Green Tea Advantages Can Aid You in Your Adrenal Fatigue Recovery
History of Green Tea Advantages
Green tea has been around for thousands of years, but it seems like only recently green tea has finally been recognized for all its health benefits. It’s been said that there are numerous green tea advantages, like its ability to fight cancer, increase metabolism, and even extend life…but which of these claims are actually backed by research? Here we explore what claims have been proven, and if the green tea advantages are enough to make you drink it all in.
Green tea first came about in China, while initially popular in countries like India and Japan as well. Some archeologists have found evidence showing that green tea has been cultivated and consumed for about 5,000 years. A book written in 1191 explained that consuming green tea was beneficial to the five essential organs, most of all the heart. This ancient book also noted other medical advantages of green tea. Easing alcohol effects, satisfying thirst, boosting energy, treating blotchiness of the skin, eradicating stomach problems like indigestion, preventing tiredness, healing beriberi disease, and enhancing both brain and urinary performance are some of the green tea advantages mentioned in this ancient book.
In Asia, green tea has been known to serve medicinal purposes and is frequently used for ailments. Some medical advantages of green tea include healing wounds, maintaining body temperature as well as blood sugar, prevention of blood loss, and healthy digestion.
Green tea helps to maintain healthy weight
Studies show one main benefit of green tea is its ability to promote weight loss by increasing a person’s metabolic rate. In 1999, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that found compared to a placebo, the extract of green tea significantly boosted expenditure of energy in a 24-hour period. Green tea also stimulated oxidation of fat and displayed thermogenic characteristics. These green tea advantages went beyond the caffeine concentration, which is about half that of a regular cup of coffee, stated researchers. They theorized that the extract from the green tea could prove advantageous in regulating body composition in healthy adults through the sympathetic stimulation of oxidation of fat, thermogenesis, or perhaps both.
In 2000, a study found that the green tea advantages were not just from the concentration of caffeine either. Components called polyphenolic catechins were also at work in combination with the discharge of noradrenaline through sympathetic initiation to specifically target burning adipose or fat tissue, also known as brown adipose.
One main advantage of green tea is its ability to actually trigger a process called apoptosis, where the cell – or a fat cell in this case – decides to commit suicide. This is also referred to as programmed death of the cell. What causes this is called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG for short. EGCG also prevents fat accumulation in preadipocytes (cells that can be activated to become fat cells) as well as the mature adipocytes that comprise the adipose tissue.
Green tea benefits oral health
There are several green tea advantages on oral health. The Open Dentistry Journal published research in 2016 that found green tea helped prevent or reduce periodontal disease, bad breath (halitosis), and cavities. Research implies that these green tea benefits come from its ability to decrease activity of bacteria in the mouth. The consumption of green tea can also lessen stress and inflammation in the oral cavity tissues caused by smoking tobacco, and could decrease risk of oral cancer due to its antioxidant concentration.
Green tea helps battle cancer
A study was published in Nature journal in the 90s that explained that the polyphenols in green tea are what make it able to fight cancer. EGCG, which was mentioned earlier, is a type of polyphenol which binds to urokinase. Urokinase is an enzyme that is essential for the growth of cancer cells. EGCG binds to the enzyme urokinase and actually blocks the receptors it would have used, which eliminates activity.
In 1999, research found that the specialized polyphenol EGCG found in green tea triggered programmed cell death or apoptosis in cells with cancer. Another study found that when patients with stages 1 and 2 of breast cancer consumed high amounts of this power tea every day, their rate of recurrence decreased. This research indicates that not only does green tea fight fat, it fights cancer too – both as a preventative measure and cancer remedy.
Green tea doesn’t ensure long life, but adds to quality of life
Research does not show that green tea advantages promote longer life, however, consuming it is linked with a decrease in mortality from cardiovascular disease. Although consuming green tea helps shield people against cancer, it did not lead to a decrease in mortality. It can be said that because green tea can block diseases that could ultimately lead to death, it ensures a longer life; however, evidence has only been found for disease prevention. The consumption of green tea does not actually add years to your life, but one of the advantages of green tea is that it can aid you in living healthier.
In a recent study published in July, 2016 by the European Journal of Epidemiology, found green tea improves quality of life. This research studied an adult group of 165,000 Chinese men for an average of 11 years to find that the consumption of green tea on a regular basis led to a drastically lowered risk of death from cardiovascular disease, all-causes, and cancer.
Green tea promotes brain health
A 2016 study on rats found that green tea advantages may benefit the modern world. Cell phones could alter systems in our body – especially our brains – via electromagnetic radiation or EMR. EMR could in turn intensify free radicals in our bodies, which could eventually lead to oxidative damage and stress. Green tea was found to fight this oxidative damage in two parts of the brain, the striatum and hippocampus. These brain regions are important, as they are responsible for decision making, movement, motivation, reward association, planning, emotion, and memory.
Green tea advantages include the immune system because it not only fights oxidative stress, but it may reverse it. The European Journal of Epidemiology recently published research that showed that catechin from green tea reversed damage to microglial cells in the brain. This is significant because microglia are key in the immune defense of the central nervous system.
The NEM System
The entire body has an overarching defense system to stress. The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response system is employed by the body when stress is received. The NEM’s main purpose is to fight stress and its effects to maintain normalcy of systems and functionality. The body normally has a myriad of systems that all work in harmony. Stress causes dysregulation and even failure of these aforementioned systems, which is represented in various symptoms seen throughout the body. Although the adrenal gland is just one part of this web of function, stress affects everything because this system is interconnected.
The NEM system is comprised of many organs and systems as previously mentioned. It is also broken into two different yet harmonizing parts, called the neuroendocrine and metabolic components. The neuroendocrine component is made up of the GI tract, adrenals, heart, brain, nervous system, and thyroid. Three particular reactions of the neuroendocrine to stress are called neuroaffective, cardionomic, and hormonal. The cardionomic response to stress by the NEM system ensures release of adrenaline and norepinephrine. Adrenaline, also referred to as epinephrine, is a hormone that is regulated by the sympathetic nervous system and released by the adrenal glands. Green tea advantages provide catechins that work in combination with the release of noradrenaline to target fat cells, thus they may support healthy sympathetic processes. This could help in adrenal function and adrenal fatigue recovery since this organ is responsible for hormone production.
In adrenal fatigue, the body is stressed beyond what it is capable of handling. The adrenals are no longer able to keep up with hormone production to help handle stress. As a result, the adrenals start to fatigue and the NEM stress response starts to become deregulated. Disruptions to this response can lead to palpitations of the heart, irregular heartbeat, etc. Excessive stress causes the body to be continually in fight-or-flight mode, which can injure the heart and its operation.
Green tea gives an advantage to this system because it assists the heart in proper function and protects the body against cardiovascular disease. Another advantage of green tea is that it provides protective value to the brain and spinal cord, or central nervous system (CNS), since it fights oxidative stress in these particular areas. In advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, the sympathetic nervous system may already be on overdrive. This is called a reactive sympathetic response. The adrenals are unable to support the body and provide enough energy for the body. As such, compensatory mechanisms are activated. The sympathetic nervous system will pump out norepinephrine and epinephrine to give the body more energy. However, further stimulating the sympathetic nervous system and releasing norepinephrine can lead to heart palpitations as well as feelings of anxiety. Sleep can become more elusive as well. If you are already experiencing these symptoms, then green tea may not be the drink for you.
The metabolic part of the NEM system is comprised of the liver, pancreas, immune system, microbiome, and extracellular matrix. Green tea proves advantageous for healthy metabolic function since it promotes healthy weight through programmed cell death and oxidation of fat tissue.
A main advantage of green tea is that it provides immune system support. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants, which bind to free radicals that cause damage to cells due to oxidation. Not only does green tea function to eliminate free radicals, it binds to a known enzyme needed in the growth of cancer cells.
Green tea provides many advantages to the NEM stress response system, as well as to those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue. In the beginning stages of stress, large amounts of cortisol are released. Cortisol is the single most important anti-stress hormone in the body. While it tries to suppress adrenal fatigue, it unfortunately and simultaneously suppresses the immune system. Thus, people with high amounts of cortisol and early Adrenal Fatigue (Stage 1) have weaker immune systems.
The consumption of green tea would benefit people in this beginning phase of Adrenal Fatigue since it promotes immune system health and function. Antioxidants are crucial for optimum health as they fight oxidative damage. In the Adrenal Fatigue Diet, herbal tea is deemed acceptable with regard to adrenal fatigue protocol. However, it is important to remember that caffeine is a stimulant and should be avoided in recovery of the adrenals if sufferer is weak. Green tea contains caffeine, which will stimulate the body and exert more stress on the adrenals. In early stages, this can give you more energy to handle the stresses of life. However, continuous stimulation will weaken the adrenal glands and lead to more fatigue and a depletion of nutritional reserves. Eventually, any minor stimulation, from caffeine or anything else will be too much for the body to handle and can lead to a crash. Those who are already in advanced stages of AFS are particularly vulnerable. Panic attack, atrial fibrillation, and premature ventricular contractions can be triggered. The increase in energy from green tea may be offset by the negative consequences.
One way to get green tea benefits without the stimulant would be to purchase decaffeinated green tea. However, some decaffeinated drinks still contain caffeine, so it is paramount to discuss diet choices with your doctor before incorporating green tea.
Because Adrenal Fatigue is a syndrome where stress is centralized, it is important to limit environmental factors adding to this burden. People suffering from adrenal fatigue should avoid any further stress – such as EMF exposure – as it can worsen symptoms. EMF is hard to completely avoid, however, and it is good to know that green tea could help offset some of the oxidative damage it may cause in the brain and on adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue can cause extreme damage in the body, as natural progression of this condition can be deadly if not addressed in the proper way. Regular consumption of green tea has been proven to decrease risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease. It also plays a major role in disease prevention, as it has been found to lower the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all-causes. It may be possible that green tea may offer a layer of protection to the body for the very reasons it’s able to delay or offset diseases, and help heal organs of damage caused by excessive stress.
Green tea offers many advantages to everyone, especially those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue. Consumption of green tea helps with overall oral health, ridding the body of fat tissue, loss of extra pounds, weight maintenance, fighting cancer and cancer prevention, promotion of the immune system and brain function, and overall quality of life. Although not all of these benefits were backed with actual research studies until the last few decades, green tea has been known to encourage optimal health for thousands of years. Green tea works on a holistic level to help our everyday function, and aid in the recovery of Adrenal Fatigue in early stages. Late stage AFS sufferers should refrain from green tea to avoid adrenal crashes and other negative side effects that can be triggered.
Works CitedAhmed, N. A., Radwan, N. M., Ezz, H. S., & Salama, N. A. (2016). The antioxidant effect of Green Tea Mega EGCG against electromagnetic radiation-induced oxidative stress in the hippocampus and striatum of rats. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 1-11. doi:10.1080/15368378.2016.1194292
Chen, C., Wu, C., Yang, T., Chang, Y., Sheu, M., & Liu, S. H. (2016). Green Tea Catechin Prevents Hypoxia/Reperfusion-Evoked Oxidative Stress-Regulated Autophagy-Activated Apoptosis and Cell Death in Microglial Cells. J. Agric. Food Chem. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.6b01513
Khurshid, Z., Zafar, M. S., Zohaib, S., Najeeb, S., & Naseem, M. (2016). Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis): Chemistry and Oral Health. The Open Dentistry Journal, 10, 166–173. http://doi.org/10.2174/1874210601610010166
© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.