Thursday, August 02, 2007

Green tea in cosmetics ... and why freshly brewed tea is better than bottled

At the American Academy of Dermatology's Summer Academy Meeting, dermatologist Zoe D. Draelos, MD, talked about the antioxidant properties of popular "cosmeceutical" ingredients, including green tea:

Dr. Draelos reported that human studies found encouraging results when green tea was applied topically to the skin. In one study, green tea applied topically 30 minutes before UVB exposure resulted in a reduction in sunburn cells by 66 percent -- demonstrating an anti-inflammatory effect -- and decreased UV immunosuppression.

Dr. Draelos also makes an important point about getting the maximum health benefits from drinking green tea:

In order to reap the benefits of green tea's potential antioxidant properties, it needs to be consumed orally immediately after it is prepared.

In other words, bottled green tea usually has much less EGCG and other antioxidants than freshly brewed green tea. Or it may contain some sort of chemical stabilizer. And it probably has a lot of sugar and other unhealthy things in it.

The lesson here, grasshopper, is that it is easy to avoid putting chemical stabilizers, sugar, and other unhealthy substances into your body while also getting as much antioxidants and other good things as you can: Drink freshly brewed loose-leaf green tea.

—Mellow Monk

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