Universiti Malaya – Wales

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By Dr Ong Chong Boon

Green tea is a popular leaf usually consumed as an infusion with a pleasant taste. It has generated numerous health-benefit claims for almost everything, from weight loss to cancer prevention. Some of them are misleading, but the main reason why green tea has been of great interest in recent years is that many claims have been scientifically proven!

Green tea is anti-ageing. Green tea polyphenols in cosmetic formulations for skincare are able to protect against UV irradiation-stimulated skin photoaging such as hyperpigmentation and wrinkling. Green tea improves dental health. Drinking green tea infusion has valuable effects on oral tissues and prevents oral diseases such as dental caries, periodontal disease and halitosis. Green tea is calming. Green tea consumption could influence psychopathological symptoms (e.g. reduction of anxiety), cognition (e.g. benefits in memory and attention) and brain function (e.g. activation of working memory). Green tea may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Green tea catechins have the potential to be used in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as cognitive dysfunction and memory loss. Green tea may help you live longer. High consumption (≥ 5 cups/day) of green tea is associated with a lower risk for all-cause mortality in men and women, especially for cancer, heart and cerebrovascular diseases.

These are just a few of the many health benefits of green tea. If you have been drinking green tea just for its pleasant taste, you’ve unwittingly enjoyed some of the numerous benefits that far outweigh the taste!

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