Green Tea and Lowering Cholesterol: New Research Findings

Studies have suggested a link between consumption of green tea and lowering cholesterol levels. Now, scientists at a Chinese university have published a study that explores the chemical process that links green tea and lowering cholesterol levels.

The study, “Mechanistic studies for tri-targeted inhibition of enzymes involved in cholesterol biosynthesis by green tea polyphenols,” pinpointed the role of two polyphenols found in green tea, epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG) and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Jun Xu and colleagues at Sun Yat-Sen University found that ECG and EGCG inhibited the three enzymes that are essential for cholesterol biosynthesis.

“This work fills an important need to define the binding of components of natural products to key enzymes that may contribute to major pharmacological activities of traditional nutritional medicine,” commented Basil Roufogalis, professor emeritus at the University of Sydney in Australia, and an expert on active natural products within herbal medicines. Roufogalis was quoted in Chemistry World, which ran a story about Wu’s study.

A rich source of green tea polyphenols is Sunphenon,® a concentrated form of green tea that is pesticide free and decaffeinated.

The Mayo Clinic notes the cholesterol-reducing potential of green tea but warns that green tea supplements may interact with blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin). Patients taking a blood-thinning medication should consider consulting their physician before adding a green tea supplement to their diet. Patients on any cholesterol-reducing medication are also advised to consult their physician before taking a cholesterol-reducing supplement or discontinuing a medication prescribed by their physician.