We Wish You a Happy & Healthy New Year and success in these difficult times. We can at least help with New Year resolutions related to health, diet and weight loss. We can also offer some discounts.
2009 Shincha Now In. Limited quantities of premium Kagoshima Shincha from the rare Yukata Midori varietal. We've already sold half of what we received of this exceptional Shincha green tea. Between the sales and what we are using ourselves there won't be any left... It's a bit more expensive than the Shincha we usually purchase but worth every penny (particularly when we are selling it for less than the producer is!).
New Decaffeinated Green Teas: We've just added some interesting decaffeinated green teas to our selection for those who like diversity, Check out our: Decaffeinated Tokyo Chai, Decaffeinated Okazaki Mint and Decaffeinated Lemon Geen Tea all produced using the chemical free CO2 process of decaffeination.
New African Organic Green Tea:
We've also added a new African tea selection from Malawi to compliment our Kenyan Green selection. Malawi Green Dryer Mouth
has a Full flavored green tea minus the vegetative notes typical of eastern greens. The Satemwa tea estate is pesticide and herbicide free. Nitrogen is used as a natural fertilizer to boost yield and ensure continuous crop. This is a so called "natural tea" made up every tea grade produced from this single estate producing a cup of tea that is rich, exceptionally round and loaded with nuanced flavor and antioxidants. Mass Market teas typically have a 5-6% antioxidant level. This tea has an ultra high antioxidant level of 13.05%
New Teabag Selection:
Finally for those who asked us for a wider selection of tea bags we currently have the following teabags: Sencha/Matcha Combo, Sencha, Genmaicha, Houjicha, White, Jasmine Green, Organic Green
Finally, we have greatly increased our presence on social networking sites sharing the latest research and you can find us on Facebook
and our Blog
as well as the Care2 Forum
Green Tea Ingredient Blocks HIV Infection
May 18, 2009
By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Green tea may be the key to effective anti- HIV vaginal gels, new studies suggest.
Triggering the new studies was the recent finding that semen contains a factor -- dubbed semen-derived enhancer of virus infection (SEVI) -- that escorts HIV to the front door of the cells it likes to infect.
SEVI is a beta-amyloid fibril formed from a prostate protein common in semen. Other beta-amyloids are implicated in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Among the compounds that fight beta-amyloid formation is EGCG -- a highly studied molecule from green tea.
Might green tea block SEVI and fight HIV infection? Yes, find researchers Ilona Hauber, PhD, of the Heinrich-Pette Institute for Experimental Virology and Immunology in Hamburg, Germany, and colleagues.
In lab studies, Hauber and colleagues showed that EGCG degraded fibrils formed from prostate peptides and stopped semen from enhancing HIV infection. The green-tea molecule did not harm human cells.
One of the Holy Grails of AIDS research has been the search for a vaginal gel that women could use to protect themselves from HIV infection during sex. Such a gel would have to cause no irritation, and the active ingredients must thrive in the acidic vaginal environment.
EGCG is stable in acidic environments, so Hauber and colleagues suggest that it would be an important addition to anti-HIV vaginal gels, possibly in combination with an anti-HIV drug.
Moreover, the researchers note, EGCG appears to have some anti-HIV activity of its own.
"EGCG, a natural ingredient of green tea, may be a valuable and cost-efficient inhibitor of semen-mediated enhancement of virus infection, and hence of sexual transmission of HIV," they conclude.
The findings appear in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Green Tea Promotes a Lean Liver
By: by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.
A condition that could lead to liver damage, cirrhosis or liver failure, an estimated 1 in 4 American adults have fatty liver disease. Because fatty liver disease can have such grave consequences, researchers are continually searching for ways to keep the liver lean. Scientists from the University of Connecticut have found that a common hot beverage - green tea - is capable of that very feat. While daily ingestion of green tea has been linked to an array of health benefits, this new research adds preventing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease to green tea's capabilities.
About Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) refers to a disease where fat accumulates in the liver in individuals who do not consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Ranging from mild and reversible to severe and irreversible, the wide spectrum of NAFLD is described below:
Steatosis - A reversible condition, fat infiltrates the liver without evidence of inflammation or scarring.
NASH - Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is accompanied by inflammation and scarring.
Cirrhosis - Irreversible, advanced scarring of the liver.
Although the exact cause of NAFLD is still unknown, evidence supports a strong connection between fat accumulation in the liver and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when the normal amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas is not able to remove sugar (glucose) from the blood into the cells for use as energy or storage for future use. One of the consequences of excessive amounts of sugar in the blood is the accumulation of fat in the body's midsection. Thus, insulin resistance is commonly associated with fat accumulation in the liver. In extreme cases of insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus develops.
Fatty Liver Reduction Strategies
There is currently no single, effective treatment for a fatty liver. However, the following strategies have proven themselves as helpful in reducing NAFLD:
- Loss of excessive weight
- Lowering elevated cholesterol or triglycerides
- Balancing blood sugar levels
While there are a variety of prescription medications to help accomplish these goals, all healthcare experts agree that lifestyle modifications represent the best hope for reducing a fatty liver. The following strategies for weight reduction are typically suggested for those with NAFLD:
- Regular aerobic and weight-bearing exercise
- Low-fat, high fiber diet
- Alcohol abstinence
For those already working with their doctor and heeding lifestyle choices to support a lean liver, there is a common beverage now recognized to help attain a lean liver. Featured on the cover of the February 2009 issue of The Journal of Nutrition, researchers from the University of Connecticut investigated the effects of green tea on NAFLD.
After feeding genetically obese mice green tea extract for six weeks at doses equivalent to about three to seven cups of liquid green tea per day for humans, researchers found that green tea has the following effects:
Green tea blocks the amount of fat stored in the livers of obese mice that otherwise develop severe fatty liver disease.
Green tea improves liver function.
Green tea reverses declines in antioxidant defenses in the liver. While the specific process by which green tea offers these liver benefits is not yet understood, the researchers are currently exploring whether green tea interferes with fat absorption, enhances the rate at which fat is used for energy by the liver and blocks fat synthesis in the liver.
For those ready to embrace green tea's benefits, lead researcher of this study Richard Bruno warns against taking green tea supplements. He advises drinking brewed green tea because supplements likely contain only one of this beverage's active ingredients.
For the estimated 40 million people in the U.S. with fatty liver disease: taking prescribed medications, engaging in regular exercise, eating a low-fat, high fiber diet and abstaining from alcohol can all help their liver. However, this new research indicates that anyone concerned with fat accumulation in his/her liver should also add drinking green tea to his/her daily routine.
Healthy gums in a cuppa
January 26, 2009
By: Mike Adams
Researchers from Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan suggest that the antioxidant catechins (polyphenolic antioxidant plant metabolites) in green tea may be responsible for the protective effects of green tea against gum disease. Previous research indicates that the antioxidant has anti- inflammatory effects, and gum disease has been linked to an inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria in the mouth.
Lead researcher Dr. Yoshihiro Shimazaki and his colleagues recruited 940 men aged between 49 and 59, and analysed if green tea consumption had any effect on the incidence of gum disease, as measured using periodontal pocket depth (PD), clinical attachment loss (CAL) of gum tissue, and bleeding on probing (BOP) of the gum tissue.
The researchers reported their findings in the Journal of Periodontology and wrote that men who regularly drank green tea had superior periodontal health than their peers who drank less green tea. They found that for every one cup of green tea consumed per day, there was a 0.023-mm decrease in the mean PD, a 0.028-mm decrease in the mean CAL, and a 0.63 per cent decrease in BOP. The researchers suggest that the antioxidant catechins may interfere with the body's inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria, thereby promoting periodontal health, and warding off further disease.
Commenting on the study, Dr. David Cochran, president of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) said: ‘Periodontists believe that maintaining healthy gums is absolutely critical to maintaining a healthy body. That is why it is so important to find simple ways to boost periodontal health, such as regularly drinking green tea - something already known to possess certain health-related benefits.'
This study adds to the ever-growing body of science supporting the anti-cancer benefits and other health benefits of green tea and its polyphenols.
Gingivitis and Heart Disease
There is also a clear association between gum disease and heart disease. A 2004 study found that 91 per cent of patients with cardiovascular disease also suffered from moderate to severe periodontal disease. While people with gum disease have a 25 per cent greater risk of heart disease than those with healthy gums, researchers have only recently begun to uncover possible causes for this link.
It is now believed that gum disease, which is inflammatory, causes the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals into the bloodstream, which triggers a systemic inflammatory response. Atherosclerosis is also an inflammatory disease, and many of the same factors that increase risk for heart disease also increase risk for gum disease, including C- reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, and cholesterol.
This theory was supported by a recent study involving 5000 participants, which showed that oral inflammatory markers entering the bloodstream encouraged systemic inflammation. This large study also confirmed that periodontal disease and body mass index are jointly associated with increased levels of CRP in assessing the risk of heart disease.
Luckily green tea has also shown to have some heart health benefits. Researchers from Tohoku University in Japan investigated data of more than 400,000 participants aged 40 to 79 years. These individuals were followed for 11 years, and the death rates from heart disease, cancer and other causes were analyzed. Researchers found that the heart disease death rate from participants who drank more than five cups of green tea daily was 26 per cent lower in the first seven years of study. In addition, researchers found that the benefits of green tea appeared to be stronger in women than men. Furthermore, green tea was particularly associated with a reduction in the risk of stroke. The results of this study were published in the Journal of American Medical Association in September 2006.
Two birds with one stone
Along with green tea, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a vital nutrient needed by every cell in the body to make energy, is beneficial for a variety of diseases and disorders, including periodontal disease.
In addition to energy production, CoQ10 plays a vital role as an antioxidant at the cellular level by neutralizing free radicals. As early as the 1970s, researchers found that gum tissue in people with periodontal disease was often deficient in CoQ10. Subsequent studies have shown that CoQ10 doses of 50 mg to 75 mg a day can halt deterioration of the gums and allow healing to occur, sometimes within days of starting therapy. In one double-blind trial, 50 mg per day of CoQ10 was significantly more effective than placebo in reducing symptoms of gingivitis after three weeks of treatment.
Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, clinical cardiologist and author, reports that many of his patients see improvement in their gum health after beginning CoQ10 supplementation for heart disease. According to research by Dr. Sinatra, CoQ10's supportive effects on the immune system in general account for its ability to promote healing in diseased gums. Dr. Victor Zeines, a holistic dentist, recommends 100 mg a day of CoQ10 in combination with other supplements to help reverse gum disease naturally.
So the conclusion on our side is: If you want to protect your gums add some green tea and CoQ10 and if you want to protect your heart add some...yep, green tea and CoQ10.
White Tea May Promote Weight Loss, Reduces Fat Cells
Researchers from Beiersdorf AG, Germany, have just published a new study that concludes white tea could be a natural way to boost weight loss, especially from fat. This is important news -- and not just for those wanting to look slim and trim in their bathing suits this summer. Obesity is a huge world-wide health problem that contributes to morbidity and mortality from a host of ills.
"In the industrialized countries, the rising incidence of obesity-associated disorders including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes constitutes a growing problem. We've shown that white tea may be an ideal natural source of slimming substances," lead researcher Marc Winnefeld said in a statement to the media.
The scientists studied the biological effects of an extract of white tea, which is the least processed version of the tea plant Camellia sinensis. The results of the study, just published in BioMed Central's open access journal Nutrition and Metabolism show this herbal extract effectively inhibits the generation of new human fat cells (adipocytes). What's more, the researchers found that it stimulates fat mobilization from mature fat cells. In other words, white tea appears to zap excess fat, an ability which the scientists call its "anti-obesity effects".
The scientists looked at lab-cultured human cells known as pre-adipocytes. They found that as the cells developed fully into fat cells, the incorporation of fat into these cells was greatly reduced when adipocytes were treated with white tea extract. "The extract solution induced a decrease in the expression of genes associated with the growth of new fat cells, while also prompting existing adipocytes to break down the fat they contain," Winnefeld stated.
Remarkably, the scientists concluded white tea extract is a natural substance that not only effectively inhibits adipogenesis (the accumulation of fat in cells) but also, at the same time, stimulates lipolysis (fat burning) activity. Bottom line: white tea can be utilized to modulate different levels of the life cycle of human fat cells.
White tea is produced from the buds and first leaves of the same plant used to make the green tea and the black tea most often consumed in Western countries. Because white tea is processed so much less than the other teas, it has been found to possess an abundance of natural compounds that the German investigators believe actively impact human fat cells. These phytochemicals, including methylxanthines (like caffeine) and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (known as EGCG), most likely are responsible for many of the anti-fat effects demonstrated in the new study, according to the scientists.
Green Tea Supplements Fail Cancer Prevention Tests
April 28, 2009
WHITE PLAINS, NY -- ConsumerLab.com announced results today of its Product Review of Supplements for Cancer Prevention. Among the products that ConsumerLab.com selected for testing, quality problems were found with two out of five green tea supplements. The same was true of the selenium supplements reviewed. All lycopene supplements passed the review.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. Intake of certain foods, nutrients, and plant chemicals have been associated with reduced risk of cancer. Drinking green tea may reduce the risk of a variety of cancers and a supplement made of green tea extract has shown promise in reducing the rate of prostate cancer in men with a precancerous condition. A similar effect on prostate cancer risk has been found with lycopene supplements. Selenium may also provide a cancer-protective benefit, although perhaps only to individuals who are selenium deficient.
Supplements did not pass ConsumerLab.com's testing for a variety of reasons. Among green tea supplements selected for testing, one was contaminated with lead and provided less than its claimed amount of key compounds known as catechins. A daily dose of another green tea supplement provided 78.3 mg of caffeine (the amount in two cans of cola) although it claimed to contain less than 45 mg of caffeine. Caffeine occurs naturally in green tea, but it is possible to obtain extracts that have little caffeine - one product, for example, provided only 2.5 mg of caffeine per day.
Among selenium supplements, one failed to fully break apart in solution within the thirty minute USP requirement. Another selenium product claimed to include one gram of fiber per pill - an impossibility considering that each pill weighed less than 0.2 grams.
"Cancer prevention is an area where consumers need know the quality of the products they choose and the reason for choosing them," said Tod Cooperman, MD, President of ConsumerLab.com. "You won't know if your supplement lacks a key ingredients since you can't 'feel' a preventive therapy; and contamination is compounded when a supplement is used daily for years."
In addition to the fifteen products selected by ConsumerLab.com, the report includes results for six products tested through its Voluntary Certification Program. Two other products are also listed as being similar to products that passed testing but sold under different brand names.
Products covered include those from Andrew Lessman (ProCaps), Carlson, Doctor's A-Z, Douglas Laboratories, Food Science of Vermont, FREEDA, Futurebiotics, GNC, Jarrow Formulas, KAL, Karuna, MegaFood, Nature Made, Nature's Bounty, Puritan's Pride, Solgar, Spring Valley (Wal-Mart), Vitality Works, Vitamin Power, Vitamin World, and Whole Foods.
The new report is available here.
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