Green Tea, Interactions and Safety
First used in ancient China as a medicinal herb about 5,000 years ago, Green tea has come a long way and is now consumed across the globe as part of a healthy lifestyle. It arrived on our shores in the sixteenth century, shipped back, with great zeal, by European traders on voyages to East Asia and it soon became a valuable trading asset.1
Green tea is grown today on plantations worldwide, and does particularly well in hot and humid climates with regular and generous rainfall, to enrich the nutritious soils of the highlands and mountain slopes it’s most at home in.
Green is good
The fresh leaves that make Green tea belong to the Camellia sinensis plant. These lush leaves are harvested and processed in a unique way, leaving an unfermented leaf which retains all of the goodness this plant has to share.2 Green Tea is precious because of its many nutritious compounds, specifically, catechins, of which EGCG is the shiniest. It’s a potent antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombogenic and anti-hypertensive qualities and can provide many of the essential minerals and vitamins we require.3
Green tea is consumed to support general health and well-being and more specifically for a range of health issues:
- Boost Immune system
- Detox aid
- Aid Digestive system
- Treat Skin conditions
- Support Memory
- Improve Cognitive function
- Improve Mental alertness
- Support Weight loss
- Relieve Headaches
- Improve Dental health
- Boost Energy
- Stress relief
- Support Cardiovascular health
- Control Blood Sugar/Diabetes
- Treat Fibromyalgia
- Help prevent Alzheimer’s disease
- Cancer preventative
- Overall feeling of well-being4
Green tea is really good for us generally because it’s exploding with essential minerals and vitamins, including B Vitamins (2,3,6) Vitamin A, C , E. Also, Folate, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorous and Manganese.5
As with all health supplements; the benefits can be life-enhancing but dietary supplements should always be used safely and it’s a good idea to familiarise ourselves with the do’s and don’ts before we dive in.
Use Green Tea with Caution
- If suffering from Liver failure or hepatic insufficiency.6
- If you have an Iron deficiency. Green tea is cited as limiting the bioavailability of folic acid and could disrupt the absorption of iron.7
- If you have a B1 Deficiency. Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is a coenzyme that helps the body to metabolize food for energy and assists with healthy heart and nerve function.Green tea contains certain levels of tannins which can interfere with thiamine, changing it into a form that’s not easily absorped by the body.8
- If you are susceptible to Kidney stones. Although containing low levels of oxalic acid, especially when compared to black tea, it is present in Green tea and could potentially bind with calcium which can lead to the build up of kidney stones. Studies also show, however, that green tea can help prevent kidney stones so the evidence is not conclusive. 9
Interactions with Medication / Avoid using Green tea with:
Warfarin. Green tea contains Vitamin K which may react with the anticoagulant effect of warfarin, messing up the effectiveness of the medication.10
Bortezomib. Patients taking bortezomib should not consume any green tea products. Green tea could prevent bortezomib (Velcade) from working as it should.11
Green tea, contrary to popular belief, does contain some Caffeine. The content of caffeine will vary but it’s thought that between 2-4% of Green Tea is Caffeine.12 Caffeine interacts with certain medicines, effectively blocking or weakening the effects of the pharmaceutical drug or causing it to perform differently. It’s always advisable to check the instructions supplied with any medication you’re taking to see if the use of caffeine is tolerated.
Pregnancy/Lactation: Though a personal choice, medical officials advise to either avoid caffeine or reduce caffeine intake when pregnant or breastfeeding.13
How to take Green Tea
Green tea is referred to as a “superfood” and when consumed correctly and safely as part of a healthy lifestyle can have significant positive effects on our well being.
Green tea extract should not be taken on an empty stomach and is best taken with a meal. 14 It’s always advisable to drink plenty of water and to ensure good levels of hydration throughout the day.
We provide Green tea tablets in 3 strengths, starting at the lowest of 1000mg, 3500mg and 9000mg, to suit. Dosage is two tablets up to three times a day as a food supplement for adults.
Great combinations for Green Tea
Green tea works well when combined with a range of other supplements.
- Coenzyme Q10 and Green tea have powerful antioxidant qualities; and can work together to help keep our metabolism healthy.15
- Combining the Green tea supplement with with fish oil, such as Omega 3 softgels,16 is thought to help support green tea’s bioavailability, in other words helping it to have an active effect.
- Quercetin powder, popularly used for its anti-inflammatory effects and cell damage protection, is another good Green tea pairing.17 Green tea is a natural source of quercetin, which when coupled with a quercetin supplement, has a synergistic effect, helping to increase the bioavailability of the numerous nutritious compounds contained within this amazing plant.18
- Acai is a natural winner with Green tea and the two complement each other well. Both are hailed for their antioxidant properties and work in synergy with each other to further increase the active properties present in each.19
- 5-HTP Green tea is a bit of a guru in terms of EGCG content, giving it top status as an antioxidant. 5-HTP’s ability to effectively neutralise free radicals and act as an antioxidant in a similar way to Green tea,20 means these two complementary supplements benefit each other nicely.
- Plant sterols and Green tea have both been highlighted as good for the heart; reducing cholesterol levels and helping to promote a happy cardiovascular system.21
Balancing good healthy eating and living habits with a combination of the right health supplements can be a great preventative or supportive measure for a range of conditions, or to replace nutrients lacking in our diet. The right combination of dietary supplements can help us to achieve a happy, healthy mental and physical state of being within the stresses and strains of our sometimes demanding and full lifestyles. Green tea is the natural, healthy choice that could contribute towards achieving this harmony.