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Dr Russ Blog - Green tea - it's mostly good news...
Green tea - it's mostly good news...
Created on 6/12/2009

It seems green tea can be found everywhere these days, at least in part because of compelling medical data suggesting significant health benefits to regular tea drinking (unsweetened, though..!). Any form of tea seems to offer some health benefit, but the least fermented / processed forms possess more of the healthy active ingredients identified so far. There are 4 main types of tea, and here they are in descending order from least to most highly processed: white, green, oolong and black tea. Though white tea may have the greatest antioxidant potential, the majority of research has been done on green tea.

Green tea has been found to offer the possibility of significant health benefits. Research suggests potent antioxidant activity, anti-infective properties, some heart protection, and even anti-cancer activity. In general, drinking green tea seems both safe and maybe good for us.

It's always prudent to keep in mind, however, that any agent, even natural ones, that possess biologic activity have the potential to cause harm in specific circumstances. For example, some people who take the blood thinning agent coumadin (also called warfarin) may not get their blood quite as thin as it should be if they're drinking a lot of green tea each day. Why? Because the drug is counteracted by vitamin K, and green tea contains vitamin K. You'd have to drink a lot to get this effect, but it's possible.

A recent study pointed out another potential concern. With the impressive anti-cancer results found thus far with green tea researchers thought it natural to assume green tea would be helpful with most any anti-cancer agent, and so tested it with the specialized drug called bortezomib. Unexpectedly and unfortunately, green tea almost completely negated the effects of this drug (it is commonly used for the treatment of a cancer called multiple myeoloma).

In general, drinking green tea looks to be a healthy habit for almost all of us. If taking medication of any kind, however, it's important to review the vitamins and supplements you are using, including the tea you are drinking, with your doctor to be sure you are doing what's best for you.
Be well.
Dr. Russ

** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **

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