Green tea has an impressive of list of health benefits. Studies have reported that green tea can help prevent Alzheimer's, certain cancers, and improve cardiovascular health. Some health experts have asserted that green tea can help alleviate stress as well.
But until recently there has not been a large scale study on stress reduction with green tea. A large scale study in Japan linking green tea with stress reduction was recently published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The research team from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine was led by Atsushi Hosawa. The study included 42,093 Japanese individuals. Just under seven percent of the study population, 2,774, suffered from psychological stress. The research team determined that consuming sufficient quantities of green tea improved their psychological well-being.
Those who drank five cups of green tea per day showed considerably less psychological distress than those who drank less than a cup a day. These results were calculated after making adjustments for variables such as age, diet, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and disease histories.
The benefits of polyphenols
Because this was strictly an epidemiological study, no effort was made to determine the bioactive components that achieved the observed results. Green tea leaves contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that combats the oxidative stress associated with neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
The four primary polyphenols found in fresh green tea leaves are: epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), epicatechin (EC), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
An earlier Japanese animal model study uncovered a link between EGCG and recovery from stress-induced fatigue. The researchers subjected rats to physical stress trials. They administered EGCG orally to the rats and discovered a significant reduction of liver oxidative damage, which stress and fatigue create. The research results were published in the journal Nutrition.
Stress and workaholic fatigue have been increasing worldwide. Consuming more green tea daily may offer a low-cost solution for stress management