Can you guess the most popular beverage in the U.S. market this last decade? Green Tea made from unfermented tea leaves is the answer. Research suggests the fermentation process is what makes it contain the highest concentration of polyphenols, antioxidants that rids the body of free radicals. Some preliminary studies also show that green tea’s polyphenols, particularly ECGC, can help stop the free-radical damage that may lead to cancer and heart disease.
Garlic has also been popular in that many people believe it is a heart disease preventative. I don’t believe anyone is adding garlic to their green tea, but research does show, many people add garlic to all kinds of foods in the belief that it is good for their heart and a preventative for other diseases.
Green tea is popular as a healing brew; however, most studies on its effects have been done the in animals. Human studies of the effects of green tea have been population-based (studies that follow large groups of people over a specified period of time). The results of these studies have been inconsistent.
The Food and Drug Administration says there is no scientific evidence that drinking green tea reduces heart disease. A spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, Dave Grotto, says “Green tea has a lot of wonderful active compounds that may play a role in fighting cancer and heart disease and even protecting the lining of the arteries. “But there needs to be a lot more research.”
Dr. Frank Greenway, head of the outpatient clinic at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., studies herbal supplements and obesity. He says, “There’s nothing magic about green tea.” “I’ll be surprised if it is shown to have any profound effect on weight loss.” There have been many claims that green tea does help with weight loss. Some studies suggest that green tea’s polyphenols may boost metabolism and help burn fat.
Dr. Greenway also says, “Green tea won’t hurt you.” “Herbs always play catch-up when it comes to research.”
Some studies show that some green tea drinkers may actually get more health benefits than others. Green tea provides more antioxidants freshly brewed.
Garlic is another popular additive to boost good heart health. Some people have been adding it to chicken wings, pasta and many other things. Researchers are saying garlic is not as powerful a cardiac protector as once thought.
A series of studies over the last several years show that garlic may not be so great at lowering cholesterol levels. Christopher Gardner, a Stanford professor of medicine led the study and he says, “I was somewhat surprised that even the raw garlic didn’t have any effect. But the evidence is very clear. Garlic just doesn’t work in lowering cholesterol levels.”
The good news is that research does not rule out garlic’s potential benefits in reducing levels of cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure or atherosclerosis.
Green tea and garlic probably do have some extra benefits, but to date scientific evidence does not prove either of them to help our health substantially.
Disclaimer: *This article is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any kind of a health problem. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult with your health care provider about any kind of a health problem and especially before beginning any kind of an exercise routine.
This article is FREE to publish with the resource box. Article written 3-2007.