GT may be a specific alternative for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Researchers from the medical school at the University of Michigan conducted preliminary lab tests showing that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a compound found in GT, may have potential as a treatment for RA. They studied groups of joint cells that had been affected by rheumatoid arthritis, treating one group with EGCG and giving a control group no treatment.

The Research

Both groups were exposed to an inflammatory chemical linked to RA for 24 hours. The cells that were treated with EGCG produced significantly lower levels of molecules in the immune system that contribute to inflammation caused by RA. In fact, the highest dosage of EGCG treatment virtually stopped production of these molecules during the course of the study.

It was further shown that EGCG inhibited a chemical reaction associated with joint damage concluding that it may be of potential therapeutic value in managing joint damage linked to RA. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) sponsored studies at the University of Maryland and Rutgers University to examine the benefits of drinking green tea on rheumatoid arthritis in rats.

Those in the experimental group consumed the tea in their drinking water while the control group rats drank only water for one to three weeks prior to an injection of mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra to induce arthritis. It was determined that polyphenols in the green tea significantly reduced the severity of arthritis in the experimental group as compared to the control.

Unlike black tea, GT is not fermented. It is simply dried and then heated, which retains the healthy polyphenols. One teaspoon of green tea steeped in hot (not boiling) water gives 100 to 200mg of powerful EGCG compounds. Do not add milk, as it has been found to negate the healthful benefits of drinking green tea. If you are not a fan of tea, you can experience the benefits of GT extract in a supplement.