GREEN TEA, SECRETS AND HEALTH BENEFITS

6 min


INTRODUCTION: 

People around the world are using natural and herbal products for the treatment of diseases. Herbal medicines are in trend nowadays. Phytotherapy is the use of herbs as medicines . Traditional Indian and Chinese medicine used this a lot. One of the most popular beverages consumed in the world. It is gaining attention in recent times due to its health proven benefits. Chinese are the largest green tea-drinking nation.

People in China consume approximately 50% of the total in the world. The prime component is the catechin. It’s a natural antioxidant that prevents cell damage. Mainly known for its anticancerous property and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have shown that it can prevent diabetes type-2.

ORIGIN OF GREEN TEA: 

Firstly, it was first discovered in 2737 BC by emperor Shennong (a popular figure in the mythology of Chinese agriculture and medicine). China was the first nation to invent it. It has its roots in South East Asian countries. Many South Asian countries produce it now.

COMPONENTS OF GREEN TEA: 

The extraction of green tea is from the plant Camellia sinensis. It is rich in health-promoting flavonoids. The most abundant component is catechin which is epigallocatechin-3-gallate(EGCG), which plays a vital role in anticancer and anti-oxidant effects. 

Catechin from polyphenols forms the active compound. There are four types of catechins present. They are, Epicatechin gallate(ECG), epicatechin, epigallocatechin, and epigallocatechin gallate ( EGCG). It contains polyphenol called flavonoids which act as an antioxidant. In addition, it also contains carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid, and minerals chromium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. It also contains caffeine, although half of that found in coffee. 

MECHANISM OF ACTION: 

Due to the metabolism taking place in our body, the cellular components such as the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria release oxygen. Further, it converts to hydrogen peroxide, which in turn releases free radicals molecules. These free radicals that are released can cause damage to our cellular metabolism. In addition, intake of this tea can prevent all these degenerative changes that are taking place in our cells.

IMPLICATIONS OF GREEN TEA IN DENTISTRY:  

CARIES: 

Dental caries is an irreversible microbial disease caused by multifactorial organisms, leading to demineralization of the tooth structure subsequently leading to tooth loss.

Firstly, it has anti-caries property. Further, it inhibits caries-causing bacteria such as streptococcus mutants. Various studies have proven the anti-caries property of this tea. Research is going on about adding green tea extracts in toothpaste, adding it destroys caries causing bacteria. The effect of this beverage on caries inhibition appears to be more effective. 

ORAL CANCER PREVENTION:

A study was conducted to find the role in the prevention and management of oral cancer. A study was conducted on a group of patients with potentially malignant disorders who are given three doses of the extract, then evaluated for chemoprotective markers. In addition, polyphenols are seen to reduce tumor growth and protect against ultraviolet radiation. These polyphenols in green tea are said to have cytotoxic activity against cancer cells and reduce the risk of oral cancers. The patients who are given the extract showed good response and it also prevents the possibility of premalignant lesions.

PERIODONTAL IMPLICATION: 

Periodontal problems occur due to inflammation of the periodontium. The periodontium is gingiva, alveolar bone, the root surface of the tooth is covered by cementum, and periodontal ligaments, these are the components of the periodontium.

Various studies show that the component catechin inhibits the growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, and Prevotella nigrescene. The components such as catechins with its four components such as EC, EGCG, ECG, and gallocatechin gallate, inhibit the production of toxic metabolites of P. gingivalis. Studies prove that component catechin also inhibits, Gram-negative anaerobic rod-shaped bacilli and Prevotella species,  due to its anti-bacterial property, and various studies prove that the use of green tea improves the periodontal status.  

The main cause of periodontitis is alveolar bone resorption. Green tea prevents alveolar bone resorption. Daily intake was significantly associated with bleeding on probing (BOP), probing depth (PD) and clinical attachment loss (CAL) were reduced significantly after consumption. Meanwhile, the periodontal condition improved dramatically. 

HALITOSIS (ORAL MALODOUR): 

Anaerobic bacteria causes this halitosis or unpleasant odor. The main cause is due to the breakdown of volatile sulfur compounds such as methyl mercaptan, hydrogen sulfide, which are the products of gram-negative bacteria. This tea inhibits the bad odor of the oral cavity and has a pleasant odor in it so it can be used as a mouth wash. In conclusion, very effective results were obtained.  

CIGARETTE SMOKING INDUCED INFLAMMATION:

Smoking affects homeostasis and is injurious to oral health. Almost 66.4% of people are smoking in the world. The effects of smoking range from simple mucosal erythema to premalignant lesions which leads to oral cancer. It can be beneficial for cigarette smokers.

Catechins present in green tea are capable of scavenging superoxide. In addition, EGCG has the ability of NF-kB that inhibits phosphorylation. There are more than 4700 oxygen/nitrogen species and reactive chemical compounds in cigarette smoke. Nicotine a component of cigarettes affects gingival and periodontal health. Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), a metabolite of cigarettes are considered carcinogens. Another smoking compound acrolein is a risk factor for periodontal disease. The extract and EGCG  can extinguish acrolein and other unsaturated aldehydes, hence reducing acrolein activity.

Green tea consumption can diminish oxidative and inflammatory tissue injuries in the oral cavity caused by cigarette smoking.

ANTI OXIDANT PROPERTY:

Green tea acts as a scavenger removes all the toxic products released from the cell. It fights against harming impacts of peroxyl radicals, hydroxyl radicals. It reduces the danger of coronary vein illness, by decreasing the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein, reduces malignant cell division.

DOSAGE OF GREEN TEA: 

Three to four cups per day is permissible. One cup contains about 50–150 mg flavonoids.

GREEN TEA MOUTHWASH: 

In order to prevent halitosis(bad breath), green tea mouthwash can be used. Swishing before bed is an excellent remedy for maintaining healthy gums.

Green tea mouthwashes are also commercially available now in the markets.

OTHER USES OF GREEN TEA:

IMMUNE BOOSTER:

Due to the presence of components such as polyphenols, flavonoids in green tea helps in improving our immunity and fight against infections.

We can make it healthier by adding a pinch of turmeric, which itself is a well-known ancient immune booster, and few pieces of ginger to green tea. This will make your green tea healthier and prevents common cold, flu, etc.

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE:

Green tea reduces blood pressure by inhibiting the enzyme angiotensin, which is responsible for maintaining our blood pressure high. It also prevents heart disease, stroke by lowering the cholesterol level reducing the level of low-density lipoproteins in our body. There are studies that state intake of this beverage has reduced the incidence of stroke.

LIVER DISEASE: 

Green tea also protects the liver from toxic substances, prevents fatty liver.

WEIGHT LOSS:

Green tea plays an important role in weight loss. The component catechin present in green tea increases the metabolism of the body by increasing fat burn.75-100g of calories reduces per day after consumption of green tea. Weight loss is a common reason for the wide use of this tea.

FOR SKIN:

Since it is rich in antioxidants, it acts as a scavenger in removing the toxins from the cells. It fights against acne, reduces wrinkles, reduces dark circles under the eyes, promotes glowing skin. By keeping leftover green tea bags under the eyes reduces the puffiness and dark circles.

ARTHRITIS:

Firstly, green tea has anti-inflammatory properties, it prevents inflammation, keeps our bones stronger, and preserves bone density. Several studies have focused on the potential benefits of green tea as an anti-inflammatory agent. Hence, it’s helpful in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

DIABETES:

Green tea interferes with the lipid metabolism in our body. So it balances the blood sugar level in our body. Prevention of type 2 diabetes is possible according to recent studies.

ALZHEIMER`S DISEASE:

Meanwhile, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that leads to atrophy of the brain. The main cause of this disease inhibition of the acetylcholinesterase enzyme. The EGCG component in green tea decreases the production of β amyloid. This deposition in the brain leads to brain shrinkage (the prime reason for many brain degenerative conditions). Consequently, it plays a major role in treating Alzheimer’s.

DISADVANTAGES OF GREEN TEA:

  • Can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and constipation rarely.
  • It is possibly unsafe when taken for longer periods of time in high doses. It may cause iron deficiency when consumed for a longer period.
  • Meanwhile, it may cause side effects because of its caffeine content.

FUTURE CHALLENGES:

  • Nanotechnology-based strategies to enhance bioavailability.
  • Green tea extract due to its anti-caries property is infused in toothpaste. The constituents are effective against mutants bacteria by making the tooth surface irregular for bacteria to produce enamel affecting acid.

CONCLUSION:

The use of herbal medicines continues to expand rapidly across the world. It is very effective in controlling gingivitis, periodontitis. It also improves overall health in general if consumed regularly.


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Dr Shalini S.G
I am a dental surgeon. I love travelling and listening to music and a passionate person in research and doing lots of presentation. My area of interest is pathology, diagnosis and forensics.

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