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It’s of ten billed as a cure for many of life’s ills, but is green tea really any more than a fragrant alternative to a standard cuppa? HFG investigates


IF WE’RE TO BELIEVE the hype, we should be drinking green tea by the gallon. It’s been reported that it can help us lose weight and look younger, and reduce our risk of cancer. So where’s the evidence?

There’s certainly some persuasive research. One study, carried out by Japan’s National Cancer Centre and the University of Tokyo, found that out of 90,000 participants, those who drank the most green tea were less likely to suffer from stroke, heart disease and respiratory disease. Women, in particular, were 17% less likely to succumb. It’s reports like these that make green tea the UK’s fastest growing drink, with 54 boxes bought every minute.

Some claims, however, are yet to be quantified by science. ‘In the Far East, green tea has been used as a treatment for conditions ranging from arthritis to weight loss, as well as a preventive measure for diseases such as cancer,’ says dietitian and BDA spokesperson Alison Hornby. But, she insists, ‘Evidence for the majority of these is lacking or weak.’

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