Cholesterol is a substance similar to wax, from which various other essential substances, including some hormones, arise in the body. Cholesterol is formed in the liver,but a relevant quantity of it we get also with food intake. With its degradation in the liver, bile acids are formed and then extracted into the digestive tract where they are essential for digesting fats we get from food.
Cholesterol is insoluble in water. Through the body is transmitted by blood in form of lipoproteins, which include also triglycerides, specific proteins, phospholipids and apoproteins.
We distinguish between:
“Bad” cholesterol – low density lipoproteins (LDL) which allow the accumulation of cholesterol in the veins wall
“Good” cholesterol – high density lipoproteins (HDL) remove cholesterol in the vascular wall
Our goal is to have as little as possible harmful lipids in the blood and as much HDL cholesterol.
The amount of cholesterol in the healthy body is carefully controlled as its formation and elimination is adjusted so as to avoid accumulation. The reasons for the increased cholesterol in the blood may be too high intake with food, various diseases (like diabetes or thyroid disease), certain medications and genetic defects. When there is an excess in the blood, it begins to accumulate in the arterial wall and can result in a rapid formation of atherosclerosis.
• Total cholesterol: less than 5 mmol / l
• LDL cholesterol: less than 3 mmol / l,
• Triglycerides: less than 1.7 mmol / l,
• HDL cholesterol: more than 1 mmol / l for men and more than 1.2 mmol / l for women
By people with cardiovascular disease or diabetes and those who are at increased risk of those diseases
• Total cholesterol: and less than 4 mmol / l,
• LDL cholesterol: less than 2 mmol / l,
Green Tea lowers the “bad” cholesterol, while apparently it hasn’t got influence on the “good” cholesterol. These are the results obtained on the basis of fourteen random trials carried out in China by Beijing Union Medical College. From three weeks to three months a group of volunteers was asked to drink Green Tea or consume its extract. In the meantime another group used a placebo.
Analyses have shown that moderate drinking of Green Tea may be a useful component of a healthy diet to prevent heart disease.
As already stated, it significantly reduces both total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, but has no effect on HDL cholesterol. The intake of Green Tea reduced total cholesterol by 7.2 milligrams per deciliter on average, compared with the placebo group. LDL has declined on average by 2.2 milligrams per deciliter, this is a little less than two percent.
Researchers believe that cholesterol reduction happens thanks to catechins which decrease the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.
However, we are speaking about a relatively small reduction. So, patients with elevated cholesterol shouldn’t substitute proven effective drugs for lowering cholesterol with Green Tea only.