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Green tea protects your arteries, too

Monday, October 10, 2016

By: Dr. William Witmer


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File this under Things That Will Blow Your Mind: Drinking green tea may keep your arteries from exploding!

 

Abdominal aortic aneurysms, an abnormal expansion of the large artery in the abdomen, are less likely to develop in rats that drink a polyphenol found in green tea, according to a recent study from Japan.

 

Polyphenols are a group of healthy compounds that include catechin, gallocatechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate and epigallocatechin gallate, the latter also known as EGCG.

 

Aortic aneurysms are serious business. They are often undetected until they rupture, which leads to death in half of all cases.

 

Some people have a higher likelihood of developing aortic aneurysms and should be screened with an abdominal ultrasound. This group includes men over 65 who smoke or have smoked and people with a family history of aneurysms. When discovered early, aortic aneurysms can be treated with surgery or by placing a covered stent graft through a leg artery. 

 

Aneurysms are caused by both inflammation and degradation of elastin, a component of the artery wall that gives it the ability to stretch with pressure changes. The study by researchers at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine showed that EGCG, one of the polyphenols in green tea, has anti-inflammatory effects and helps elastin regenerate.

 

Drinking green tea also has been associated with improved brain function, increased fat burning and weight loss, decreased risk of breast, prostate and colorectal cancer, decreased risk of diabetes and improved longevity.  Many Japanese drink green tea every day, and they have one of the longest lifespans on the planet.

 

Grab one of the multitude of green teas that are widely available. Drink up and enjoy a long and healthy life.

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Witmer William

William Witmer, MD, is a Board Certified fellowship trained interventional cardiologist. He has completed a fellowship in interventional cardiology from the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, and has special interests in coronary artery disease and nuclear cardiology. Learn more here.

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