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Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2004 Dec;54(4):380-94.

[The green tea, a good choice for cardiovascular disease prevention?].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Nutrición y Bromatología I Nutrición, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid España.


Tea (Camellia sinensis) has been used for centuries as a medical drink. Around two-thirds of the world's population drink tea. It is originated from southern China and entensive cultivated in Asia and in central African countries. Tea can be grouped into three main types, black, oolong, and green tea. Green tea is not fermented and is a major beverage consumed in Asian countries. Green tea is produced from freshly harvest leaves of the tea plant and they contain water, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and polyphenols of the flavonoid type. The major flavonoids in green tea are catechins which constitute about one third of its total dry weight. The major catechin present is epigallocatechin gallate (>50%). New data have increased the interest in green tea or its catechins and its role in treatment of cardiovascular disease (CHD) risk factors. The aim of the present paper is to review some studies that have found a relationship between green tea and CHD risk factors. From some of them it can be summarized that of green tea and its catechins consumptions (i) decrease body weight by interfering within the sympathoadrenal system and fatty acid synthesis, (ii) decrease cholesterol absorption and plasma levels, (iii) have strong free radical-scavenging activity inhibiting LDL oxidation, (iv) reduce the adhesion molecule expression, (v) have antitrombotic activities by inhibiting platelet aggregation and (vi) decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressures. The positive effects found suggest that a daily intake of 7 cups of green tea (3.5 g catechins) is a good choose for CHD prevention; however, it is still necessary more studies to check the action of the green tea and its catechins in humans in order to recommended its use in the general population or only in target subjects.

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