By TAP Integrative

Green Tea has shown potential as a lipid-lowering agent, with meta-analyses concluding that green tea extract (GTE) significantly decreases both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Meta-analyses have been based on small studies, however, with durations of only 3 to 24 weeks. In a 2016 publication of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers reported results of the largest and longest randomized, controlled trial of the lipid-lowering effects of GTE.

The trial was a sub-study of the Minnesota Green Tea Trial, which was designed to evaluate the effects of GTE on biomarkers of breast cancer risk in healthy postmenopausal women. The final sample size for the sub-study was 936 women, primarily non-Hispanic, white and educated.

Women were randomized to take GTE capsules or placebo for 12 months. The GTE capsules were manufactured by Corban Laboratories/Eniva Nutraceutics and provided approximately 1,315mg green tea catechins (843mg as EGCG) per day. Circulating lipid levels were measured at baseline, 6 months and 12 months.

Compared with placebo, GTE capsules significantly reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and non-HDL cholesterol in the overall cohort. Subgroup analyses showed significant reductions in total cholesterol only in women with baseline high or borderline high total cholesterol. The greatest effects of GTE were seen in women with baseline cholesterol ≥200mg/dL (−8.3% in total cholesterol; −12.2% in LDL cholesterol). Triglyceride levels increased by a mean of 3.6% in the GTE group, an effect that was observed primarily in obese women and statin users. No changes were observed in HDL cholesterol in either group.

Researchers had hypothesized that women with low catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype activity would excrete green tea catechins more slowly and experience a greater lipid-lowering benefit, but no interaction was observed between GTE and COMT genotype.

Researchers conclude that GTE may be considered as a lipid-lowering agent in postmenopausal women, particularly for those with high or borderline high cholesterol.


Samavat H, Newman AR, Wang R, Yuan JM, Wu AH, Kurzer MS. Effects of green tea catechin extract on serum lipids in postmenopausal women: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016.


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