Green tea has been a staple super food for some time now with millions of people consuming green tea in one form or another across the world. Claims that green tea has significant health benefits have ranged from weight loss, skin care and even hair growth. More and more studies are reporting on the multitude of health benefits that can be gleaned from consuming green tea in a variety of illnesses and afflictions. In western countries we are a little behind the curve in terms of understanding the benefits to be had from consuming green tea, and with the meteoric rise in obesity in western countries, especially in the US and UK, we are seeing an increase in the number of secondary afflictions which are directly related to obesity.
One such affliction is inflammatory arthritis which can be caused by the increased strain on the human skeleton, joints and cartilage that comes from being over-weight or obese. Green tea has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that could benefit those suffering from inflammatory joint diseases such as arthritis. A study published earlier this year 1 reported that the Epigallocatechin-3-gallate Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) found in green tea showed “promise for treating autoimmune conditions…such as metabolic syndrome, inflammatory arthritis, and some neoplastic diseases.”
Is Green Tea a Cure for Arthritis?
The main reason scientists are interested in the health benefits of green tea is due to their chemical composition. The main component of interest is the polyphenol content. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants known to fight free radicals in the body which can cause damage to cells. The average cup of green tea has been reported as containing 50 to 150 milligrams of polyphenols. 2
This is important because other studies have shown that free radicals “may contribute to various disease entities including inflammatory joint disease.” 3So, the results of the study first mentioned above could pave the way for further research into the use of green tea to treat such conditions.
Separate studies into the effects of green tea on rheumatoid arthritis 4 also found therapeutic benefits to the use of green tea. Researchers found that the epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) content in green tea “inhibited the production of several molecules in the immune system that contribute to inflammation and joint damage” and “suppress the inflammatory products in the connective tissue of people with rheumatoid arthritis”. 4
So is green tea a cure for arthritis, no. Or at least not yet. However, scientific evidence points to green tea being able to help those suffering from arthritis and such treatments will become more and more necessary if predictions are to be believed. A report titled State of the Nation’s Waistline, was produced by the National Obesity Forum, a charity raising awareness of obesity in the UK. This report concluded that previous predictions that half of all UK adults would be considered obese by 2050 are “optimistic and could be exceeded by 2050”.5
Bio- My name is Finn King and I am an avid natural health enthusiast and blogger. I take a scientific look at the health benefits claimed by super foods, herbal cures and natural remedies. I also write matchahq.com a blog that focuses on the health benefits of matcha green tea.