Green tea is known for its many beneficial properties. It supports memory and has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. Greek researchers have also been able to show that green tea dilates blood vessels, which is a very welcome property in the fight against atherosclerosis. The effect cannot be attributed to caffeine, because coffee showed no such ambition in the Greek study and had no health benefits to offer for the blood vessels.
Green tea and its antioxidant properties
Green tea originated in China but is now consumed worldwide. During the production of green tea, almost all relevant active ingredients are retained, since the tea is only exposed to minor oxidation processes during the production process – compared to black tea.
The cardiovascular benefits of the different types of tea can also be observed with dark chocolate and berries, for example. The reason for this is the high flavonoid content of these foods. Flavonoids are phytochemicals with powerful antioxidant properties. Since arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is always associated with oxidative processes, substances with an antioxidant effect are of course of a particular advantage here.
Green tea improves blood vessel health
In a study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, Drs. Nikolaos Alexopoulos and colleagues from Athens Medical School in Greece in a randomized study of how helpful green tea can be for vascular health.
The Greek research team took measurements of the brachial artery (the main artery of the upper arm) in volunteers for the study. The subjects were given either green tea, coffee, or water (placebo). The measurement of the brachial artery was carried out 30, 90, and 120 minutes after the consumption of the respective drink.
It turned out that green tea was able to significantly improve the activity of the endothelial cells (lining the inner wall of the blood vessels). Endothelial dysfunction is considered a major factor in the progression of atherosclerosis. The better the endothelium is, the better the prospects for a healthy vascular system.
Green tea dilates the arteries, reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis
Half an hour after drinking green tea, the brachial artery dilated by 3.9 percent – a sign of relaxed and healthy blood vessels. The effect of coffee or water was not worth mentioning in this regard.
In this study, green tea, therefore, showed a clear beneficial effect on large blood vessels. Another study had already shown that green tea could compensate for a smoking-related dysfunction of the endothelium. Green tea can therefore make a significant contribution to the supply of antioxidants and improve blood vessel health.