Can green tea do that? A literature review of the clinical evidence
Author: Yuri Clement
Objective Habitual green tea consumption has long been associated with health benefits including chemoprevention and cardiovascular protection. This non-systematic literature review presents the clinical evidence to date. Method A literature review of peer-reviewed articles on observational and interventional studies was conducted to include green tea, its extract or its purified polyphenol (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Electronic databases searched included PubMed (1966–2009) and the Cochrane Library (Issue 4, 2008). Results Observational studies are inconclusive on the benefits of habitual consumption of green tea in the prevention of most cancers. However, there are trends towards prevention in breast and prostate cancers. Interventional studies have demonstrated reduction in relapses following surgical resection in colorectal adenomas and increased survival rates in epithelial ovarian cancer. Observational studies indicate that green tea may provide protection against hypertension and reduce the risk for stroke, and interventional studies are providing biochemical and physiological evidence. Conclusion Although the overall clinical evidence is inconclusive, habitual green tea consumption may be providing some level of chemoprevention in prostate and breast cancer. Green tea may also attenuate the risk factors association with the development of atherosclerosis thus reducing the incidence of cardiovascular events and stoke.