The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter takes on added importance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.
Links are being made between the effects of drinking green tea and the “French Paradox.” For years, researchers were puzzled by the fact that, despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans. The answer was found to lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol, a polyphenol that limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet. In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers.
Why don’t other Chinese teas have similar health-giving properties? Green, oolong, and black teas all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. What sets green tea apart is the way it is processed. Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized. By contrast, black and oolong tea leaves are made from fermented leaves, which results in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.
New evidence is emerging that green tea can even help dieters. In November, 1999, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Researchers found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.
Green tea can even help prevent tooth decay! Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also kill the bacteria that causes dental plaque. Meanwhile, skin preparations containing green tea – from deodorants to creams – are starting to appear on the market.
To date, the only negative side effect reported from drinking green tea is insomnia due to the fact that it contains caffeine. However, regular green tea contains less caffeine than coffee: there are approximately 30-60 mg. of caffeine in six – eight ounces of tea, compared to over one-hundred mg. in eight ounces of coffee.
GreenTeaHawaii contains only 20 mg of caffeine per 16 oz. serving but gives you the polyphenols and antioxidants of 45 cups of green tea. As a comparison Diet Coke contains 45 mg of caffeine per 12 oz. serving, Mountain Dew has 54 mg per 12 oz., and Red Bull (and most other “energy” drinks) contains 80 mg caffeine per 8 oz. serving.
Catechins are flavonoid phytochemical compounds that appear predominantly in green tea. Smaller amounts of catechins are also in black tea, grapes, wine, and chocolate. Four polyphenol catechins in green tea include gallocatechin (GC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin (EC), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
EGCG is the the most potent polyphenol catechin (also called tea flavonoids) and associated with the most significant health benefits.
Catechins are powerful antioxidants. As such, there is significant research being done for their ability to PREVENT cancer and heart disease. Catechins show a wide range of protective effects, including cardioprotective, chemoprotective, and anitmicrobial properties.
While black tea also has flavonoids, green tea (unfermented) has contain a significantly higher amount of catechins. In it’s natural form, regular Green tea has about 27% catechins (typically around 10 mg), oolong tea (partially fermented) contains about 23%, and black tea (fermented) at approximately 4% catechins. GreenTeaHAWAII contains 450 mg of polyphenols – up to 45 times that of “regular” green tea.
Green tea contains important compounds that may be reduced in black tea during the drying and fermentation process that produces black tea. Polyphenols constitute about 15% to 30% of unfermented dried green tea and most of the soluble portion of tea.
The American Journal of Clinical Medicine has numerous studies on the the health benefits associated with Green Tea. Most of these health benefits are attributed to green tea catechins. These studies can be found by searching www.ajcn.org.
Catechins exert significant antioxidant power and are heart healthy agents in combating lipid peroxidation within cell membranes lining arterial walls and reducing formation of atherosclerotic plaque. In particular, the tea catechin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is currently being studied for its role as a chemoprotective agent. Studies show that EGCG may be responsible for suppressing growth of tumors as well as inhibiting enzymes that are involved in spread of cancer cells.
In fact, EGCG has shown a unique ability to fight cancer at all stages, from inhibiting development of tumors, to eradicating tumor promoters, blocking chemical carcinogens and neutralizing enzymes involved in cell proliferation.
Current research has shown EGCG to be as much as 100 times more potent than vitamin C and 25 time more potent than vitamin E in antioxidant power.
Antimicrobial properties in green tea are also attributed to EGCG, which has been shown to repress the growth of bacteria such as helicobacter pylori, E. coli, and Staphylococcus aureus.
Hundreds of studies exist showing the many health benefits of green tea. But what makes it the most consumed beverage in the world after water is its pleasant taste and relaxation effect. Both of these qualities—and more—can be traced to a unique, neurologically-active amino acid in tea called L-theanine (gamma-ethylamino-L-glutamic acid).
L-theanine is a free (non-protein) amino acid found almost exclusively in tea plants (Camellia sp.), constituting between 1 and 2-percent of the dry weight of tea leaves. It is the predominant amino acid in green tea leaves, giving tea its characteristic umami or “5th taste” (besides the four traditional tastes: sweet, salty, acid, and bitter). Attempts to isolate the L-theanine, with its physical and neurological benefits, from the tea leaves were once difficult, expensive, and inefficient. Economically feasible methods of producing the identical L-theanine now exist and do not require a mountain of tea leaves.
Physiological Effects The calming effect of green tea may seem contradictory to the stimulatory property of tea’s caffeine content but it can be explained by the action of L-theanine. This amino acid actually acts antagonistically against the stimulatory effects of caffeine on the nervous system. (1) Research on human volunteers has demonstrated that L-theanine creates a sense of relaxation in approximately 30-40 minutes after ingestion via at least two different mechanisms. First, this amino acid directly stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to what is achieved through meditation. Second, L-theanine is involved in the formation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA influences the levels of two other neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, producing the key relaxation effect. (2)
Alpha Brain Activity The brain emits weak electrical impulses (brain waves) that can be measured on the surface of the head. The predominant frequency of electrical impulses correlates with different types of mental states and activities. Brain waves are classified into four categories (delta, theta, alpha, and beta)—each with an associated mental state (Fig. 1). Delta is seen only in the deepest stages of sleep. Theta is seen in light sleep and drowsiness. Alpha is present in wakefulness where there is a relaxed and effortless alertness and Beta is seen in highly stressful situations and where there is difficulty in mental concentration and focus. It is well known that alpha brain waves are generated during a relaxed state and therefore alpha waves are used as an index of relaxation.
In one study of these mental responses to L-theanine, brain wave topography showed that alpha waves were observed from the back to the top of a person’s head (occipital and parietal regions of the brain) within approximately 40 minutes after the subjects had taken either 50 or 200 mg of L-theanine. In a separate study, the intensity of alpha waves were determined to be dose dependent (with a 200 mg dose showing a significant increase over controls) and detectable after 30 minutes. (2,3)
Additional Benefits L-theanine has a significant effect on the release or reduction of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, resulting in improved memory and learning ability. L-theanine may also influence emotions due to its effects on the increased release of dopamine. L-theanine reduces brain serotonin concentration by either curtailing serotonin synthesis or increasing degradation in the brain.
The regulation of blood pressure is partly dependent upon catecholaminergic and serotonergic neurons in both the brain and the peripheral nervous system. Studies on spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) showed an impressive blood pressure lowering effect with L-theanine. The lowered blood pressure effect was dose-dependent with the highest test dose creating the most significant drop. L-glutamine was used as one of the controls. Although L-glutamine is similar in chemical structure to L-theanine, it did not exhibit an anti-hypertensive effect (Fig. 2). (3)
Preliminary studies report that L-theanine has been found to increase the anti-tumor activity of some chemotherapeutic agents (doxorubicin and idarubicin) and to ameliorate some of the side effects of these drugs. It appears to increase the inhibitory concentration of these drugs in the tumor cells, although the mechanism is not known. At the same time, L-theanine decreased oxidative stress caused by these agents on the normal cells, possibly due to its mild antioxidant activity. In this regard, L-theanine has been shown to inhibit lipid peroxidation, catalyzed by copper, in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in vitro. (4)
Stress Relief Stress and anxiety are debilitating conditions that upset the balance of our hormones leading to a loss of our well-being, performance, and even lifespan. Stress impairs the immune system, leaving us vulnerable to opportunistic infections, and can cause depression. In 1998, pharmaceutical sales of anti-anxiety drugs totaled over 700 million dollars, while sales of antidepressants totaled close to 5 billion dollars! People under stress can mitigate many of the harmful effects of stress with L-theanine without becoming sedated in the process. L-theanine doesn’t make one drowsy, nor does it promote sleep because this amino acid does not produce theta waves in the brain. It should be noted that if an individual were already relaxed, taking L-theanine would not produce further relaxation.
Status and Usage L-theanine has just recently been introduced to the U.S. market. Japan is credited with most of the clinical studies and information we possess thus far on L-theanine but research is ongoing. We do know that it is absorbed from the small intestine via a sodium-coupled active transport process. It crosses the blood-brain barrier, as evidenced by the mental effects. L-theanine competes for absorption in the intestinal tract and the brain with the amino acids found in the methionine group (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), however the concentrations of amino acids are unchanged by simultaneous ingestion of L-theanine.
L-theanine is extremely safe. There are no dietary limits on L-theanine intake by the Japan Food Additive Association. In 1964, the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare approved L-theanine for unlimited use in all foods, with the exception of infant foods.
The intended use of L-theanine is that of a mental and physical relaxant that does not induce drowsiness. Although there is no set schedule for taking L-theanine, it may generally be taken at the first signs of stress. Based on the results of the clinical studies, L-theanine is most effective in the range of 50-200 mg, with the effect being felt within 30 minutes and lasting for 8-10 hours. Individuals with high stress levels may increase their dosage of L-theanine to at least 100 mg, with no more than 600 mg being taken in a six hour period. FDA recommends a maximum dose of 1200 mg daily, although the reason for this limit is not clear, due to its demonstrated safety. There are no known adverse reactions to L-theanine and no drug interactions have been reported. L-theanine is not affected by food and may be taken anytime, as needed. Because it has a mild taste, capsules may be opened and dissolved in water. Although it is probably safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers, we discourage its use by them pending conclusive research.
Conclusion Research into L-theanine derived from the contradictory observation that green tea, with its high caffeine content, produces a very calming effect. The seemingly multi-dimensional reasons for this relaxation effect will continue to be studied. Current areas of ongoing research include using L-theanine as an alternative to Ritalin in children and adults, as a treatment for PMS, in controlling certain conditions of high blood pressure, in sharpening mental acuity and concentration, and as an anti-cancer agent alone and in synergy with other cancer-fighting agents. L-theanine may find another area of application for its use as a supplement in reducing the negative side effects of caffeine brought on by the over-consumption of coffee, soft drinks, or other caffeine-containing substances.
References 1. Kakuda T, Nozawa A, Unno T, et al. Inhibiting effects of theanine on caffeine stimulation evaluated by EEG in the rat. Biosci Biotechno Biochem 2000; 64:287-293. 2. Mason R. 200 mg of Zen; L-theanine boosts alpha waves, promotes alert relaxation. Alternative & Complementary Therapies 2001,April; 7:91-95 3. Juneja LR, Chu D-C, Okubo T, et al. L-theanine a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effect in humans. Trends Food Sci Tech 1999; 10:199-204. 4. Yokozawa T, Dong E. Influence of green tea and its three major components upon low-density lipoprotein oxidation. Exp Toxicol Pathol 1997; 49(5):329-335.
Just by drinking 2 servings of greenteaHAWAII per day for 30 days you will lose 8-10lbs. You drink one 20 minutes before breakfast and one 20 minutes before lunch. You don't have to change your diet or exercise regimen. If you do you will most likely increase the results. How it works is when you drink GTH prior to meals the antioxidants go to work on the waxy coating on our visceral fat/belly fat then when you eat 20 minutes later the fat/cholesterol in your food will have nothing to stick to. The visceral fat will also be able to burn now and you will naturally have a 15-20% appetite suppression. Belly fat is the hardest to burn as we all know once you get over 40 especially. GTH makes it easy and it tastes good. With our compact 4 gram pixies it also makes it easy to carry with you to work, on vacations and anytime your on the go. Just pour the pixie into 8-16oz. of cold water, shake it up and enjoy. That's it!!
Your body knows what is going on.
Your body has built in mechanisms that provide feedback to your brain to ensure you are bringing in enough nutrients. One of these mechanisms is your mouth! Chewing and tasting your food provides positive feedback that you are refueling your body.
You must eat “real food” for at least 2-3 meals per day!
A protein shake MAY take the place of a couple of your meals or snacks and can be used to supplement your other meals or snacks. Drinking a “protein shake” can be one of the easiest ways to consume lots of protein, but you MUST STILL eat regular food also.
There is a reason why they are called “supplements”!
Start your day off with GreenTeaHawaii with breakfast. Drink another GreenTeaHawaii at lunch.
Each serving of Green Tea Hawaii is the equivalent of drinking 45 cups of regular green tea with less caffeine than a single cup of regular green tea.
GreenTeaHAWAII contains over 450mg of antioxidants and polyphenols per serving.
As an added bonus, GreenTeaHAWAII contain ONLY 10 calories per serving and Less than 1 gram of sugar per serving.
Ditch your “diet” drinks and go healthy with Green Tea Hawaii