Beneficial Effects of Green Tea—A Review
Carmen Cabrera, PhD, Reyes Artacho, PhD, Rafael Giménez, PhD
Departamento de Nutrición y Bromatologı́a, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Granada, Granada, SPAIN
Key words: green tea, polyphenols, catechins, antioxidant activity, human health
Tea is the most consumed drink in the world after water. Green tea is a ‘non-fermented’ tea, and contains
more catechins, than black tea or oolong tea. Catechins are in vitro and in vivo strong antioxidants. In addition,
its content of certain minerals and vitamins increases the antioxidant potential of this type of tea. Since ancient
times, green tea has been considered by the traditional Chinese medicine as a healthful beverage. Recent human
studies suggest that green tea may contribute to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms
of cancer, as well as to the promotion of oral health and other physiological functions such as anti-hypertensive
effect, body weight control, antibacterial and antivirasic activity, solar ultraviolet protection, bone mineral
density increase, anti-fibrotic properties, and neuroprotective power. Increasing interest in its health benefits has
led to the inclusion of green tea in the group of beverages with functional properties. However, although all the
evidence from research on green tea is very promising, future studies are necessary to fully understand its
contributions to human health, and advise its regular consumption in Western diets, in which green tea
consumption is nowadays limited and sporadic.
Key teaching points:
• Green tea contains numerous components with antioxidant activity: polyphenols (especially catechins), minerals, vitamins.
• Green tea contains more catechins than black or oolong teas.
• The strong antioxidant potential of catechins, and especially EGCG, are widely demonstrated in vitro and in animal studies. In
addition, catechins possess antimutagenic, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
• Recent human studies