Green Tea & Living Longer, Old-World Antioxidants, Modern Benefits:
A few of the interesting ways we can think about wellness are:
Why do we do what we do, or have-done? and What’s Old Is New Again.
For some reason, humanity has fallen into certain habits in many places,
Or has old superstitions that everyone thinks were nothing but old wives’ tales.
And it’s from those two areas of thought we often find ancient man wasn’t really stupid,
Those habits formed for good reason; -which a team from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences is proving once again…
Ancient Rituals. Old Trial+Error=New You:
A lot of what we have done probably comes from Trial and Error in the past.
With the unfortunate list of “I guess we shouldn’t eat those particular mushrooms”-type casualties along the way.
But the odd stuff we do keep in our diet often sits at the intersection of things like Ancient Medicine and SuperFoods.
It’s only later on when modern SCIENCE! steps in, we find out they weren’t just a baseless habit.
And The Short Answer for this study shows that across thousands of participants,
People who drank Green Tea had significantly-reduced early-mortality. That’s from the big-killers like Heart Disease, right on-out to just about every cause.
So that old-tradition is looking almost like a modern-miracle.
Read on to find out the Details…
It’s In Supplements And Also SuperFoods:
The idea of some type of Ancient Medicine is found in almost every herbal supplement out there.
Only today, we tend to use them for problems modern medicine hasn’t yet solved to everyone’s satisfaction.
SuperFoods are all a bit better than the weight-loss craze about Acaí, and can hopefully do something positive for you,
Above and beyond what you might expect from just Fat, Carbs, & Protein in basic Nutrition.
The search for those is a bit tricky though, because they are usually not concentrated like vitamins, supplements, or drugs,
And also because they’re Foods, tend to work in gentler ways,
Like the buffered-vitamins you get from good variety in your diet instead of riskier pill-popping.
The CAMS Team Results On Long-Term Green Tea-Totaling’s Longevity-Impact:
Strangely-enough, one of the things we found out earlier,
Is that a lot of SuperFoods have components that fall into a really interesting group of biochemicals called,
And that’s where we pick up the Green Tea results, strangely-enough.
The CAMS team looked at 2 main studies.
In the first one of almost 110,000 subjects, people over the age of 50 who drank green tea at-least 3x/wk had the following benefits over their non-tea-totaling counterparts:
1) 20% Lower rate of Heart-Disease and Stroke
2) 22% Reduced rate of Fatal Heart-Disease & Stroke
3) 15% Lower rate of all-cause Early-Mortality
4) About 1.25 years longer-life
Many Things In Life Come Down To Good Habits:
But then the researchers asked themselves a very important question,
“What if this is a habit that you have to keep up over time?”
And so they took a smaller set of ~14,000 people starting 8 years after the first study, with the last check-in more than 13 years after the first study.
What they found was even better than the first set of results.
In that smaller group that kept up the habit of drinking green tea the same amount per week,
Their health & longevity results were even-better, as-follows:
1) 39% Lower rate of Heart-Disease and Stroke
2) 56% Reduced rate of Fatal Heart-Disease & Stroke
3) 29% Lower rate of all-cause Early-Mortality
Even Dr. Gu Agrees Polyphenols Are Very Good Things:
So what causes the health-benefits?
Just like we found-out before, lead-researcher Dongfeng Gu agrees;
Her number 1 guess for the protective-effect of green tea is Polyphenols,
-Which are of-course the umbrella-group for that other range of helpful biochemicals called Flavonoids.
And the interesting note she offered about Polyphenols is that you have to keep up the Habit,
Because they are not stored in your body like the calcium and magnesium in your bones.
You need to replenish them regularly, just the way a habit, or even cultural ritual from the ancient past, might have you do.
Green Tea Is Chemically-Different Than Black:
Another quirk specific to Green tea, is that it’s not fermented like Black tea.
So there is a chance that the typical Flavonoid-powers, like being an Anti-Oxidant,
Might be reduced, because some of the chemical compounds change.
Something along these lines has been confirmed previously in studies on the effects of Green & Black tea on the brain.
In-fact one of the compounds in green called EGCG is associated with cell-growth in a brain region that promotes the ability to adapt to changing-circumstances.
So, it’s not surprising that the positive results in this study came out in favor of that type of tea again.
So What Is A Polyphenol Or Flavonoid?:
Flavonoids are plant-chemicals that have to do with color, UV filtration, growing-cycles, and chemical-messaging.
Experiments show they are associated with properties like:
The general trend is something along the lines of protection,
Which is a big part of what they do for plants like blueberries, too.
What Other Protections Could They Offer?:
So just in-case you were looking for other things that Polyphenols & Flavonoids can help with,
A few of the most common list of potential benefits are:
1) Improvement in Circulation
2) Reduction in Damage From Stress
3) Protection Against Neurotoxicity
4) Reduced Cardiovascular Disease & Hardening of the Arteries
5) Reduction of Depression & Anxiety
6) Lower Blood-Pressure
And even more than that.
Minor Qualifications And Different SuperFood Sources:
Now when she stated a few of the potential-shortcomings of the study,
Like the different rates at-which men & women get diseases,
The small-amount of black tea drinkers they were able to find,
And the lower rate that women tended to consume green tea vs. men in the populations-studied,
Dr. Gu made a great point. You don’t have to get your polyphenols or flavonoids just from green tea.
And in the post on how these amazing gifts from nature give you a type of “Body Armor”,
There are even more benefits and sources listed.
-Including a link to the giant, all-encompassing one by the USDA.
Ancient Superfood Wins, Only If You Make It A Habit:
So while just like many things in life,
If you want to get the benefit you’ll have to make flavonoid-intake into a dietary Habit.
But if you can do that, it’s really surprising that just a little bit of an ancient-world superfood like green tea, only 3 times a week, can help you live a longer and healthier life!
References & Links:
• Via: ESC
• Source Study:
1) EJPC – Tea consumption and the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: The China-PAR project
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