Green tea: mysterious and healthy

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The healing effects of green tea have hardly been researched

Over 100 evidence-based studies worldwide have already examined the positive effects of green tea. So far, however, "a uniform result" has been lacking in scientific studies such as Professor Dr. Friedemann Paul, neurologist at the Berlin University Hospital Charité and co-organizer of the international conference "Tea and Health" in the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin. Tea infusions or capsules used have not been standardized to date and there are still no explicit statements about the biological compatibility or necessary doses, as Paul added. By the end of 2012, however, the expert is expecting reliable study results to demonstrate the effects of green tea in multiple sclerosis. Corresponding research is currently being carried out at the Charité.

Preventive healing drink against cancer, Alzheimer's and heart diseases
Green tea has also been used in the western world for several years as a preventative against various diseases. For example, scientists from the Universities of Halle and Ulm are currently investigating the preventive effects of green tea extracts against colorectal cancer in a long-term study. Green tea is the national drink in Asia. Researchers are always on the trail of the healing drink, because green tea is not only considered a preventive and healing drink in natural medicine. It is believed that green tea has a positive influence on oxidative stress and can thus prevent diseases and even stop them when they break out. In particular, the active ingredient epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in the green tea plant Camellia sinensis has shown positive health effects in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia, severe overweight (obesity), cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in several studies.

Further studies required
The experts advise during preparation not to pour boiling water over it, otherwise the effectiveness could be impaired. According to the unanimous opinion, the optimal water temperature for dissolving the tea extracts is between 60 and 80 degrees Celsius. "But we cannot yet convey one message," said Prof. Friedemann Paul. The expert therefore called for further, large-scale study work in order to combine and compare already known factors. In this context, Paul criticized the pharmaceutical industry, which, due to the poor financial prospects, has little interest in further research. The pharmaceutical parts industry can hardly make any profit with green tea, which is why it is above all politics that is needed to fund studies, the neurologist warns.

Can Green Tea Cure Serious Illnesses?
When asked whether green tea can cure multiple sclerosis (MS), the neurology specialist Paul said: “We do not expect green tea to actually cure such a disease. But it may be possible to stop their progression or prevent the disease ”. The good news that can already be announced is that the "effect of the so-called antioxidants, which haunted so many articles and minds, can be put on a solid scientific basis". In many cases, the scientists do not know at all how the polyphenols plant substances, including EGCG, work exactly. "As far as we know today, EGCG is likely to have a beneficial impact on oxidative stress," says Paul. In series of experiments, it was observed that EGCH was able to prevent the formation of certain fibrils in brain cells.

German Cancer Aid supports research
In addition to the neurological department of the university clinic, the German Cancer Aid also focuses on further research into green tea. The association has donated money to the study project on risk reduction in colorectal cancer mentioned above. In addition, Cancer Aid supports numerous other projects for green tea research, since certain aspects have long been indicative of regular tea consumption reducing the risk of individual cancers.

Green tea against obesity Green tea extracts have shown good results in the treatment of overweight patients. People who suffer from "moderate excess weight and a disorder in energy metabolism or fat metabolism" can be helped sustainably by green tea. The subjects lost weight during a study, according to pharmacologist Michael Boschmann, who works at the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) of MDC and Charité. Obesity patients cannot benefit from the effects. Here the data situation is still too contradictory, says Boschmann. "But there will be concrete results in the next two to three years." Larger studies from the Far East cannot be transferred to the western industrialized nations. In Japan, not only is green tea drunk, as Paul said. "People also have a different genetic disposition and eat differently - almost without milk, but with a lot more fish".

Drink green tea every day, but don't overdo it Now should everyone start drinking green tea in large quantities or swallow it in medicinal form? The experts strongly advise against this. Because excessive consumption can also lead to health side effects. One to two liters of green tea a day can be consumed carefree. (sb)

Also read:
Green tea for colorectal cancer screening
Do not brew green tea too hot
Awakeners: Green tea has more caffeine than coffee

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