All teas are not created equal: The Chinese green tea and cardiovascular health
Author: Tsung O. Cheng
Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, next only to water. It can be categorized into three types, depending on the level of fermentation, i.e., green (unfermented), oolong (partially fermented) and black (fermented) tea. In general, green tea has been found to be superior to black tea in terms of antioxidant activity owing to the higher content of (−)-epigallocatechin gallate. The processes used in the manufacture of black tea are known to decrease levels of the monometric catechins to a much greater extent than the less severe conditions applied to other teas. The cardioprotective effect of flavonoids from green tea can be attributed to not only antioxidant, antithrombogenic and anti-inflammatory properties but also improvement of coronary flow velocity reserve. In this article, I will discuss the effects of green tea on atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity, and, finally, its comparison with black tea.