How Green Tea Helps Longevity

How Green Tea May Help You Live a Long and Healthy Life

Cup of green tea with sediment in bottom
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If you're looking for an elixir for long life, you might consider green tea. This hot beverage, popular in Asia for thousands of years, has been studied for its possible role in longevity. Here, we discuss what green tea is, what the research says and whether you should drink it.

What Is Green Tea?

All green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinesis plant. Unlike black tea, which is also made from this plant, green tea leaves are steamed, but not fermented.

This keeps more of its nutrition profile intact. Green tea gets its health benefits from catechins, a powerful type of antioxidant. Antioxidants help the body to remove damaging free radicals

How Much Green Tea Should You Drink

Unless caffeine is an issue, researchers say between 4 and 6 cups of green tea a day will give you an amount of catechins to confer health benefits.

Who Shouldn't Drink Green Tea

Green tea has caffeine: about 30 - 60 mg per cup. While that's less caffeine than coffee, it still may be too much for people who are particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine (insomnia and jitteriness are two potential side effects). Because of its caffeine, green tea should be avoided by infants and children. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should drink green tea in limited amounts.

Green Tea for Longevity and Healthy Aging

The most common use of green tea is to help the body age well.

The antioxidants in green tea are thought to erase some of the negative effects of aging on the body.

A 2015 study in Rejuvenation Research looked into the role of genetics. Researchers looked at a specific genotype (FOXO1A-209) and found that drinking green tea reduced mortality in people who carried this gene.

The take-home message is that your unique genetic profile might influence whether green tea lengthens your life.

Another study, published in the November 2013 edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, revealed that green tea was linked to longer life among Chinese people who reported drinking green tea at 60.

Uses of Green Tea With Unclear, Scant or Contradictory Research Results

Green tea has been researched for a number of other health benefits (with sometimes conflicting results). These conditions are among the other possible uses for green tea:

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer prevention
  • Cavity prevention
  • Diabetes prevention and treatment
  • Fertility treatment
  • Heart Attack prevention
  • Cholesterol and triglyceride improvement
  • Memory improvement
  • Menopause
  • Increase alertness
  • Weight loss

Of course, your overall lifestyle is the most important recipe for longevity and general health. While green tea may help, it's by no means a magic bullet.


National Library of Medicine – Drug and Supplement Information. Green Tea.

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