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green tea

Green Tea is made from the dried leaves of Camellia sinensis, a perennial evergreen shrub. There are three main varieties of tea; Green Tea, Black Tea and Oolong Tea. The difference between these teas is in their processing. Today, hundreds of millions of people drink tea around the world. Studies suggest that Green Tea has many health benefits. Green Tea is made from unfermented leaves and reportedly contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals -- damaging compounds in the body that alter cells, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet rays from the sun, radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution) also give rise to these damaging particles. Scientists believe that free radicals contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems including cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants such as polyphenols in Green Tea can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. Scientists have already revealed that Green Tea contains anti-oxidants which may have a protective effect against cancer.

Green Tea and Green Tea extracts, such as its component EGCG, have been used to prevent and treat a variety of cancers, including breast, stomach, and skin cancers. Green Tea has also been used for improving mental alertness, aiding in weight loss, lowering cholesterol levels, and protecting skin from sun damage. Laboratory studies suggest that Green Tea may help protect against or slow the growth of certain cancers, but studies in people have shown mixed results. Some evidence suggests that the use of Green Tea preparations improves mental alertness, most likely because of its caffeine content. There are not enough reliable data to determine whether Green Tea can aid in weight loss, lower blood cholesterol levels, or protect the skin from sun damage.

References:
University of Maryland Medical Center. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/green-tea-000255.htm
National Center for Complimentary & Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/greentea/
BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3125469.stm

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