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Green Tea Prevents Disease

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Dr. Jason Fung
6 min readJun 14, 2018

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Green tea was discovered in China in approximately 3000 BC. Buddhist priests carried the tea drinking tradition to Japan. Even in ancient times, tea was believed to have many medicinal qualities. In 1211 AD, the Japanese Zen priest Yeisai published the book ‘Kitcha-Yojoki’ which translated to ‘Tea and Health Promotion’. At the time, civil war had broken out and tea drinking was all but forgotten for two centuries. With peace restored, Yeisai reintroduced the tea plant to Japan. He wrote about methods of harvesting, production, and also it’s many healthful attributes.

Yeisai proclaimed that tea was a “divine remedy and a supreme gift of heaven”. Where before tea drinking was restricted to nobility and priests, tea drinking now spread to the general population. When the Shogun Sanetomo became ill from over-feasting, he summoned Yeisai to offer prayers. The Buddhist abbott supplemented his prayers with tea, and after recovery, the shogun became a great tea devotee. Modern medicine is just now catching up to this ancient wisdom regarding tea’s health benefits.

Obesity and the closely related type 2 diabetes significantly increase the risk of death and heart disease. Green tea contains many chemical compounds that may play a role in reducing the burden of disease. Some studies have shown benefit in adding green tea compounds to the diet as opposed to oolong tea that contains lower levels of catechins, the chemicals thought to be effective for weight loss.

Green Tea and Weight Loss

In one experiment, patients were assigned to two different beverages — oolong tea compared to an enriched green tea. Oolong tea is made from the same tea leaves, but the fermentation process changes many of the catechins to theaflavins instead. Oolong tea is the most widely sold tea in Japan. The green tea contains larger amounts of catechins, but this amount was enriched by concentrating some of the catechins.

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Dr. Jason Fung

Nephrologist. New York Times best selling author. Interest in type 2 diabetes reversal and intermittent fasting. Founder www.TheFastingMethod.com.