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American Holistic Medical Association
Green Tea: Supplements vs. Leaves
Green tea consumption is on the rise thanks to various reports attributing the little green gem to positive outcomes on everything from Alzheimer’s, weight loss, cardiovascular support, a cancer fighter and all around mood stabilizer. Many Americans have jumped on the green tea bandwagon in form of little green pills to cure what ails them, but is that a good idea? No, says one report.
New analysis conducted by the USDA shows the chemical composition of many supplements does not offer the same benefit as drinking green tea, especially in powder form. In addition, some supplements contained significant levels of other ingredients not listed on the label, such as sucrose. Moreover, the quality of the ingredients varied greatly among supplements, with one green tea supplement containing no green tea whatsoever.
According to Dr. Chen, a research chemist with the USDA “The claim that a green tea dietary supplement is a good alternative for tea leaves is questionable from a chemical composition point of view.”
The findings, as reported in the Journal of AOAXC International, found that many of the green tea supplements analyzed contained high levels of compounds that cause a breakdown of the most important health factors found in green tea leaves, including the highly prized antioxidant catechin compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Another nod in favor of the tea leaves in their natural state is the synergy of the hundreds of healthful compounds working collectively. EGCG, for example, is known to perform better when it works synergistically with the other catechin compounds in the tea leaf. A collaboration that can’t happen when labs isolate one nutrient and mega dose it in capsule form.
HAE readers already know we are big fans of consuming green tea in an organic sencha powder form, where you can achieve the nutritional equivalent of 15-20 cups of brewed tea in j...