A major new research paper, published last week, finally confirms what many of us have suspected for years: green tea lowers blood pressure, as well as total and LDL cholesterol.1
For decades, we’ve known that people who traditionally drink lots of green tea are less likely to develop cardiovascular problems like heart disease and stroke. But there was no proof that green tea specifically caused this effect—there could be many hidden factors at work. Many studies have tried to determine whether adding green tea to a person’s diet could actually improve their health.
Unfortunately, the studies are all slightly different in terms of the dosage of green tea they tested, the people they included, the measurements they made—and, unsurprisingly, their results. Where one very good experiment might have the potential to give us a reliable answer, what we had instead was dozens of not-so-good experiments all making different claims. This is why the new paper — what’s known as a meta-analysis — is so important.
The authors sifted through all the research (over 400 papers) and selected the 13 studies that they considered ‘eligible’ based on the quality of the experimental design. Then they pooled all the data from those studies to see if the findings still held up.
Sure enough, green tea really does seem to lower blood pressure, total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. They also found that consuming green tea extract appeared to be more effective than drinking the tea. Even more convincing, this is the second meta-analysis to reach the same conclusions this year. An independent group of researchers using different analysis methods reported nearly identical findings in January.2
If high blood pressure or high cholesterol is a concern for you, our Healthy Weight Loss pack contains 100 mg of green tea extract in each daily dose.
1. Khalesi S, Sun J, Buys N, Jamshidi A, Nikbakht-Nasrabadi E, Khosravi-Boroujeni H. Green tea catechins and blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Eur J Nutr. 2014 May 27. PubMed ID 24861099
2. Onakpoya I, Spencer E, Heneghan C, Thompson M. The effect of green tea on blood pressure and lipid profile: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2014 Jan 31. pii: S0939-4753(14)00047-7. PubMed ID 24675010
About the Author
Emilie Croisier is a writer and editor based in Austin, TX. She has a PhD in Neuroscience from Imperial College London, and bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, with a minor in Brain and Cognitive Science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When she’s not counting cars at the intersection of science and natural health, you can find her in her garden or at emilieilime.com.