A new trial show that green and black tea extracts can reduce cholesterol levels in people who have high cholesterol.
Previous research has suggested that green and black tea might be useful in helping improve people’s cholesterol profiles. Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center report, that capsules containing an extract of compounds from green and black tea has a dramatic cholesterol-lowering effect.
They studied a group of 240 people in China, all of whom had high cholesterol levels and were on a low-fat diet to lower cholesterol. They were given either the tea extract or placebo. The 375 milligram capsule contained 75 milligrams of theaflavins, from black tea, 150 milligrams of catechins, from green tea, and 150 milligrams of other tea antioxidants called polyphenols.
During the 12 week trial, those on the tea extract experienced an average 16 per cent drop in low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – otherwise known as ‘bad’ cholesterol. This is a far greater effect than the researchers had been expecting.
The capsule represents a lot of tea-drinking – 35 cups of high quality black tea and seven of green tea. So don’t expect this cholesterol-lowering impact from everyday tea consumption. The research is in its early stages but it will be interesting to see if this tea extract can play a role in reducing cholesterol levels.