The good stuff in green tea may prevent a deadly condition in the body’s main artery, according to new research from Japan.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when the main artery becomes overstretched and bloated. Without treatment, they eventually rupture, and are deadly half the time. The aneurysms often go unnoticed because there are no symptoms until they burst. If doctors happen to identify the condition early, they can treat it surgically, but there are currently no pharmacological treatments.
"The type of polyphenol found in green tea has recently been shown to regenerate elastin, an essential protein that gives the artery its stretchy, yet sturdy, texture," lead author Shuji Setozaki, told medicalxpress.com. "Considering that abdominal arterial aneurysms are caused by inflammation and the degradation of elastin components in the arterial wall, we thought drinking green tea may show promise for treatment."
It did. Rats given a daily dose of green tea polyphenol, a major component of green tea, developed aneurysms less frequently than those that didn’t receive the polyphenol. The research was published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery.
"We believe daily intake of green tea should be considered as a new preventative strategy for abdominal aortic aneurysm; the focus of future studies will be to investigate optimal doses," the study’s co-author Hidetoshi Masumoto told medicalxpress.com.
The research is in line with another new study presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association, that found that people who a cup of tea each day were 35 percent less likely to have a heart attack or other major cardiovascular event. In that study, it didn’t matter if the tea was black or green.