Since the 1980s green tea has been the object of many studies and researches. A deeper and deeper interest has developed in this popular drink, as the Japanese and the Chinese, who drank much more green tea than the people living in western countries, showed to have lower rates of cancer and lived longer.
In particular, the women who practised the tea ceremony and drank higher amounts of tea than the average people, used to be and are still today well known for their longevity. In particular, Japanese people have lower rates of lung cancer than the average, although Japan has one of the highest rates of smokers among industrialised countries.
Several studies have shown that this is due to the power of the elements contained in tea including carotenoids, chlorophyll, polysaccharides, vitamins and mineral salts.
Experts all agree on the fact that major benefits for our health are provided by polyphenols, which account for 30% of all the compounds present in green tea (about 300 in total).
Among these polyphenols, catechins are crucially important, because they stand out for their healthy properties. The most important of these substances is the epigallocatechingallate (EGCG), that is an important object of the latest studies; it has been discovered that this substance protects our skin from mutations caused by harmful pollutants and chemicals existing in the environment.
The main active elements contained in green tea are the following:
Polyphenolic compounds (catechin, caffeine, flavonoids and their glucosides)
Metilxantins (caffeine, teofillin and teobramin)