Green tea and heart health

Posted by Puteri | 7/05/2008 10:18:00 PM | 0 comments »

The next time you're offered a choice between Earl Grey and green tea, you might want to go green.

A new study shows that the beverage, which is more popular in Eastern cultures, can protect heart arteries by keeping them flexible and relaxed, and therefore better able to withstand the ups and downs of constant changes in blood pressure. Led by Dr. Nikolaos Alexopoulos of Athens Medical School in Greece, the researchers found that among 14 subjects, those who drank green tea showed greater dilation of their heart arteries on ultrasound 30 min. later than those drinking either diluted caffeine or hot water. That's because, the scientists speculate, green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping cells there to secrete the substances needed to relax the vessels and allow blood to flow more freely. It's the flavonoids in the tea, which work as antioxidants and help prevent inflammation in body tissue, that keep the vessels pliable. These substances may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart attacks. "We found very promptly [that] after drinking green tea, there was a protective effect on the endothelium," says Dr. Charalambos Vlachopoulos, a cardiologist and one of the authors of the study.

Full story here.

All the more reason to start drinking regularly again! My stomach has always had a problem with tea, that is why I have not been drinking any tea recently.

But now that I am being treated for hypertension, green tea should be my beverage of choice.

Why wait, eh? There's some green tea in my mother's pantry, and I should fix myself a some hot tea right now! mrgreen