Advantages & Disadvantages of Green Tea

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Green tea is one of three types of tea known for their health benefits. Historically, green tea has been very popular in eastern countries such as Japan, Thailand and India. While green tea may offer many advantages, such as a number of health benefits, it also has disadvantages as well. Green tea is contraindicated for some health conditions. When in doubt, always consult your doctor or health-care provider for recommendations before consuming green tea.

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

According to Harvard Medical School’s Health Watch, green tea contains antioxidants that help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. It can promote arterial health as well. Green tea is also beneficial for blood pressure by reducing the risks of developing hypertension.

Cancer Reduction

The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that green tea has been studied in relation to different types of cancer. Bladder cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and esophageal cancer all appear in lower rates in individuals who drink green tea. The beverage may also increase survival rates for some cancers, such as bladder cancer. Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants contained in green tea, are thought to be responsible for the cancer reduction and survival rates.

Caffeine

Green tea contains caffeine, which may be unsuitable for individuals with a heart condition, including hypertension. You should also speak to your doctor prior to drinking green tea if you have any disorders involving your central nervous system or an anxiety disorder. Caffeine may worsen these conditions or interact with medications meant to control them. Pregnancy also requires that caffeine intake be limited, so consult your midwife or obstetrician about the safety of consuming green tea if you are pregnant.

Other Disadvantages

Green tea can impact other health conditions, causing an increase in symptoms or progression of disease in some individuals. Those with anemia should use caution, as green tea may make it worse. If you have glaucoma, green tea can increase the pressure inside your eyes, an effect that can last for up to 90 minutes following ingestion. MedlinePlus also notes that green tea may prohibit calcium from being absorbed into the bones, which can lead to osteoporosis.

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