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Components of Tea and their Health Benefits

Water-soluble components*:

Catechine** 10-18%: Antioxidation, anti-mutagen, anti-cancer, reduces blood cholesterol levels, decreases blood pressure and blood sugar levels, reduces platelet aggregation, anti-virus, cavity protection, improves intestinal flora, anti-allergy, odour elimination.

Caffeine 2-4%: Helps prevents central nerve system excitation, reduces sleepiness, Cardiac stimulation, diuretic effects, metabolic stimulation.

Theanine (L-Theanine) 0.6-2%: Decreases blood pressure, adjusts cranial nerve functions.

Vitamin C 0.15-0.25%: Antiscorbutic, antioxidation, anti-cancer, helps prevent colds and cataracts, boosts immune functions

Saponin 0.1%: Anti-asthma, decreases blood pressure, anti-bacterial

Aminobutyric acid (GABA) 0.1-0.2%: (by anaerobic treatment)Decreases blood pressure, adjusts cranial nerve functions

** consists of epicatechin (1.2%), epicatechin gallate (2.4%), epigallocatechin (3.2%) and epicallocatechin gallate (7.2%).

Non-water soluble components* - consumable through Matcha (whole tea leaves):

Fiber 30%: Helps prevent cancer and cardiac diseases
Protein 2.4%: Nutrition
Crude fat 3.4-4%: Nutrition
Chlorophyll 0.6-1%: Odour elimination
Vitamin E 0.02-0.07%: Helps prevent haemolysis, diabetes and cataracts, reduces lipoperoxidation, anti-cancer, boost immune functions.
Beta-carotene 0.02%: Anti-oxidation, Boosts immune functions, anti-mutagen.

*Content of the components may vary from condition of the production areas. (Source: Japan Central Tea Association)

7 Advantages of Japanese Green Tea

1. Cancer Prevention
Epidemiological research conducted by the National Cancer Research Centre of Japan found that women who consumed green tea showed a significant decrease in the likelihood of developing stomach cancer (Inoue et al, 2009).

In addition, clinical preliminary tests carried out by Gifu University on green tea extract consumption (1.5g / day), showed the recurrence rate after one year (2 years after initial colorectal tumour removal) was 15%, compared to those who did not receive it, where the recurrence rate was 30%, showing a significant suppression in the recurrence of colorectal tumours. In addition, it was found that in cases where tumours did recur, the size was much smaller in those who consumed the green tea extract than for those who did not.

A research group in Italy has also concluded the impact of green tea catechin in the prevention of prostate cancer in its clinical trials. Furthermore the use of green tea catechin as an ingredient in ointments has shown to be effective in the treatment of squamous-cell tumours and in October 2006 was approved by the Food and Drug Administration of America as an available drug treatment.

It has also been found as an effective treatment against warts and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, with the development of drugs and medication containing green tea catechin expected to grow further in the near future.

  Gut. 58:1323 (2009). [19505880]
  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 17:3020 (2008). [18990744]
  Cancer Res. 66:1234 (2006). [16424063]
  Pharmacol Res. 64:100 (2011). [21507345]
  J Am Acad Dermatol. 66:883.e1 (2012). [22583721]
  Cancer. 119:363 (2013). [22760587

2. Fat-burning properties
A study looking at the fat-burning effects of pro-longed green tea consumption have given rise to five main conclusions. With over 1000 participants as part of the study it was found that
- Most effective to take 500 - 600 mg / day (Catechin)
- Effective for people with weight issues (particularly those with high visceral fat)
- Effective for both men and women
- Effects maintained even after discontinuation (Reduced likelihood of weight regain)
- Body and blood tests show no negative side-effects from consumption.

For example, in one study, participants were divided into a Control group (Tea catechin 96.3mg / 340ml) and a Catechin group (Tea catechin 582.8mg / 340ml) in order to measure the difference in body fat decrease based on catechin consumption across a 12 week period. Results revealed a 1.6 kg body weight, or 0.6kg/m2 BMI (an indicator of the degree of obesity) difference between groups, with the Catechin group consistently showing a greater level of decrease relative to the control.

Furthermore, an experiment involving 195 participants with a BMI of 22.5 - 30kg/m2, were divided into either the low-dose catechin group (444mg / day), or the high-dose group (666mg / day). After 12 weeks the total area of abdominal fat and visceral fat was significantly lower than a control group who were given only 41mg of catechin a day.

In Vivo. 18:55 (2004). [15011752]
  J Epidemiol Community Health. 65:230 (2011). [19996359]

3. Caffeine
Tea and coffee are beverages known to keep you awake. In the brain there are specific receptors used to monitor the level of a neurochemical called adenosine, which plays a key role in promoting tiredness and sleep. Caffeine attaches itself to these receptors, limiting the level of adenosine detected in the body, leaving you less sleepy. However, excessive drinking of strong tea can lead to the development of sleep disorders due to caffeine overdose, so one must be careful.

In a study conducted on 76,979 Japanese people between the ages of 40 and 79, consumption of coffee reduced the risk of cerebrovascular disease in men, while intake of green tea was found to reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease in women. In the case cardiovascular disease. Any risk of cardiovascular disease was found to be associated with caffeine intake for both men and women.  

In Vivo. 18:55 (2004). [15011752]
J Epidemiol Community Health. 65:230 (2011). [19996359]

4. Anti-allergenic properties
In a group 75 participants with tick-induced allergic rhinitis, half were given "Benfuuki" green tea (34mg methylated catechin per daily dose) while the other half drank "Yabukita" green tea which contains almost no methylated catechin at all. After 12 weeks of drinking, the "Benifuuki "group compared to the "Yabukita" group, saw eye and nasal symptoms significantly reduced. Nose symptoms began improving between 7 to 12 weeks and for eye symptoms 4 to 12 weeks.

In the case of cedar pollen allergies, consumption of "Benifuuki" has been found to reduce symptoms such as nose irritation, itchy eyes and sore throat.

Japan food new materials research Journal .8: 6 (2005).
Japan Food Science and Technology Journal, 52: 584 (2005).

From clinical trials of the blood pressure of healthy adults (average age 22.8), it was found that after being given 200mg of theanine, the participants coped significantly better under pressure with better blood pressure control.
Brain scans taken an hour after the consumption of 200mg of theanine, showed an increased presence of alpha waves. Alpha waves are characterised by a relaxed and effortless alertness, showing that theanine gained through tea drinking offers a proven relaxing experience.

In addition, theanine has been found to control the stimulation of beta waves produced by caffeine intake.

J Physiol Anthropol. 31:28 (2012). [23107346]
  Free Radic Res. 45:966 (2011). [21425911]
  J Pharmacol Sci. 105:211 (2007). [17928735]
  日本農芸化学会誌. 72:153 (1998).
  Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 64:287(2000). [10737183]

6. Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid
For every 10g of green tea leaves there is approximately 30mg of Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid (GABA). However if tea leaves undergo a special oxygen-free fermentation process this amount can increase by 10 fold and can sometimes be sold as GABA or Gabaron Tea.

When given 50mg of GABA after an extensive maths test, stress levels were found to have lowered compared to levels both before and during the test. This was significant as this phenomenon did not occur for the 25mg group or the control. Measurement of cortical 'the stress hormone' in saliva supported these results showing the stress relieving qualities of GABA.

source: It is p.90(2007) "stress and GABA" (Shizuoka Shimbun-sha)
Seven power 7 of the tea

7. Vitamins mineral power
Vitamins and minerals are an important and undeniably crucial part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. There are roughly 13 types of vitamins and 29 types of minerals, of which green tea contains all vitamins (except vitamin D) and the majority of minerals.

Most vitamins are necessary to help with various bodily functions, for example, vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, while a lack there of causes scurvy. Of the water-soluble vitamins, green tea is particularly high in Vitamin C, Pantothenic acid, Folic acid, and Vitamin B12. By drinking green tea one can meet much of their recommended daily intake.
For example, the daily recommended intake of vitamin C is 100mg, with one cup of green tea containing approximately 12mg of it. On the other hand, other vitamins such as beta-carotene, vitamin E and CoQ10 do not dissolve in water and thus in order to gain these remaining nutrients it is necessary to consume the leaf itself in some form or another. This may include a fine powder (matcha), or the use of the leaves in cooking or sweets.

In terms of minerals, tea leaves contain relatively high level of potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron, but only a small amount of these are released during the brewing process. Thus a single cup of tea will usually contain 1/40 - 1/100 of what is actually in the original leaves.

Creating delicious dishes to get the most out of your tea

Using tea in cooking enables you to gain all the nutrient vitamins and minerals that green tea contains, whilst enjoying its beautiful aroma. Meaty or fishy smells can be instantly replaced, with tea offering a number of exciting ways to enjoy food, particularly through smell. It must be noted however, that tea leaves are very sensitive to heat and so to make the most of the radiant green try not to overcook.

2014 Supervised by: Tea Education Society
NGO Shizuoka Prefecture Tea Association
Tel. 054-271-5271 Fax. 054-252-0331
Published: March, 2014