By Michael A. Smith, MD
After giving up on red yeast rice, she tried both high doses of niacin and fish oils — but once again, her stomach wasn’t pleased at all. At this point, she won’t even try other nutrients like policosanol, soluble fiber or sytrinol for fear of having even more stomach problems. So now what?
Green Tea to the RescueA recent review of several published studies has found that drinking green tea or taking a green tea extract is linked to reductions in total and LDL-cholesterol; however, there was no effect on the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) or triglycerides.1
The researchers from Western University in Pomona, California, published the findings in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. They decided to use a pooled analysis of different studies simply because individual studies using green tea were too small to draw any significant conclusions.
By pooling evidence from a number of trials, they could more confidently examine the relationship between the consumption of green tea antioxidants and changes in levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides.
They ended up analyzing 20 randomized controlled trials, involving a little more than 1,400 people. After pooling the data, their analysis returned the following results:1
- Green tea significantly lowered total and LDL-cholesterol when compared to the control groups.
- The effective dose range was between 145 to 3,000 mg of green tea antioxidants per day.
- The time it took to see measurable changes was from 3 to 24 weeks.
- Green tea did not improve HDL-cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
What Else Can Green Tea Do?Pretty much every week now a new study comes across my desk highlighting a new benefit of green tea. It’s actually pretty amazing what camellia sinensis can do for your health. Drum-roll please …
- Promotes weight loss2
- Boosts the effectiveness of liver detoxification processes3
- Protects against prostate cancer4
- Enhances immune function5
- Displays protective effects on brain tissues6
Green Tea Dark Chocolate TrufflesHere’s a recipe straight from the Food Channel.7 These indulgent dark chocolate ganache truffles are rolled in intense matcha green tea powder. These Japanese-inspired chocolates pack lots of flavor AND style:
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea
- 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped, divided
- matcha green tea, as needed to coat truffles
- Combine cream, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea in a nonstick sauce pan and whisk to blend. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; remove from heat.
- Immediately add 5 ounces of fine chopped chocolate to hot cream mixture and gently stir to blend. Spread chocolate/cream ganache mixture in shallow dish and refrigerate until firm to touch.
- Shape chilled chocolate ganache mixture into balls and arrange on plate or baking sheet lined with wax paper. (If chocolate ganache gets too soft to roll into balls, refrigerate briefly.)
- Freeze truffles until firm.
- Melt 2 ounces chopped chocolate in top of double boiler. Dip frozen truffles in chocolate to lightly coat. Cool.
- Roll cooled truffles in matcha green tea powder to lightly coat. Store truffles in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Nov;111(11):1720-9.
- Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2008 Dec;78(6):275-81.
- Carcinogenesis. 2000 Jan;21(1):63-7.
- Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2006 Apr;6(4):507-13.
- Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 May;49(5):463-73.
- J Nutr Biochem. 2008 Sep;19(9):619-26.
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