Already, green tea has proven to have anti-cancer, anti-heart disease, anti-inflammation, and anti-oxidation properties. Now, a study published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery gives us one more reason to love green tea. Researchers from Kyoto University in Japan found that one of the primary polyphenols in green tea can help protect against a life-threatening condition called abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Your body’s main artery, the aorta, extends from your heart through the center of your chest and down into your abdomen. It is nearly as thick as a garden hose, and it is your body’s main blood supplier. In other words, your aorta is your life source. Unfortunately, it’s also very fragile, and inflammation and the deterioration of elastin in the arterial wall can cause your aorta to weaken and become less pliable and strong.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when the aorta becomes enlarged and loses its elasticity. There are typically no symptoms until the aorta ruptures, a life-threatening emergency that ends in death 50% of the time.
A daily cup of green tea may help reduce the risk.
How Green Tea Helps
Researchers infected rats with enzymes that cause abdominal aortic aneurism. They then fed some of the rats a green tea polyphenol. Those that drank the green tea showed less inflammation, more elastin production, and were less likely to develop abdominal aortic aneurism than were rats not given the green tea polyphenol.
According to co-author Hidetoshi Masumoto, the high intake of green tea among the Japanese could account for their longevity. Masumoto explains: “Japanese people have the longest lifespan in the world, and studies show that 80% of the population drink green tea on a daily basis. We believe daily intake of green tea should be considered as a new preventative strategy for abdominal aortic aneurysm; the focus of future studies will be to investigate optimal doses.”
If you’re not already drinking green tea, give it a try in the morning for a moderate caffeine jolt, or in the afternoon for a mild pick-me-up and some added antioxidant protection.