A relatively recent study  in the journal Nutrition Research has found that the polyphenols in green tea offer another tool in the fight against high blood pressure and inflammation in those who are overweight or obese.
A lot of the science around green tea has focused on Alzheimer’s, cancer, and cardiovascular health as it relates to preventing LDL ‘cholesterol’ from oxidation/damage, the pivotal first step in atherosclerosis.
Green tea’s role for better health takes a new angle
This new study found significant reductions in both systolic [the top number, i.e. 130] and diastolic [the bottom number, i.e. 85] blood pressure; both were reduced by about 4.9 and 4.7 mm Hg, which is impressive.
Other benefits included improved insulin sensitivity [meaning the body is better at handling blood sugar], a reduction in inflammation, now considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and a reduction in oxidative stress [think damage to cells and tissues, not unlike when an apple browns when exposed to the air].
In addition there were significant improvements to the levels of HDL and LDL ‘cholesterol’, a balancing of the two versus just a single-minded focus on lowering LDL.
Researchers found benefits with an intake of 208 mg of EGCG, one of the four main polyphenols in green tea. That translates to about one and a half cups of high quality Japanese Sencha green tea [each cup has about 150 mg EGCG] or about seven cups of poorer quality green tea like Liptons, Tetley, or Twinnings etc [each cup of those kind has about 30 mg EGCG]. You can get by on less green tea consumption with a higher quality tea or simply drink more cups of the poorer kind.
It is estimated that the Japanese get about 750 mg of EGCG or more per day, so it’s encouraging to see a benefit with a more modest intake. You could add a standardized green tea supplement to the mix, one that has a Natural Product Number [NPN] meaning it’s been reviewed and approved by Natural Health Products Directorate of Health Canada. My favourite is Active Green Tea by AOR, each capsule has 315 mg of EGCG