Green Tea May Lower LDL Cholesterol

Drinking green tea or taking it in capsule form may lower LDL cholesterol as well as total cholesterol.

green tea that may lower ldl cholesterol

Catechins are naturally-occurring antioxidants in green tea.

© Denio Rigacci |

A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reveals that drinking green tea or taking green tea in capsule form may lower LDL cholesterol as well as total cholesterol.

Dr. Olivia J. Phung, of the College of Pharmacy at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, published that green tea catechins, at doses ranging from 145 to 3,000 mg per day (including consumption as green tea beverage and extract in capsules) taken for 3 to 24 weeks, led to statistically significant reductions in total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol compared to controls who did not consume any.[1] Catechins are naturally-occurring antioxidants in green tea.

Besides green tea’s ability to lower LDL cholesterol levels, consuming green tea catechins has many other positive health benefits:

  • Helps lower high blood pressure[2] and prevents heart attacks[3]
  • Stabilizes blood sugar[4]
  • Promotes weight loss[5]
  • Fights pathogens (bacteria, fungi and viruses)[6]
  • Improves mental alertness[7]
  • Slows arthritis[8]

“I Don’t Like the Taste of Green Tea!”

Many people simply do not like the flavor of green tea, nor do they enjoy hot beverages. If you are one of these people, don’t give up on green tea altogether. We have a few simple suggestions to help you get your daily dose of green tea to lower LDL cholesterol:

  • First, know that green tea is available in a variety of flavors and can be served either hot or cold.  You can try drinking green tea with a fruit flavor such as mango or pomegranate.  You can add it to a glass of lemonade or add fresh squeezed juice, such as orange or lime over ice.  Or, you can add a natural sweetener such as xylitol to your hot or cold glass of green tea.
  • Green tea is also available in powder form. So, you can conveniently take the powder packets on-the-go and add a small amount to your favorite beverage throughout the day. However, know that green tea powder typically lacks the high antioxidant level of traditional green tea.
  • If you still can’t handle the green tea taste, you can take green tea capsules. In fact, many nutritionists recommend green tea capsules over liquids. This is because two tiny capsules of green tea extract per day are considered to be able to provide all of the benefits of anywhere between 2 to 10 cups of green tea. Green tea extract typically contains many more catechin antioxidants than are found in a single cup of green tea. Although, selecting green tea capsules can be tricky. When purchasing green tea extract, you should look for a product that is standardized to a minimum of 90% polyphenols and 55% EGCG (Epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the most beneficial catechin in green tea.

Precautions When Consuming Green Tea to Lower LDL Cholesterol

You should be aware that green tea, especially in capsule form, contains high levels of caffeine. Therefore, green tea should not be taken at bedtime, as it can prevent a good night’s rest. Furthermore, caffeine is not recommended for pregnant women, women who are nursing, or people with certain liver conditions or heart conditions, including high blood pressure. For people who need to avoid caffeine altogether, know that decaffeinated green tea can be purchased.

Learn more about the amazing green tea health benefits here:

[1] Amie Kim, Andrew Chiu, Meredith K. Barone, Diane Avino, Fei Wang, Craig I. Coleman, Olivia J. Phung: Green Tea Catechins Decrease Total and Low-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol: A Systematic Review and Meta- Analysis.  Journal of the American Dietetic Association November 2011; Vol. 111, Issue 11, Pages 1720-1729.

[2] Yang YC, et al: The protective effect of habitual tea consumption on hypertension. Arch Intern Med. July 2004; 164: 1534-40.

[3] Potenza, MA, et al: Epigallocatechin gallate, a green tea polyphenol, improves endothelial function and insulin sensitivity, reduces blood pressure, and protects against myocardial ischemia/referfusion injury in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Am J Physiol Endocrin Metab Jan 2007.

[4] Fukino Y, et al: Randomized controlled trial for an effect of green tea consumption on insulin resistance and inflammation markers. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. Oct 2005; 51: 335-42.

[5] Diepvens K, et al: Metabolic effects of green tea and of phases of weight loss. Physiol Behav. Jan 2006; 87:185-91.

[6] Taylor, P. W., Hamilton-Miller, J. M. T., & Stapleton, P. D. (2005). Antimicrobial properties of green tea catechins. October, 2, 71-81.

[7] Owen GN, Parnell H, et al. The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. Nutr Neurosci. 2008 Aug;11(4):193-8.

[8] Tedeschi E, Suzuki H, Menegazzi M. Anti-inflammatory action of EGCG, the main component of green tea, through STAT-1 inhibition. Annals of New York Academy of Science. 2002;973:435–437.

This post originally appeared in 2012 and has been updated.

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