What are The Benefits and Harms of Tea?
Tea is a widely consumed beverage around the world. It can be prepared from the dried leaves, flowers, or stems of a specific shrub called Camellia Sinensis effects. Tea has been associated with benefits and adverse on human health. The main types of tea are black, green, oolong, and white teas.
These differ in their processing which results in different concentrations of substances that may be responsible for any benefits or harms to human health. In this blog post, we focus on green tea as it seems to have more potent biological activity than other types of teas.
Green Tea and Health:
A review of green tea composition, consumption, and polyphenol chemistry. The risks of drinking green tea are the same as drinking other beverages containing caffeine such as coffee or cola drinks. These include anxiety, insomnia, heartburn, and irritability.
Other effects have been associated with high doses of green tea catechins but they have not yet been proven in follow-up studies. This includes a protective effect against cancer. Green tea can enhance the flavor of foods, such as cakes and sweets.
The antioxidant properties of components in green tea have been demonstrated by many studies. They have been attributed to their ability to inhibit oxidative chemical reactions that produce free radicals.
The possible beneficial effects on human health are mainly attributed to its antioxidant activity. Green tea is rich in catechins; especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) (see figure below). EGCG has high antioxidant activity and may be responsible for some of the health benefits of green tea.
Benefits Scientists think that free radicals cause damage to cells, which leads to aging and disease formation. Therefore substances with antioxidant properties can reduce or prevent these effects.
Most of the studied effects of green tea are due to its antioxidant activity. Green tea may help protect against diseases such as cancer and heart disease by reducing the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Green tea and blood cholesterol:
A review and meta-analysis. Effects on cancer: There is some evidence that drinking green tea might help protect you from developing cancers of the digestive tract, including stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, and oesophageal (gullet) cancer. Green tea also appears to reduce the risk of breast, skin, and lung cancers in smokers.
Evidence for these effects is not conclusive but drinking green tea certainly doesn’t appear to be harmful. Other possible health benefits Although isn’t much evidence yet, some studies hint that green tea might also help protect against type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure and reduce weight.
Effects Green tea is safe for most people when consumed as a refreshing beverage. However, some people should avoid or use green tea with caution. These include pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children.
Also, those who are allergic to the Camellia sinensis family of plants, which includes not only the teas but also gardenias, jasmine, and camellias. There is limited evidence suggesting that drinking more than around three cups of green tea per day could have side effects on human health. Side effects may include headaches, sleep problems (insomnia), excitability, nervousness, etc.
Disadvantages of Tea Tree:
Oil for acne:
Tea tree oil – which is extracted from the Australian Tea Tree plant, Melaleuca alternifolia – has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Its benefits have been widely known throughout history in various cultures around the globe, from Australia to Europe and America.
In recent years it has also been applied in dermatology as a natural alternative to synthetic medicine. One of its main uses nowadays is combating acne vulgaris, one of the most common afflictions of teenage years and adulthood alike.
However, there are some cons that should be noted when using tea tree oil against acne vulgaris:
Dryness – tea tree oil dries up excessive sebum production on the face and other affected areas; however, this is not very comfortable for those who experience dry skin. To compensate for that, one should use a lotion after the treatment to restore lost moisture.
Blemishes – if applied in large amounts or undiluted, tea tree oil may actually cause more acne rather than fight off existing outbreaks due to its high acidity and comedogenicity (ability to clog pores). As such, it should always be diluted and never used full strength on the skin.
Antibacterial effects – since tea tree oil is enriched with terpinene-4-ol – an active antibacterial ingredient – it helps reduce the severity of infection from current acne and it prevents new acne outbreaks from appearing by killing bacteria and removing dead skin cells.
Antimicrobial properties – tea tree oil also helps fight off fungus and yeast, which benefits those who experience fungal infections such as athlete’s foot or jock itch on their face or genital area (also known as tinea versicolor).
Does Tea Cause Weight Gain:
Although tea comes in many different varieties, most of them are rich in antioxidants that help the body fight against free radicals. A huge part of weight gain is accelerated aging due to the presence of these free radicals, which cause inflammation and damage cells. Drinking antioxidant-rich teas can actually prevent this process from taking place and eventually stop the formation of new fat cells within adipose tissue (the main storage space for fats).
According to research conducted by David Epstein of McMaster University, people who were following a calorie-restricted diet that included drinking green tea as a source of antioxidants lost more weight than those who followed the same diet but didn’t have any tea.
Does Tea Contain Caffeine?
Tea is from the leaves of an evergreen shrub called Camellia Sinensis caffeine, which also contains. In fact, both black and green teas come from this plant – although they are processed differently to attain their final forms:
Black tea – it’s harvested early before it fully opens. As such, its leaves retain a high level of polyphenols (antioxidants) and caffeine. After harvesting, black tea is allowed to ferment before being dried and then aged for several years under controlled temperatures to improve its flavor. The longer it matures, the more caffeine and polyphenols it loses.
Green tea – these leaves are harvested when they’re still young, allowing them to retain a high level of antioxidants and less caffeine than black tea. To prevent fermentation from occurring, green tea is steamed before drying to stop the process in its tracks. It’s then rolled and dried like black tea.
Black tea will contain about 40-80mg per 8oz cup (the maximum daily intake for healthy adults). Green tea will contain 100-200mg per 8oz cup (the maximum daily intake for healthy adults).
Side Effects of Drinking Tea on an Empty Stomach:
Tea prepares the body for digestion by stimulating the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is also known as “gastric juice.”
The same amount of tea taken on an empty stomach will have a laxative effect if drunk too frequently or in large amounts. You should note that this is usually more noticeable among those who are sensitive to caffeine since it stimulates peristalsis – the process of moving food through your digestive tract.
By comparison, coffee stimulates bile production and gastrin secretion in the stomach, which causes diarrhea because it disturbs normal digestion. This is why most people with IBS or other digestive disorders are advised not to drink coffee before eating anything else.
Does Green Tea Causes Weight loss:
Although green tea is from the same plant as black tea, it’s processed differently and the final product contains a significantly lower amount of caffeine. In fact, green tea contains up to ~20mg per 8oz cup, as compared to the ~80mg per 8oz cup that you find in black teas.
This reduction results in significantly weaker stimulant properties, which means you can drink more cups without experiencing any side effects or adverse reactions. This is especially important if you’re sensitive to caffeine and its diuretic effect (it causes frequent urination).
As mentioned earlier, drinking antioxidant-rich teas such as green also has a significant fat-burning effect thanks to their catechins content.
Side Effects of Green Tea:
The most common side effects related to green tea are insomnia, anxiety, headaches, and high blood pressure when consumed in excess. These symptoms usually go away after a short time when the dose is reduced.
According to research conducted by Dr. Declan Connolly of University College Dublin, people who drink five or more cups of black tea daily have an increased risk of developing kidney stones because it contains oxalic acid (high levels increase your risk even if you already have kidney stones).
A single cup of either black or green won’t pose any problems, but continuing to drink this much will eventually lead to calcium deposits that form into kidney stones over time.