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Green Tea and Cocoa can lower the risk of Diabetes and increase life expectency

June 28, 2011

New research published in the June 2011 Issue of Journal of Nutrition provides evidence that potent epicatechin flavonoids from extracts of green tea and cocoa lower the destructive effects of high blood sugar. This can effectively prevent damage that ravages the major organs and especially the coronary arteries lining the heart muscle. Diabetes is a disease that is growing at an epidemic rate, and it decreases life expectancy by as much as eight years. Death occurs as a result of complications from multiple chronic conditions. Scientists found that epicatechin flavanoids inhibit the cellular damage caused by rising blood sugar levels and can prevent damage to the heart and liver. Regular supplementation can improve life expectancy by halting organ damage leading to chronic illness.

Epicatechin represents one of the antioxidants from the flavan-3-ol or flavonoids family. Epicatechin is found in several popular foods, and it is known to play a very important role in the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Health Benefits of Epicatechin

Since cardiovascular diseases affect a great number of people from all over the world, finding foods that protect the heart and the circulatory system is among the main objectives of researchers. Epicatechin is found in several such foods, so its role in the prevention or the treatment of cardiovascular diseases cannot be denied.
Besides that, Epicatechin also seems to have a beneficial effect on hypertension and diabetes. For example, people who consume dark chocolate, a food rich in Epicatechin, have an improved glucose metabolism, as well as lowered blood pressure. The sensitivity and the resistance to insulin are improved, while the systolic blood pressure drops. However, these effects are not observed when consuming white chocolate, as this one does not contain cocoa, and therefore it includes no Epicatechin.

Hypertension and insulin sensitivity depend on the production of nitric-oxide, which is directly controlled by Epicatechin and other flavanols. Despite this obvious connection, it is unknown how Epicatechin influences the biological system in order to rise nitric-oxide bioavailability. There are three possible mechanisms, which involve:

  • Insulin-mediated cell signaling
  • Oxidant-mediated cell signaling
  • Renin-angiotensin system

The first mechanism is based on the fact that insulin modifies signaling molecules that are implicated in the regulation of nitric-oxide. The second one refers to the way flavanols reduce oxidative stress, a process that leads to a greater availability of nitric-oxide. The latter mechanism implies the inhibition of an enzyme that converts angiotensin. Nitric-oxide production increases in this case because the induction of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate Hydrogen-oxidase activity is prevented.

A diet rich in Epicatechin leads to functional and structural modifications in the dentate gyrus. This section of the brain plays an important role in the development of memory and learning. This compound is also known to increase the blood flow in the brain, fact that may help in the prevention of cognitive disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

Many prior studies have demonstrated that sustained high levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in the circulating blood are consistent with chronic disease and shortened lifespan. The present study demonstrated that epicatechin lead to decreases in low density lipoprotein cholesterol, IGF-1 and markers of inflammation; and increases in skeletal muscle function and liver antioxidant glutathione and superoxide dismutase (one of the body’s antioxidants) activity, all of which are associated with a healthier and longer life span. Because of the effect exerted by epicatechin compounds extracted from green tea and cocoa products, the authors of the study published in the June 2011 issue of Journal of Nutrition determined that the data derived

further suggests that epicatechin may be a food-derived, anti-aging compound given the important role of IGF-1 in regulating the life span of organisms.

The potent health-inducing nature of green tea has been in evidence for more than 5,000 years as countless Asian generations have cultivated the plant for medicinal purposes. Green tea originates from China and has become associated with many cultures in Asia. Europe started importing tea from China in the 17th century. In China, since the Tang dynasty, the very respected Sage of tea Lu Yu said that tea was an elixir from the heavens. In Japan the art of drinking green tea is not only for good health, but is one of the most very important tradition and culture in Japan.

Green tea is tea made with the leaves of Camellia Sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation. Over the last few decades green tea has been subjected to many scientific and medical studies to determine the extent of its long-purported health benefits, with some evidence suggesting that regular green tea drinkers have lower chances of heart disease and developing certain types of cancer. Green tea contains salubrious polyphenols, particularly catechins, the most abundant of which is epigallocatechin gallate. Green tea also contains carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), minerals such as chromium, manganese, selenium and zinc, and certain phytochemical compounds. The anti-oxidants in green tea is 6 times more potent than black tea. The anti-oxidants of epigallocatechin gallate are 25 to 100 times more potent than that of Vitamin C.

Nushies Natural Green Tea Ice Creamery is made from steeped organic raw Green Tea leaves and wheat grass which is full of anti oxidants as well as natural epicatechin compounds. Nushies Natural Chocolate Ice Creamery contains raw unprocessed cocoa nibs full of epicatechin compounds.

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Attribute: Natural News and John Phillip

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