Is there any miraculous health benefit that has yet to be laid at the feet of green tea? Aside from curing bubonic plague and the gout, it seems like just about everything else has been covered. To paraphrase the old advertising slogan about orange juice, “a day without a report about green tea’s health benefits is like a day without sunshine.”
But seriously. Though the reports seem to be flying fast and furious it’s not so easy these days to deny that drinking green tea is probably good for you. One of the most recently released research studies on the topic is one that suggests that green tea might be of some benefit to your teeth, in particular, as well as other aspects of overall oral health.
Research was conducted by a team of Israeli researchers who published their findings, an article titled Green Tea: A Promising Natural Product In Oral Health, in the Archives of Oral Biology. The team pointed to the polyphenols in green tea – and epigallocatechin 3 gallate (EGCG), in particular – as being the compounds that are likely to provide such benefits.
Among the various oral health-related benefits researchers pointed to are the ability to help protect against bacterial induced dental caries, a condition better known to most of us as tooth decay. This is said to be the second most frequently occurring health problem after the common cold. Green tea may also help reduce halitosis (bad breath) through modification of odorant sulphur components.
In addition, the polyphenols in green tea may also help protect against the ill effects of some of the harmful compounds in cigarettes, such as nicotine and acrolein, which may cause such conditions as oral cavity oxidative stress and inflammation. Last, but not least, the researchers also suggested that green tea can defend “healthy cells from malignant transformation and locally has the ability to induce apoptosis in oral cancer cells.”
The researchers ultimately concluded that “there is still a need for more clinical and biological studies to support guidelines for green tea intake as part of prevention and treatment of specific oral pathologies.” For more on tea and oral health, be sure to check out this earlier article from The English Tea Store Blog.
Disclaimer: This is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your physician for your particular needs.
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