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Side Effects of Green Tea

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.

May Lower Heart Attack Risks

Yes, the medical fraternity across the world is increasingly acknowledging that testosterone may avert heart attack or at least reduce the chances of a fatal heart attack. Chronic Heart Failure of CHF is among the most common types of cardiac ailments that represent a serious impairment of cardiac function that eventually leads to a fatal or near-fatal heart attack. Now, medical researchers across the globe agree that in many patients of CHF, Testosterone Replacement Therapy can give the desired results, i.e. prevent a serious heart attack.

This theory had engaged a lot of flak in the past since it was seen that among male patients, Testosterone was one of the major reasons that led to poor cardiovascular health since it raises the overall blood pressure, increasing chances of developing cardiovascular problems. However, it has been noted that men who are suffering from extremely low levels of testosterone tend to struggle with some typical psychological conditions that includes depression and anxiety along with a propensity to develop sleep disturbances.

All these emotional problems eventually fast-track the progression towards developing cardiovascular problems since the relationship between the heart and emotional health is a well-established fact. There is lots of published evidence that supports the beneficial effects of endogenous testosterone on the overall functioning of the heart apart from preventing Chronic Heart Failure. Now, it is being increasingly supported that testosterone has a supportive effect on the heart, partly protective and partly curative. Testosterone levels tend to peak among male’s during their 20s. This is regarded as the reproductive prime of any male. This is also the phase when a man has robust physical capacity including a greater ability to develop muscle mass along with loads of physical energy, high libido levels and appreciable stamina levels.

This is also the time when young males tend to develop a natural resistance towards being anxious or becoming nervous, making them even more impervious to the chances of developing heart attacks symptoms. However, from the age of 35 years onwards, the testosterone levels tend to diminish increasingly, resulting in an overall decrease in the physical stamina and libido of the male apart from making him more emotionally susceptible and lowering the metabolic rate. This also underlines the fact that the increasing age of a male, his likeliness of developing heart disease and the decline in testosterone tends to progress consecutively.

Linked to Anxiety/Panic Attacks

The effects of Low Testosterone, particularly, among men are known to exist in the form of reduced libido levels and other sexual problems like Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and metabolic issues such as reduced bone density or decreasing muscle mass. However, the global medical fraternity now strongly opines that a much deeper link exists between the overall mental conditioning of an individual and his testosterone levels. This breakthrough has come about with the realization that ‘Low Testosterone Linked to Anxiety/Panic Attacks‘ which was just a subject of research is actually a medical fact. Please note that this fact is now applicable to women too even though testosterone is not one of the primary hormones among females.

Understanding Low Testosterone Effects

A blood test is the most dependable form of testing for measuring the testosterone levels in the body. This test is essentially for free testosterone. According to clinical readings, if the data suggests testosterone levels less than 300 nanograms, per deciliter of blood then the male is suffering from low testosterone levels. In this condition, it is most likely that the male patient shows symptoms of poor or reduced mental acumen along with being more prone to developing anxiety or suffering from depression. Yes, the most discussed symptoms of low testosterone are lowered sex drive but it should be understood that anxiety-related issues soon mature into severe mood problems inducing a state of metal fatigue along with sleep disturbances. These are also impairments to the sexual performance of a male and hence, most of the low testosterone symptoms seem to be interlinked with low testosterone-related anxiety or mood problems emerging that are at the core of such health problems.

Decoding Low Testosterone Linked to Anxiety

As stated, this relationship between mental health and testosterone levels is also visible among women who are going through menopause. This is the stage when Estrogen and Progesterone levels tend to plummet to very low volumes. Similarly, men who enter old age go through a phase called Andropause which suggests a gradual decline in the testosterone levels. This is why symptoms of low testosterone and reduced libido along with increased anxiety levels are largely seen in men who are above the age of 45 years. Many times, the effects of increased anxiety are not understood by the suffering patients such as mental fogginess or fuzziness along with increased difficulty in concentrating.

Sometimes the initial symptoms of anxiety are camouflaged in the form of unexplained nervousness or being unnecessarily worried. The biggest contradiction in recognizing such symptoms is that many times, healthcare practitioners fail to recognize low testosterone as the underlying cause and instead start prescribing anti-depressants or other forms of psychological aids.

There are many ways in which anxiety caused by low testosterone can be treated including skin patches, skin gels and orally-digestible tablets or injections that are all essentially a form of testosterone supplementation. However, such regimen can be begun only when Low Testosterone Linked to Anxiety is established via blood tests and a professional medical opinion. In such therapies, the general recommendation is to raise the free testosterone level in the blood gradually.

Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease Risk

The relationship between Low Testosterone and Alzheimer’s has been conjectured for a long time but now, it is largely believed that low levels of testosterone hormone has a direct relation between age-related dementia and associated conditions like neurological disorders alzheimer’s disease. Please note that Alzheimer’s disease itself is essentially a progressive form of age-related dementia. It is caused by increasingly deteriorating tissue of the brain. In fact, most cases of Alzheimer’s disease seem to suggest falling levels of sexual hormones like testosterone at some point, i.e. preceding the onset of this condition or during its progressing phase. This relationship is essentially because Testosterone is the primary sex hormone among males though it plays quite a critical role in the overall sexual health of women too.

Decoding Relation Between Low Testosterone Levels and Alzheimer’s Disease

Among men, testosterone levels tend to rise significantly during and after puberty and tend to start declining around the 40 onwards. Most researchers who support the link between Alzheimer’s and Testosterone opine that that low testosterone levels are a contributory factor in the excessive accumulation of plaques of beta-amyloid in the brain tissue. This sort of plaque development is responsible for the brain tissue damage that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However, testosterone exists in various forms in the human body. The particular kind of testosterone that seems to have a role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s is essentially ‘Free Testosterone’—this is the hormone found circulating in the bloodstream.

Free Testosterone got its nomenclature from the fact that it exists totally unattached to any of the binding proteins. This means that it is readily available for usage by the cellular mechanism that is at the core of human tissue, including brain tissue. Free testosterone levels are also required for maintaining the overall immunity, sexual health and appropriate libido among men apart from neutralizing the body’s aging process. This is why dipping levels of testosterone and Alzheimer’s disease seem to progress in a typical pattern (i.e. simultaneously) among the elderly. Again, testosterone plays a significant role in supporting many of the cognitive functions of men and declining levels of testosterone during old age lead to reduced cognitive abilities. Reduced intellectual functions are also associated with Alzheimer’s and old age, including issues such as reduced memory retention and learning/comprehension problems.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Perhaps, the biggest proof of this theory is that Alzheimer’s is often treated with a basic degree of testosterone replacement therapy. It should be noted that Testosterone Replacement Therapy is not a cure for Alzheimer’s and neither does it promise to stall the progress of this condition. However, this therapy has worked in alleviating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s patients apart from slowing down the onset of
Alzheimer’s in men when extremely low testosterone levels are established at an early stage through timely clinical testing. In other cognitive problems among middle-aged men, some form of supplemental testosterone has shown to have a largely positive effect to the extent of curing depression and memory-loss issues. Even if testosterone supplementation is not the perfect treatment for Alzheimer’s, it is known to have largely beneficial effects in the management of Alzheimer’s patients, helping them to improve the quality of their life in an appreciable manner. Further, testosterone treatment can improve the spatial performance of Alzheimer’s patients—further proving a definite connection between Low Testosterone and Alzheimer’s.

Hair Loss in Women

It is a proven fact that men tend to have higher testosterone levels than women and testosterone is not the primary sexual/reproductive hormone in women since other hormones like estrogen and progesterone tend to dominate. Yes, testosterone is also responsible for defining and sustaining many masculine features that also includes the body hair growth patterns. Thus, when testosterone levels begin to drop, the hair growth is also affected. This is common to both the genders. This is why when low testosterone levels are indicated in women, apart from the fear of hormonal problems, increased susceptibility to hair-loss is also noticed. While low testosterone male baldness in the form of androgenic alopecia is more common, low testosterone women hair loss has also been established.

The follicles of the scalp contain a particular compound called DHT. Free Testosterone is acted upon by certain enzymes that convert it into Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. The enzyme involved here is called 5-alpha reductase that is synthesized in the prostate gland, i.e. a group of smaller adrenal glands. Both excess of DHT and deficiency is bad for the health of the hair follicle. In the absence of sufficient amount of DHT, the hair follicles begin to shrink and eventually degrade. This means that the effective, active growth phase of hair follicles is compromised. This makes the follicle weaker and more prone to either losing the ability to develop new strands of hair or causes severe dip in the overall quality of hair. This is referred to as progressive thinning of hair that can eventually lead to the onset of baldness in women.

While the hair follicle weakens in the absence of sufficient testosterone, sebaceous glands of the scalp continue to remain active and secrete sebum in sufficient quantity. This makes the problem even more severe for the hair follicles that need to deal with excessive oil or sebum. This means the hair shaft getting being suffocated by the oily secretions, making their structure more vulnerable. As a result, the growth cycle of hair follicles is arrested and they keep getting shorter every passing week. The weakened hair-shafts can no longer bear the wear and tear and eventually begin to fall-off at a faster rate. This is why balding hair is sometimes found to be thick and coarse. Some of the hair-strands might even become pigmented that is due to the nutritional deficiency being caused by the gradual suffocation of the hair follicles.

Lower-than-normal testosterone levels in women also mean that the levels of estrogen are disturbed. The progressive loss of hair along the forehead or the temple area along with increased thinning is typically suggestive of hair loss caused by disturbed testosterone levels. It should be noted that progesterone is hostile to the presence of DHT. When the levels of testosterone fall below the minimum requirement, levels of progesterone also dip inducing a case of estrogenic dominance. In this state of excessive estrogen and reduced amount to DHT, the health of the hair follicles is severely affected.

The easiest way to diagnose if a case of low testosterone women hair loss actually prevails is conducting a blood test, i.e. to measure the amount of testosterone. The diagnosed problem can be then rectified through the use of testosterone supplementation.

Hypogonadism – Symptoms of Treatable Disorder

Low Testosterone refers to low levels of the testosterone hormone in the bloodstream. This condition is diagnosed after methodical testing wherein blood and saliva samples are sought from the patient. However, before initiating a treatment, the cause of low testosterone should be established. A cause of low testosterone is further categorized as either a primary or secondary cause.

The primary causes refer to symptoms origination due to problems in the organs primarily responsible for synthesizing testosterone. These conditions are often referred to as hypogonadism, i.e. a state of lowered or impaired testosterone production in the gonads. Among males, this refers to a medical problem in the testicles while in females it refers to impaired testosterone synthesis in the ovaries.

Low Testosterone Causes—Primary Hypogonadism is caused due to:
• Undescended Testicles—this condition is established during fetal development when the testes don’t descend into the scrotal sac, leading to severe lack of testosterone.
• Cancer Treatment—chemotherapy or radiation therapy is known to have many side-effects and this includes harm to the interstitial cells present in the testes that are chiefly responsible for producing testosterone. Ovulation in women can be permanently harmed by radiation therapy.
• Aging—testosterone levels go through a natural process of depletion as the person ages. This is applicable to both men and women.
• Typical Ovarian Conditions—in some women, the surgical removal of ovaries is required to arrest a spreading infection. Some women have a condition called PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Stein-Leventhal syndrome. This condition is most common in women of childbearing age. This is essentially a state of severe hormonal abnormality that often leads to infertility by causing hormonal imbalance. During PCOS, testosterone levels tend to rise and fall without any specific pattern.

Low Testosterone Causes—Secondary Hypogonadism
If the low testosterone is due to inactivity of other organs involved in testosterone synthesis, the symptoms are referred to as Secondary Hypogonadism. Secondary (or Tertiary) hypogonadism is established when testosterone production in other testosterone-producing areas like the hypothalamus—pituitary pathway or adrenal gland is affected. Pituitary-related hypogonadism is referred to as tertiary hypogonadism though it is often clubbed with secondary causes.

Causes for Secondary Hypogonadism:
• Trauma to the pituitary gland due to tumor or radiation therapy sought for treating tumors.
• Hypothalamus malformations that can be induced by rare conditions like Kallman’s Syndrome.
• Impaired blood flow to the adrenal or pituitary gland due to blood loss induced by an accident.
• Inflammation due to diseases like tuberculosis that are known to impair activity of the pituitary. Similarly, HIV and AIDS can cause inflammation of hypothalamus or pituitary.
• Obesity is known to promote the conversion of free testosterone into female hormones like estrogen.
• Congenital adrenal hyperplasia or adrenal gland atrophy present at the time of birth can impair the testosterone-producing capability of adrenal glands.
• Alcoholism and prostate cancer can induce phases of reduced testosterone production, i.e. as a result of severe illnesses that weaken the entire metabolic activities of an individual.
• Use of addictive substances like barbiturates or anticonvulsant drugs is known to have a detrimental effect on the synthesis of testosterone.