Green Tea May Lower Cholesterol

Cholesterol may be slightly lowered by drinking green tea

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Chalk up another benefit for green tea. Drinking the beverage or taking supplements containing compounds from the tea may reduce cholesterol by several points, potentially giving patients another tool in their arsenal for heart health.

Californian researchers found that green tea can reduce both total and "bad" LDL cholesterol. There was no benefit on "good" HDL cholesterol or triglycerides.

"Continue taking cholesterol medication prescribed by your doctor."

Olivia Phung, a senior researcher and assistant professor of pharmacy at Western University of Health Sciences, tested green tea or capsules containing catechins, a natural plant antioxidant in green tea that is suspected of decreasing cholesterol absorption.

During the review study, investigators reviewed 20 randomized controlled trials including 1,415 adults that examined the relationship between green tea catechins and lipid levels, including cholesterol and triglycerides through 2010.

In the studies reviewed, participants drank green tea or took capsules containing green tea compounds for between three to 24 weeks. Doses ranged from 145 milligrams daily to 3,000 milligrams daily. The studies also had control groups that took a placebo.

Green tea and the compound appeared to be more beneficial to patients who already had high cholesterol at the beginning of the study.

The results from previous studies on green tea's effect on cholesterol have been mixed, though the beverage was found to be safe to consume in moderate amounts.

The research was published in the November 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Review Date: 
November 17, 2011
Last Updated:
November 18, 2011