Tea and Catechins: Chronic Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

The benefits of tea are numerous. In recent years, the functions of raw tea (tea that is not roasted) that go beyond taste have been confirmed by the medical world. Of the raw teas, green tea is recognized worldwide as a drink that is essential and important to health. Each year, to fight oxidation, defend against cancer, lose weight, and get rid of grease etc. the number of people who drink green tea is increasing. Statistics from the American Tea Association in 2003 show that in 2002, global tea sales amounted to US$5 billion, which compared to US$1.8 billion in 1990 shows almost a three-fold increase.

Studies on antioxidants both local and abroad show on average that, of the antioxidant polypehnols, tea polyphenols demonstrate the most representative proof that they promote health and longevity, prevent aging, and burn fat. Thus, the antioxidant benefits of green tea are very much certain, and the benefits of Catechin within tea cannot be overlooked. However, because of advances in biotechnology, Catechin has been finely differentiated into as many as 134 isolated species. Thus, Di Sheng, general manager of Bayer Fashion Marketing Co. Wubei Wei said: “In the past, what people called the “Catechin” component, should now be amended the ‘overall Catechin’ component.”

“What has been commonly called green tea Catechin refers to all Catechins, but in the recently differentiated 134 species of Catechin, only 4 have antioxidant properties. These four kinds of account for 99 percent of ‘overall Catechins’, and are differentiated into the dissociated EC (epicatechin) and EGC (epigallocatechin), as well as the esterified ECG (epicatechin-3-gallate) and EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) of which EGCG has the highest content and is the most biologically active.”

In Japan, where people are particular abut health and where research on green tea is in-depth, EGCG has been nicknamed “the master of radical-catching” and hailed as the “octopus.” The reason being that EGCG has eight –OH groups, and can simultaneously get rid of 8 positively charged free radicals. This effectiveness is beyond the reach of any other antioxident chemicals.

Not everything called Catechin is effective

Green tea is considered an unfermented tea, and its catechin content is highest out of the variety of teas. Generally the overall catechin content in green tea after it is dried is about 10% to 30%. If we consider green tea powder obtained through cryogenic grinding, flushing with hot water can release 40% to 50% of the tea’s overall catechin content, and the overall catechin is also the main source of flavor. Of the four major catechins in tea, the dissociated EC (epicatechin) and EGC (epigallocatechin) as well as the esterified ECG (epicatechin-3-gallate) and EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), EGCG is of the highest content and is the most biologically active. In other words, not all so-called catechins are effective, and for a more precise comparison, one should look at the source of overall catechin and the makeup of the catechin.

Why EGCG Can Eliminate Fat

High concentrations of EGCG are antioxidant, and can prevent chronic cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Apart from significantly getting rid of free radicals, it can chelate metal ions to reduce oxidative reactions, reduce lipid oxidation, inhibit the rise of blood sugar, as well as deodorize and fight inflammation. In addition, it can significantly and effectively eliminate stubborn body fat.

EGCG carries eight -OH bonds, and have the strong ability to eliminate free radicals. When the positive charge on the surface of a long chain of tightly locked large fat (stubborn fat that has accumulated over a long time) encounters the EGCG’s 8 –OH bonds, it is easily chelating and broken into smaller components of fat. When these smaller fats encounter EGCG and are further broken down, it will form unsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids are beneficial and harmless to the human body, are easily consumed, and also easily enter the metabolic system to be burned or excreted. The breaking down of large fat into smaller unsaturated fatty acids to be rapidly metabolized is the main cause of steady weight decline.

Cardiovascular diseases and various cancers problems

EGCG’s -OH bonds serve the function of breaking down accumulated stubborn fat, and hinder the reverse process of unsaturated fatty acids becoming fat. It can surround smaller fats and unsaturated fatty acids, preventing them from combining to form large fat.

Based on the same theory, EGCG may also solve the problem of having too much fat in the blood vessels or having blood that is too thick, having functions that prevent cardiovascular disease such as lowering the risk of myocardial infarction, reducing arterial wall calcification, preventing sediment accumulation in the blood vessels, and protecting against the occurrence of atherosclerosis. It also delays the oxidation of low-density fat LDL (oxidation of LDL fatty acids will promote the formation of macrophage foam cells within vascular epithelial cells, causing atherosclerosis lesions), and can significantly reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thus increasing both the capacity and efficiency of the body to discharge both. Those who struggle to exercise, like to eat a lot of meat and fish, or do not like to eat light meals, can use an intake of EGCG to balance the lack of healthy nutrition.

Fight Cancer and Reduce Weight

When physicians use highly concentrated EGCG on body fat and blood lipids in vivo experiments, it was found that EGCG significantly inhibits “FAS fatty acid synthase” in the formation of fatty acids. EGCG can weaken the activity of “FAS fatty acid synthase” and make it unable to act in the process fatty acid formation, thus indirectly obstructing the accumulation of fat. This is another piece of evidence that EGCG uses anti-free radical principles to eliminate already accumulated fat and prevent the formation of fat.

However, the research process unexpectedly discovered in vivo cancer patients that secretion of FAS fatty acid synthase is proportionally related to the number and activity of cancer cells, suggesting that the more FAS fatty acid synthase secreted, the more apparent cancer reactions are. This phenomenon demonstrates that when FAS is controlled, cancer activity may also be reduced and controlled.

  • The alkaline EGCG may help the body burn fatty acid more quickly through active aerobic respiration

Because fat needs to be in the form of fatty acids to be burnt and used by the body, EGCG’s inhibition of the “FAS fatty acid synthase” can make fatty acid stay in a state of fatty acids (without synthesizing into fat), and the body can quickly consume it. Other medical professionals have proved that, only when cells undergo “aerobic respiration” can they burn fat (which is the reason why many fitness coaches emphasize that only 20 minutes into exercise will heat energy be consumed later). The body can undergo good “aerobic respiration” under two conditions: one is in exercise, and the other is when the body is in an alkaline state.

  • Fat accumulation is not in the gut, slimming tea should not be used as a purging agent

Many weight loss teas like to use tea as a stimulant for diarrhea, enabling consumers to get the pleasure of “eliminating waste and fat from the body.” Wu Beiwei analyzed, “The body’s fat is not accumulated in the gut, so focusing on getting rid of waste in the gut in order to attain weight loss is not helpful when it comes to eliminating stubborn body fat. Eliminating fat should be dealt with within the body, and not removed through an important channel of nutrition, the gut.”

Caffeine and Theophylline

Drinking purge-inducing slimming tea can lead to the appearance of heart palpitations, cramps, depressed moods, and a loss of control over emotions. These examples are not uncommon. Wu Beiwei said: “The cause of palpitations may be because in order to decrease appetite. Add on caffeine, or tea which caffeine has not been extracted, and consumers whose bodies are more sensitive easily experiences changes.” “Also, if nutrients are often forcefully and rapidly excreted, minerals and elements that the body needs cannot be effectively absorbed by the body, and when there is a lack of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and other important minerals, then cramps, lack of control of emotions and muscles, bad moods and depressed feelings, fatigue, lack of motivation and other phenomena will appear.

EGCG, which is extracted from the finest green tea catechins, is a pure and effective antioxidant substance, and has been rid of caffeine, theophylline, pesticides, and other junk. A nutritional product that combines both antioxidant and weight loss effects, drinking it can help one gain comprehensive antioxidant protection.

Quantity of Catechins Affect the Results

Most of the studies were carried out with experiments using Catechin of ppm values (degree of concentration). In other words, no matter how beneficial EGCG or Catechin is, it must be consumed at a certain amount to be effective. Thus, Wu Beiwei emphasizes that apart from drinking tea with EGCG that produce quality antioxidant results, observing the concentration of EGCG is also very important. “In Japan, many tea products that contain EGCG will be proudly labeled with its content, concentration and other supplements, competing in the consumer market. In China, factories that use ECGC and bravely display its concentration are few and far between.”