Green Tea Extract
The rise in consumption of tea in America and surrounding nations and along with the ideas of health & wellness as an upfront issue; green tea comes to the forefront again.
What seems to be a recent “hot issue” is the use of, the consumption of and the products that are directly related to green tea extract in the market place. On the agenda is the need for the understanding and possible regulation of such a product.
While the Chinese have been consuming tea, especially green tea for 3,000 years the usage of green tea extract currently are new ideas to the tea industry.
One can find many products right in the food store aisles that are touting huge claims of medicinal and products that boast of mega weight loss.
What exactly is green tea extract? Well, quite simply green tea extract is from the Camilla sinensis plant that tea that is consumed every day is made. So why is it different?
Green tea is tea that is unprocessed as opposed to black tea that has been fermented and processed leaving less of the active antioxidant levels. The herbal derivative is extracted directly from the leaves of the Camilla sinensis plant. So is it tea? No. It is derived from the leaves and the chemical compound extracted is what green tea extract actually is. Not to confuse one, however, green tea extract still contains antioxidants, in fact that is what may well be at issue, it is highly concentrated.
Green tea extract also goes by another common name: sinecatechin.
Green tea extract may be used in your products already. There are four types of green tea extract, they are: Strong infusion- where the green tea leaves are processed by soaking them in an aqueous solution of alcohol, then there is Soft extract- where a solution is made beforehand by strong infusion and then proves to be a concentration of 20-25% where the flavonoid catechin is also 20%.
The third extraction is called dry extract- this is after the strong infusion has been concentrated to a level of 40-50% solids (where the catechin is 25%) the green tea extract is sprayed and then become dehydrated. This is what is used in capsules, tablets, and dry mixes. Finally and fourth, the partly purified- is a process using solvent extraction in order to obtain a higher result in catechin amount.
These compounds that naturally occur (sinecatechins) in green tea extract can be helpful to a human beings’ health. However, with that being said, drinking cups of green tea is tolerated by most people with the least of contradiction. But with green tea extract it is highly concentrated and has been shown to interact, and produce side effects in those that take medication, supplements, and other herbs.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the average cup of tea (6 0z-8 0z) contains 50-150 mg of polyphenol. Most scientists agree that it isn’t harmful to drink under 5 cups per day.
On the other hand green tea extract is highly concentrated. Some dosage charts think that three capsules of the tea extract is common. But it is noted that one capsule may contain an equivalent to 5 cups of tea! Which is not recommended. At this current time, while green tea extract is in drinks, it is also used as an emulsifier and preservative for foods. There is only one topical ointment that has been approved and tested by the FDA using this concentration of green tea extract. At this time it comes as a high recommendation that one read all labels of foods and drinks one purchases. Short term and Long term effects have not been studied.
I will always recommend that one consults their physician before ever taking something that may highly affect their health. Since there is no regulation regarding these products, levels and effectiveness is subject to question.
More testing is needed for green tea extract.