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A Reader Disagrees With Our Green Tea Article!

Written by Wellness Club on May 31, 2008 – 11:25 pm -

We get many responses to our HealthBeats – some, as we have seen, are angry or even irrational. Others are much more pleasant and even professional in their notes to us – detailing why they disagree with our articles.
We are always happy to debate the scientific basis for our writings – for not only do we consider alternative medical research, we also use conventional medicine’s peer-reviewed research, published in major medical journals when we write our articles. Our readers know that Dr. Myatt is meticulous in her research!

George sent us the following:

F. Y. I. in reference to your HEALTHBEAT news article on GREEN TEA.

URL of this page:

[The reference listed goes on at some considerable length to describe green tea, and every benefit that has ever, at any time, been ascribed to it. The reference, presented by Medlineplus, a conventional (allopathic) oriented website very supportive of the drug companies, goes to great lengths to minimize any possible benefits of this non-patentable remedy and to highlight any and all possible, even theoretical problems or interactions that might occur with the use of green tea and patent drugs - for example, warning that "Green tea may contain vitamin K, which when used in large quantities can reduce the blood thinning effects of warfarin (Coumadin®), a phenomenon that has been reported in a human case." and even more ominously warning "Based on preliminary data, ingestion of green tea may lower LDL cholesterol and thus may theoretically interact with other cholesterol-lowering drugs." - a warning that is considered so important that it is repeated twice within the article. (What, like someone might have to reduce their intake of statin drugs? Unthinkable!)]

Dr. Myatt wrote George back to say:

Hi There:

Medscape is conventional medicine. (Read that: “biased against anything that isn’t patentable”). You’ll note that almost every herb and supplement they review gets “c’s” or less (unless a BigDrug Company is trying to patent said supplement).

You’ll also note that our green tea page is fully referenced; the claims we make have been scientifically studied.

And don’t you fret, we use a wide variety of conventional sources, including Medscape, Medline and other conventional websites for our research on articles and webpages!

In Health,
Dr. Myatt

Then George wrote back to say:

Hi there:
Thanks for your response and mind you, I do not fret, I am an advocate of supplements, teas, herbs and of yourself and your website however, I do not believe “Green Tea” does absolutely any of the miraculous claims and in fact is probably another “Noni”…..sweet colored water.
Always a pleasure

And Dr. Myatt responded to George:

Hi George:

Since you already have your mind made up on the issue, I won’t try to confuse you with facts! However, if you review the literature, you’d find that green tea and Noni are definitely NOT in the same “we’ve got one study reported 307 times” category! Noni is bogus, green tea is legit.

The polyphenols in green tea are believed to be responsible for most of green tea’s roles in promoting good health.(1)

Green tea has been shown to lower total cholesterol levels and improve the cholesterol profile (decreasing LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL “good” cholesterol). (2,3,4,5).

Green tea has also been shown to protect against LDL cholesterol damage caused by oxygen.(6) Consumption of green tea also increases antioxidant activity in the blood.(7)

Anticancer effect of polyphenols from green tea have been demonstrated in several animal and in vitro studies.(8,9,10) In one study, a polyphenol called catechin from green tea effectively inhibited metastasis of melanoma (skin cancer) cells. (11) The polyphenols in green tea have also been associated with reduced risk of several types of cancer in humans.(12,13,14) In fact, there are four case reports in which certain types of leukemia or lymphoma (low grade B-cell malignancies) improved after the patients began taking green tea extracts.(15)

The polyphenols in green tea have been shown to stimulate the production of several immune system cells, and have topical antibacterial properties—even against the bacteria that cause dental plaque.(16,17,18) [Note: an article published this week discusses the correlation between dental plaque and later development of cancer. I'll report more on this seperately].

This list could go on a lot longer, but I’m probably nuts to bother with it. Once someone has their mind made up about something, my experience tells me I could tie them to a tree and parade scientific studies, real-person testimonials and even live demonstrations before them and I’d be unlikely to change their mind.

Suffice to say that you will NOT find a long list of studies proving anything about the over-hyped “Tahitian Noni” like you will for the 4,000-plus years of use and several decades of study on green tea!

In Health,
Dr. Myatt


1. Graham HN. Green tea composition, consumption, and polyphenol chemistry. Prev Med 1992;21:334–50.

2. Kono S, Shinchi K, Ikeda N, et al. Green tea consumption and serum lipid profiles: A cross-sectional study in Northern Kyushu, Japan. Prev Med 1992;21:526–31.

3. Yamaguchi Y, Hayashi M, Yamazoe H, et al. Preventive effects of green tea extract on lipid abnormalities in serum, liver and aorta of mice fed an atherogenic diet. Nip Yak Zas 1991;97:329–37.

4. Sagesaka-Mitane Y, Milwa M, Okada S. Platelet aggregation inhibitors in hot water extract of green tea. Chem Pharm Bull 1990;38:790–3.

5. Stensvold I, Tverdal A, Solvoll K, et al. Tea consumption. Relationship to cholesterol, blood pressure, and coronary and total mortality. Prev Med 1992;21:546–53.

6. Serafini M, Ghiselli A, Ferro-Luzzi A. In vivo antioxidant effect of green tea in man. Eur J Clin Nutr 1996;50:28–32.

7. Benzie IF, Szeto YT, Strain JJ, Tomlinson B. Consumption of green tea causes rapid increase in plasma antioxidant power in humans. Nutr Cancer 1999;34:83–7.

8. Suganuma M, Okabe S, Sueoka N, et al. Green tea and cancer chemoprevention. Mutat Res 1999;428:339–44.

9. Weisberger JH, Rivenson A, Garr K, et al. Tea, or tea and milk, inhibit mammary gland and colon carcinogenesis in rats. Cancer Lett 1997;114:323–7.

10. Yang CS, Lee MJ, Chen L, Yang GY. Polyphenols as inhibitors of carcinogenesis. Environ Health Perspect 1997;105(Suppl 4):971–6 [review].

11. Menon LG, Kuttan R, Kuttan G. Anti-metastatic activity of curcumin and catechin. Cancer Lett 1999;141:159–65.

12. Mukhtar H, Ahmad N. Green tea in chemoprevention of cancer. Toxicol Sci 1999;52(2 Suppl):111–7.

13. Katiyar SK, Mukhtar H. Tea consumption and cancer. World Rev Nutr Diet 1996;79:154–84 [review].

14. Kohlmeier L, Weterings KG, Steck S, Kok FJ. Tea and cancer prevention: an evaluation of the epidemiologic literature. Nutr Cancer 1997;27:1–13 [review].

15. Shanafelt TD, Lee YK, Call TG, et al. Clinical effects of oral green tea extracts in four patients with low grade B-cell malignancies. Leuk Res 2006;30:707–12.

16. You SQ. Study on feasibility of Chinese green tea polyphenols (CTP) for preventing dental caries. Chin J Stom 1993;28:197–9.

17. Hamilton-Miller JM. Antimicrobial properties of tea (Camellia sinensis L.). Antimicro Agents Chemother 1995;39:2375–7.

18. Imai K, Nakachi K. Cross sectional study of effects of drinking green tea on cardiovascular and liver diseases. BMJ 1995;310:693–6.

Please be sure to review our webpage on green tea!

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