Blacks Should Drink Green Tea to Help Lower Cholesterol

Blacks Should Drink Green Tea to Help Lower Cholesterol

African Americans have a 30 percent greater chance of dying from heart disease than white Americans. One reason for this is dietary behavior that increases cholesterol consumption. The American Heart Association reports that 44.8 percent of black men and 42.1 percent of black women have high or borderline high total cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is a type of fat found in the body. Your total cholesterol is made up of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. LDL is called “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in the wall of arteries, causing narrowing that  can block blood flow and increase your risk of heart disease. High LDL cholesterol is a major cause of heart disease. Now, a new study suggests that green tea can reduce LDL or bad cholesterol if consumed daily.

A team of researchers conducted a meta-analysis of more than a dozen studies to determine the impact of green tea consumption on cholesterol levels. The authors, from Cardiovascular Institute and FuWai Hospital Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, respectively, searched the scientific literature to identify relevant trials of green tea beverages and extracts on lipid profiles in adults. Weighted mean differences were calculated for net changes in lipid concentrations by using fixed-effects or random-effects models.

Published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1,100 participants were randomly assigned to either drink green tea or a placebo daily for several months. The researchers found that green tea consumption significantly lowered the total cholesterol concentration by 7.20 mg/dL, and significantly lowered the low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) concentration by 2.19 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) or a change of roughly 2 percent.

Green tea’s beneficial effects are mainly due to a large concentration of polyphenols. Polyphenols assist in blocking the absorption of cholesterol in the stomach and intestines. In addition, the free radicals in green tea help oxidize cholesterol, making narrowing of blood vessels, which can lead to stroke and heart attack, less likely.

–torrance stephens, ph.d.

Torrance Stephens authors the blog, follow him on twitter

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