Green tea: Health benefits & side effects

Green tea Health benefits side effects
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Green tea is one of three types of tea known for their health benefits. Historically, green tea has been very popular in eastern countries such as Japan, Thailand and India. While green tea may offer many advantages, such as a number of health benefits, it also has disadvantages as well. Green tea is contraindicated for some health conditions. When in doubt, always consult your doctor or health-care provider for recommendations before consuming green tea.

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

According to Harvard Medical School’s Health Watch, green tea contains antioxidants that help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. It can promote arterial health as well. Green tea is also beneficial for blood pressure by reducing the risks of developing hypertension.

Cancer Reduction

The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that green tea has been studied in relation to different types of cancer. Bladder cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and esophageal cancer all appear in lower rates in individuals who drink green tea. The beverage may also increase survival rates for some cancers, such as bladder cancer. Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants contained in green tea, are thought to be responsible for the cancer reduction and survival rates.


Green tea contains caffeine, which may be unsuitable for individuals with a heart condition, including hypertension. You should also speak to your doctor prior to drinking green tea if you have any disorders involving your central nervous system or an anxiety disorder. Caffeine may worsen these conditions or interact with medications meant to control them. Pregnancy also requires that caffeine intake be limited, so consult your midwife or obstetrician about the safety of consuming green tea if you are pregnant.

Disadvantages of Green Tea

  • If the person is sensitive to the caffeine then only one cup of the green tea is the limit otherwise they may develop sleeping problems, restlessness, tremors, irritation, heart palpitations and loss of appetite.
  • Because of the tannins available in the green tea, it decreases the iron and folic acid absorption in the body. So it should be taken care while being pregnant or going to conceive.
  • Because of the availability of the caffeine, green tea causes insomnia. However, it contains less caffeine than the coffee.
  • Drinking too much of the green tea can lead towards risk of liver and kidney damage. The supplements of green tea have more polyphenols than the single cup green tea.
  • Drinking green tea daily may cause nausea, insomnia, frequent urination, constipation and upset stomach in some person specially when taken in the morning in empty stomach. Green tea may cause serious problems in the people having peptic ulcer.
  • Some of the people may feel heart palpitations and nervousness because of the caffeine in green tea.
  • It may cause iron deficiency anemia because of the low iron absorption in the intestine because of tannins.
  • People having heart disease, anxiety problems, high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism should avoid or consult to the doctor before having green tea.
  • Having many cups of green tea may cause risk to kidney and liver.
  • It should be avoided by the pregnant women as it can interfere with the growth of child and create some complications like premature birth, low birth weight, sometimes fatal death (when taken in high amount.
  • Young children should be avoided drinking green tea otherwise it may interfere with the growth hormones.
  • It should also be avoided in the people having glaucoma as it can raise the pressure inside eyes.
  • High intake of green tea may prohibit the calcium absorption in the bones and lead to the osteoporosis.

Nutritional Facts about Green tea

  • Water: 99.5%
  • Antioxidants and Alkaloids
  • Polyphenols
  • Tannin, theophylline, caffeine
  • No calorie, fat, carbohydrate and protein in green tea
  • Vitamins: A, D, E, C, B, B5, K
  • Minerals: Manganese, zinc, selenium, chromium
  • Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)



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