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JOURNAL: Arch Intern Med 2003;163:1448-1453.
AUTHORS: Dr. David J. Maron
ABSTRACT: Daily use of capsules containing flavonoids found in green and black tea appears to produce a significant drop in total and LDL cholesterol levels.
COMMENTARY: Flavonoid use has been shown to lower cholesterol levels in animal studies. There is also evidence from epidemiologic studies that tea consumption can lower such levels and protect against myocardial infarction.
The findings are based on a study of 240 subjects with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia who were randomized to receive a daily capsule containing theaflavins and catechins or placebo for 12 weeks. All of the subjects were on a low-fat diet.
Treatment with the tea extracts was tied to a 11.3% and 16.4% drop in total and LDL cholesterol levels, respectively, compared with baseline values (p = 0.01 for both).
Tea extract use was also associated with a nonsignificant rise in HDL cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. No significant change in any of these levels was noted in the placebo group.