Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Green Tea and the Heart

There is a branch of pharmacology recently recognised, called "nutriceuticals" the use of nutritional food products to improve health. Examples of food products that have proven medicinal value includes soy bean, wine, and fish oil.

There are many other foods that have unproven medicinal value , including garlic, cocoa, lecithin C, Vitamin E, and of course Vit C. Japanese green tea has attracted attention recently, especially with the CAD prevention of MEGA and JELIS which came out of Japan which showed that in Japan, low dose of Pravastatin, together with a good dose of Japanese diet, had improved CAD protection, almost to the same level as high dose lipitor, in Caucasians.

We have seen the publication of a prospective cohort study of 40,000 Japanese from Miyagi prefecture, by Dr Kuriyama of Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine. The subjects were divided into those who drank the green tea at various doses, for 7 and 11 years. It was interesting that of those who were followed for 7 years, the all cause mortality and CV motality was 26% lower for those who drank 5 cups or more daily, when compared with those who drank 1 cup daily. At 11 years of follow-up, the difference in all cause mortality and CVD mortality was only 16%. Most of the CVD mortality reduction was due to a reduction in stroke mortality. It is very interesting to note that there seem to be a gradually diminishing effects of green tea with increasing age. The researchers also noted that the green tea effects was stronger for women than for men. This green tea effect may be due to it's anti-oxidant property, and radical scavenging proerty. There also seem to be some BP lowering effect, and cholesterol lowering effect. I think that we should all begin to change to a fish base diet and perhaps also embrace the drinking of Japanese green tea. "OCHA " please!

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