A Close Look At Green Tea and Its Effects on the Body
It may come as a surprise to many tea lovers that green tea is not just a refreshing beverage but also one that possesses health benefits and also one that can be taken for a medical purpose. Studies carried out over the years have revealed that green tea contains antioxidants which serve to protect against the growth of tumor cells due to the anti-inflammatory attributes of these antioxidants.
Camellia sinensis is the scientific name of green tea and it is said to have originated from China. Black tea is made from the fermented leaves of this plant but green tea is simply made from the dried leaves. It has, for many years, been a popular drink for both recreational as well as medical use in many Asian countries.
The main active ingredients in unfermented green tea are known as catechins. Others are theophylline and theobromine. Caffeine or Purine alkaloids are the more recognizable ingredients. Catechins have antibacterial as well as a vasorelaxation effect on the cardiovascular and blood vessels. The antioxidant properties in green tea are thought to aid in providing protection against certain ailments such as colon and stomach cancer. But the more common medicinal benefits that have led to the rise in the popularity of green tea is that it adds stamina and energy, aids hair growth and lessens the effects of wrinkles and aging.
Demystifying the Relationship between Testosterone and Green Tea
Women possess testosterone in their bodies in small quantities but in men this is a crucial hormone for the development of healthy bones, development of the muscles, sperm production as well as assisting in the reduction of body fat. Testosterone production in the male testes is stimulated by the release of luteinizing hormone in the brain which is then transported to the testes to begin the cycle of testosterone production.
Other than the commonly listed benefits of green tea, it may have an inhibitive effect on the production of testosterone in the body. The possible explanation for this is that excessive consumption of green tea leads to an active ingredient known as polyphenols triggering the production of higher levels of aromatase in the body. Aromatase is the enzyme that is utilized by the body to convert testosterone to estrogen. Thus, in a situation where there are rising levels of aromatase, the level of testosterone is naturally decreasing.
The more one consumes green tea the higher the levels of SHBG; the higher the SHBG the lower the level of free testosterone. Hormone replacement therapy raises the percentage of free testosterone in the body.
It has been shown that the levels of estrogen are lower in green tea drinkers than in those who do not drink green tea.
Testosterone Side Effects of Green Tea
Studies of the importance of testosterone in the male body show that the testosterone of greatest importance is the free testosterone. Consumption of green tea in large quantities, over long periods of time leads to a rise in SHBG or sex hormone binding globulin or protein. SHBG aids in the circulation of testosterone around the body in a form that is bound or one that is unable to be directly utilized by body tissue. This situation is what leads to a reduction in the amounts of free testosterone in the body. As a consequence of this dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which requires free testosterone for its formation is reduced and hence less is deposited in the hair follicle, thereby causing hair loss.
Tests carried out on the effects of green tea on weight loss indicate that it has the effect of reducing the rate and quantity of food consumed and also leading to weight loss. Another feature noted in these trials was the lower levels of testosterone in the body.
The aging process contributes to a fall in production of androgens such as testosterone while the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) rises. This then leads to a lowering of the concentration of free testosterone in circulation. The liver is the area of production and control of SHBG.
From the scientific research carried out, it can be deduced that for green tea to have a significant impact on the hormonal levels in the body one needs to consume large amounts of the beverage. Furthermore, factors such as the prevailing levels of SHBG and free hormone percentage in an individual’s circulation will also need to be considered when trying to predict the effect of consuming more or less green tea. This means that if you are tested and found to have a low level of free testosterone then it may not be a good idea to consume green tea in large quantities. Intake of green tea in small quantities will probably not have a significant impact on the body’s hormone levels.
Who Benefits The Most From Green Tea?
One of the studies carried out on green tea and its effects on the body reveals that it contains an active ingredient with antiobesity properties. Considering the ever increasing cases of people with an expanding waist line it is not too difficult to see the importance of green tea to this section of the population.
Popular varieties of green tea, known as mint tea, are an herbal tea taken for its ability to sooth and relax intestinal muscles. This is of importance to those who suffer from or as a preventative measure against irritable bowel syndrome including general indigestion. This is thought to derive from the active menthol ingredient that is found in this plant that also helps in soothing other forms of digestive upsets.
Research has shown that women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is a condition that commonly afflicts women in the childbearing stage of their lives, stand to benefit greatly from the healing properties of spearmint tea. This disorder, which is endocrinological, is characterized by depression, obesity, abnormal menstruation cycles, hair growth patterns that resemble masculine patterns, acne and infertility. This was associated with the increase in levels of follicle stimulating hormone a well as luteinizing hormone concentration.
In the Far East, or the countries of the Orient, where there is an established culture of green tea consumption, there is a lower occurrence of ailments such as breast and prostate cancer.
Precautionary Measures to Observe In the Intake of Green Tea
A laboratory research conducted on rats showed that consumption of peppermint tea in large quantities over long periods of time caused harmful side effects on the uteruses of these rats. This raises the prospect of adverse effects in human beings, that is, in women who may engage in excessive consumption of mint tea.