Natural Ingredients : Green Tea

The Chinese have been using Green Tea for medicinal purposes since it was discovered almost 5000 years ago.  There is even a Chinese proverb: ‘It is better to drink green tea than to take medicine.’ 

Modern science is catching up to nature.  As of November 2004, the PubMed database contained over 1,000 studies on green tea, many related to cancer treatment or prevention.  One of the leading researchers at Tufts University sums it up well, “the scientific evidence about tea is evolving and I think it's compelling." 1

We now know that much of green tea’s health benefits stem from its powerful anti-oxidant properties.   Anti-oxidants are nutrients that scavenge for cell-damaging free radicals in the body and detoxify them. 

University of Kansas researchers believe green tea is the strongest of all anti-oxidants -  “at least 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times better than vitamin E at protecting cells and their genetic material, DNA, from damage believed to be linked to cancer, heart disease and other potentially life-threatening illnesses.” 2

Green tea’s anti-oxidant nutrients are called polyphenols with the most powerful component known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).   OMAPURE™’s green tea extract gives you one of the highest concentrations of polyphenol (95%) and EGCG (45%) on the market.    

In regards specifically to arthritis, scientific studies show high potential for therapeutic benefits of green tea (EGCG in particular) but they have not advanced to human trials as they have for cancer and other diseases.

In recent laboratory tests, scientists at the University of Sheffield have found that EGCG may help prevent osteoarthritis by blocking the enzyme that destroys cartilage.3

 “We have shown that EGCG protects cartilage destruction in test-tube models of cartilage loss that mimic what happens in the arthritic joint, and work by others suggests that EGCG reduces joint swelling and pain.”

-Scientists at University of Sheffield

Extensive research from Case Western University over the past decade has shown that antioxidants present in green tea possess cancer-preventing and anti-inflammatory properties.  

In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Case Western researchers concluded that anti-oxidants in green tea may prevent or reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.  It must be pointed out the study examined mice, not humans, and is therefore promising but by no means conclusive.

Specifically, the study examined the effects of green tea polyphenols on collagen-induced mice (similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis in humans).  17 out of 18 (94%) who did not receive green tea developed arthritis whereas only 8 out of 18 (44%) who received green tea developed arthritis.  The researchers also note that the eight arthritic mice that received the green polyphenols developed less severe forms of arthritis. 4

“Taken together our studies suggest that a polyphenolic fraction from green tea that is rich in antioxidants may be useful in the prevention of onset and severity of arthritis.”

-Researchers at Case Western University

There is no question that well-designed human trials for green tea and arthritis are needed.  Despite the lack of human trials for arthritis, the makers of OMAPURE™ include green tea in the formulation as a secondary ingredient for several reasons:  Green tea is one of nature’s most powerful anti-oxidants, it possesses anti-inflammatory properties, it has been safely used for thousands of years, and it may assist in the prevention and relief of arthritis.

Another OMAPURE™ Natural Ingredient – Turmeric >>
I think the most promising areas of green tea research right now is in treating arthritis.   The antioxidant power of the green tea's polyphenols blocks the pathway of the Cox-2 enzyme, which is a major cause of the inflammation and pain of arthritis.

-Dr. Atkins, Age-Defying Diet Revolution

  1. WebMD feature article, “Antioxidants in Green and Black Tea”

  2. University of Kansas: Press Release

  3. Corps AN, Curry VA, Buttle DJ, Hazleman BL, Riley GP: Inhibition of interleukin-1beta-stimulated collagenase and stromelysin expression in human tendon fibroblasts by
    epigallocatechin gallate ester. Matrix Biol 2004 Jun;23(3):163-9.  Abstract

  4. Haqqi TM, Anthony DD, Gupta S, Ahmad N, Lee MS, Kumar GK, Mukhtar H: Prevention of collagen-induced arthritis in mice by a polyphenolic fraction from green tea. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Apr 13;96(8):4524-9.   Abstract