Recently there's been a lot of hoopla in the news about the benefits of green tea leaf extract, a substance that has been used for thousands of years in the Orient to maintain health. Scientists have unveiled studies that demonstrate that this extract protects cellular health, fights free radicals, and even helps maintain heart health. In fact, green tea seems to have so many benefits that it seems to be showing up in almost every kind of supplement.
But, and here's a big but, all green teas are not the same. In fact, some products are using substances that are not green tea at all. Scientifically, green tea is the unfermented leaf of the plant Camellia Sinensis. This particular plant contains active ingredients called polyphenols, and it's these polyphenols that provide all those great health benefits.
Unfortunately, many supplement manufacturers are not using Camellia Sinensis but instead another plant commonly called Mormon Tea, Ma Huang, or Ephedra. In the last few years ephedra has caused a number of deaths and has since been outlawed for use in supplements by the FDA. To get around this regulation, many companies are now labeling ephedra as green tea since it is both green in color and technically can be made into tea.
To ensure that you get all the benefits of the polyphenols in the real green tea, read supplement labels carefully. If they don't say Camellia Sinensis leaf then be wary! You may be getting ephedra instead. This substitution is most commonly found in diet and weight loss supplements, and can cause increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, stress on the adrenals and much more. In the same quantities, Camellia Sinensis does not seem to have any of these effects. Make sure you get the real McCoy when shopping for green tea products!
For a great source of green tea leaf extract (plus a whole lot of other wholesome organic antioxidant ingredients), check out this energizing suppleent that contains wheatgrass juice, cordyceps mushrooms, bee pollen, turmeric, noni, and green tea.