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Is Green Tea Good for you? Weight loss, Skin, Diabetes, Cholesterol, Cancer

Updated on June 4, 2011

Since ancient times Green Tea has been enjoyed by the Chinese who certainly knew about and believed in this special tea’s health benefits.

Green tea is produced 100% from the leaves of the tea plant Camellia sinensis and undergoes minimal processing, therefore retaining next to all of it’s goodness.

Only recently has this magical tea been discovered by the Western World, where it has being brewing up a storm, pardon the pun, and where many more of it’s health benefits have been discovered.

Although Green Tea has many health benefits, I wouldn’t be able to list them all in this article, so I will discuss some of it’s most popular and significant health benefits, including Weight Loss, Reduced Risk of Cancer, Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases, It’sLowering of Cholesterol, Reduced Risk of Diabetes, it’s Reducing of UV damage and Skin Aging and It’s possible role In Acne prevention.

Weight Loss

Obesity is one of the main epidemics of today and doesn’t show signs of ceasing any time soon. Simple methods to possibly reduce this problem and lesser weight problems should be incorporated into our daily lives. Consumption of Green tea could be one of those simple methods.

Through various scientific studies it has been shown that green tea intake is associated with weight loss due to the stimulation of thermogenesis [1], which is the process in which the body raises its temperature, resulting in a rise in metabolism and the utilisation of fat cells [2].

Other than thermogenesis, Green Tea aids in weight loss through fat oxidation and also improves in weight maintenance [3] so is ideal for keeping off those lost pounds!

By drinking 4 cups of Green tea per day or by taking 2 capsules of green tea extract per day, body weight and BMI can be significantly reduced. Your 4 cups a day should be followed consistently [4].

This thermogenesis and fat oxidation may be resultant of Green tea’s high polyphenol content, including it’s main polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) alongside Green Tea’s Caffeine content which is also proposed to aid in weight loss.

The polyphenols and caffeine may also counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that is present during weight loss [5].

Reduced Risk of Cancers

One of Green tea’s possble benefits is that it may also reduce your chances of certain cancers, via it’s large mass of polyphenols which make up about 30% of Green Tea’s dried weight [6].

Green tea’s polyphenols are also powerful antioxidants and can eliminate damaging free radicals such as hydrogen peroxide and the superoxide anion, thus eliminating free radical induced toxicity and mutagenicty which can lead to cancer [7].

The main polyphenol in Green tea, EGCG is an anti mutagen and its suggested that it may alleviate the carcinogenic actions of NNK (Nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone), a carcinogen present in tobacco [8].This could be good news to smokers!

Studies show that green tea may protect you from esophageal tumours and UV-induced skin tumour formation [7].

Other studies show that women under the age of 50, who consumed 3 + cups of the tea per day had a less likelihood to develop breast cancer by 37% when compared to women who weren’t drinking the tea.

Also it was found that women with Ovarian Cancer who drank at least one cup of green tea a day survived longer than women who didn’t drink green tea [9].

Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

Surprisingly Cardiovascular diseases are the largest killers in the world, claiming a massive 17.1 million lives a year [10], but these may be alleviated by the Cardiovascularhealth benefits that can be obtained by regular consumption of Green Tea.

Unfortunately we’d have to drink about 5–6or more cups of green tea per day to achieve these benefits [11].

In a recent study made up of 40,530 Japanese adults, it was found that by drinking 5 or more cups of green tea per day this significantly reduced the mortality rate ofcardiovascular disease by 26%. The strongest reduction in mortality was observed for stroke by 37% [12].

Lowers Cholesterol

Studies show that green tea lowers the bad LDL cholesterol and raises the good HDL cholesterol and also lowers triglyceride levels. This can reduce the risk of Heart Disease [9].

Reduces Risk of Diabetes

Another study among 17,413 adult Japanesesubjects, showed that the risk for developing diabetes was reduced by 33%. This was achieved by consuming 6 or more cups of green tea perday [13].

Dark Spots are UV damage. Picture taken using UV light Camera at Queensland University of Technology.
Dark Spots are UV damage. Picture taken using UV light Camera at Queensland University of Technology.

Reduces UV damage and Skin Aging

Green Tea polyphenols are in the form of Flavonoids and there is evidence that foods rich in flavanoids, contribute to the protection of skin against UV-induced damage at the molecular and cellular level [14].

Green Tea’s polyphenol flavanoids being powerful antioxidants can eliminate damaging free radicals [7] and these may be providing the protection against UV damage which we know seriously promotes skin aging. 

May Reduce Acne

The EGCG polyphenol from green tea has been suggested to be helpful for acne sufferers due to its well known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity [15].

Overall, Green Tea seems to have significant health benefits, health benefits that we require in thia day and age full of fast food and pollutants. So give it a try to gradually try and make it to the 5-6 cups a day mark.

Best of Luck and Thanks for reading!


[1] Q. Shixian, B. VanCrey, J. Shi, Y. Kakuda, Y. Jiang. (2006). Green Tea Extract Thermogenesis-Induced Weight Loss by Epigallocatechin Gallate Inhibition of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase. Journal of Medicinal Food. 9(4): 451-458.


[3] Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S., Lejeune, M.P., Kovacs, E.M. (2005). Body Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance in Relation to Habitual Caffeine Intake and Green Tea Supplementation. Obesity Research, 13: 1195–1204.

[4] Basu, A., Sanchez, K., Leyva, M.J., Wu, M., Betts, N.M., Aston, C.E. and Lyons, T.J., 2010). Green Tea Supplementation Affects Body Weight, Lipids, and Lipid Peroxidation in Obese Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome. Journal of the AmericanCollege of Nutrition, 29, 1: 31-40.

[5] Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S., (2010). Green tea catechins, caffeine and body-weight regulation. Physiology & Behavior, 100, 1: 42-46.

[6] Balentine, D.A., Wiseman, S.A., Bouwens, L.C. (1997). The chemistry of tea flavonoids. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr.37: 693 –704.

[7] Yong, X., Chi-Tang, H., Shantu, G. A., et al.(1992). Inhibition of Tobacco-specific Nitrosamine-induced Lung Tumorigenesis in A/J Mice by Green Tea and Its Major Polyphenol as Antioxidants. Cancer Res. 52: 3875-3879.

[8] Kada, T., Kaneko, K.., Matsuzaki, S., Matsuzaki, T., and Hara, Y. (1985). Detection and chemicalidentification of natural bio-antimutagens, a case of the green tea factor. Mutat.Res., 127-132, 1985.



[11] Wolfram, S. ( 2007). Effects of Green Tea and EGCG on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 26, 4: 373S-388S

[12] Kuriyama, S., Shimazu, T., Ohmori, K., Kikuchi, N., Nakaya, N., Nishino, Y., Tsubono, Y., Tsuji, I. (2006). Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes in Japan: the Ohsaki study. JAMA, 296:1255 –1265.

[13] Iso, H., Date, C., Wakai, K., Fukui, M., Tamakoshi, A. (2006). The relationship between green tea and total caffeine intake and risk for self-reported type 2 diabetes among Japanese adults. Ann Intern Med, 144 :554 –562.

[14] Stahl, W. (2011). Flavonoid-Rich Nutrients for the Skin. Nutrition for Healthy Skin, 2: 85-90.

[15] Rubin, M.G., Kim, K., Logan, A.C. (2008). Acne vulgaris, mental health and omega-3 fatty acids: a report of cases. Lipids in Health and Disease, 13, 7: 36.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Green tea certainly has a ton of benefits but it also has caffeine. You can see some of the side effects at Herbal tea is another option if you want a natural remedy without caffeine

    • profile image

      sebastian kanazawa 

      6 years ago

      If you want to reap the full benefit of green tea, i strongly suggest that you consume japanese matcha powder. Matcha is ground green tea and yopu actually consumed the whole leaves rather than just sipping the tea. As a child, my japanese grandma has never stop stressing the benefits of matcha powder in reducing weight, wrinkles and prematured ageing. At 85, she is free from wrinkles and freckles and like many japanese people, they maintain a healthy weight. My mom on the other side, hated matcha and stangely she has lots of wrinkles and freckles at 60 years old. I suggest those who are drinking the green tea leaves itself should switch to matcha and try to drink organic matcha powder, i ordered my stocks from Dr as i fulyl trust dr mecola products. lets drink to greeat HEALTH!

    • loveingyou profile image


      7 years ago from Canada


      Well, I drink Green Tea on a regular basis so I'm not quite sure what a good number is, but I took these Green Tea pills that were literally Green Tea extracts.

      It helped me lose like 5 pounds in a month or something. :)

    • Iontach profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks for your comment and compliment lovingyou! Please tell me how many cups per day you drank to achieve these benefits? :P I want to know! :)



    • loveingyou profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      Green Tea definitely does help in weight loss; I know from first hand experience! ;)

      Good job on the article.

    • lose-weight-fast! profile image


      7 years ago

      Wonderful hub! Great information, thank you

    • Iontach profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      I would love a cup right now! But not at home and no green tea here...:( I feel so unhealthy now. lol

    • mandragora68 profile image


      7 years ago

      Just enjoying a nice cup right now!!!!

    • Bronson_Hub profile image


      7 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Oh man, excellent post. I love green tea and now I can back up its health facts with some documentation.

    • quuenieproac profile image


      7 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks for the research and sharing. I love green tea and drink it every day.

    • roadrockafella profile image


      7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Yip, it has. It also contains hibiscus, lemongrass, rose hips and mango flavors They have one in Starbucks, but I think you'd get it cheaper if you buy it from the grocery. I think the brand is Tazo. Cheers!

    • Iontach profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Hay Roadrockafella! Thanks for your comment :) Well the only reason I can get all those references is because I still have free access to journals through college, so I said why not.

      Passion tea sounds yummy...I must look that up. Passion fruit in it?



    • roadrockafella profile image


      7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I find it remarkable that you placed your references. How awesome is that?! Of all the teas I've tried so far, passion tea is one of the best. It makes me high and sleepy for some reason though. Hehe. Nice hubbub and informative! Cheers! :D

    • Iontach profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Aww no probs Patricia! Ye I'm glad I researched the benefits in the end, it leverages me to drink more green tea. lol.


    • Patricia Rae profile image

      Patricia Rae 

      7 years ago from Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks, Dave. I enjoy Green Tea and I'm so glad of all the great health properties that Green Tea has. Great Hub.

    • Iontach profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Hay Rosie! Thanks for your comment and compliment :)

      Green tea deffo is the grand daddy...can't wait to warm up to my first cup today, it's freezing here at the mo :(



    • Rosie2010 profile image

      Rosie Rose 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hiya Iontach, great hub. I love green tea. I drink it all day. Green tea is the granddaddy of super foods. Great job.

      Have a nice day,


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow I didn't know there were so many possible benefits of Green Tea! I must start drinking it or taking the tablets :) You never know it might all work!


    • Emily40 profile image


      7 years ago

      This is great...didn't know green tea was so!

      Thanks for sharing Dave. I think I'll use the capsules,I dont really like the taste of the tea itself.LOl am so fussy, its a shame!!

    • ramesh kavdia profile image

      ramesh kavdia 

      7 years ago from India

      Dave, you have done a lot of hard work on tea. I too love tea. Very nice compilation and presented.


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