Green tea is a real health elixir, it counteracts overweight and obesity, protects the brain, is anticancer and ensures health for the heart and arteries. In fact, drinking green tea helps prevent abdominal obesity, which increases the risk of diseases of the cardiovascular system, counteracts hypertension and improves the elasticity of blood vessels, also reducing the risk of aortic aneurysms. This emerges from three scientific studies. The first, very recent, was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health by a Korean team (Kwak et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health., 2022), the second in the Journal of Food Chemistry by a collaboration between Iranian and Chinese scientists (Gao et al, J Food Biochem, 2022) and finally the third in the Journal of Vascular Surgery thanks to the work of a Japanese team (Setozaki et al, JVS, 2016).
Green tea counteracts visceral fat
In the first research, scientists analyzed the effects of green tea on a very important cardiovascular risk factor, abdominal obesity. But visceral fat doesn't just jeopardize heart health, this is a necessary premise. In fact, this fat is the most dangerous, it increases inflammation levels, weakens the immune system, increases the risk of depression and of developing diabetes, neurodegeneration and cellular degeneration. Well, the study showed, through questionnaires and medical visits, that the habit of drinking more than 4 cups of green tea a week is associated with a 44% reduction in the risk of developing abdominal obesity compared to those who do not drink green tea. This beneficial action has been observed predominantly in women.
Green tea reduces blood pressure
The second study took place in the laboratory on a population of mice and investigated the effects of green tea on blood pressure and on the elasticity of blood vessels. The mice, subjected to a high-salt diet, all had hypertension. Part of the mice were given green tea along with the high-salt diet. Well, green tea has been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure values, as well as circulating lipids values. Not only that, green tea reduced inflammation and oxidative stress in the heart, aorta and kidneys and improved the elasticity of blood vessels.
Green tea against aortic aneurysm
The third study is noteworthy since it analyzed the effects of green tea consumption on a very important condition with a possible severe or fatal course, the aneurysm of the aorta. The aorta is the most important and largest artery in the human body. When the aorta dilates abnormally, it is referred to as an aneurysm in the aorta. If left untreated, the aneurysm can rupture with often fatal results. Also in this case, the experiment was carried out in the laboratory on a population of mice, which had been administered an enzyme capable of inducing aneurysm of the aorta. Some of the mice were also given green tea extracts. Well, in those mice that had taken these extracts the risk of developing aneurysm of the aorta was reduced. Not only that, green tea was able to reduce inflammation on the walls of the aorta and regenerate elastin. Both high levels of inflammation and a degradation of elastin in the aortic wall are in fact two risk factors for the development of the aortic aneurysm.
Green tea, conclusions and recommendations
Drinking green tea is therefore good for heart health, reduces blood pressure and abdominal fat, which are important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, improves the elasticity of blood vessels and protects the aorta. The advice of the experts is to drink 3-4 cups of green tea a day. To fill up on the precious polyphenols of green tea, you need to take some precautions during preparation. The water, in fact, must never boil but reach 60-70° C. Then, the infusion must be long, up to 10 minutes and the tea must be drunk within the next hour of preparation so as not to lose its valuable health properties.