Green tea has also been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties. Compounds in green tea known as catechins are thought to be especially beneficial. Animal and cellular studies have demonstrated that these chemicals could have cardioprotective activity by reducing inflammation and blood clotting and possibly even improving blood lipids.
Now, a meta-analysis of fourteen randomized controlled trials involving over 1,000 subjects suggests that green tea may indeed lower total cholesterol as well as bad LDL cholesterol. The investigators concluded that green tea beverages and extracts produced beneficial changes in cholesterol levels. This supports a large epidemiological study of more than 40,000 Japanese men. Those who drank at least two cups of green tea daily for 10 years had a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to men who drank no tea.
[American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online June 29, 2011]