Science Has Bad News for People Who Really, Really Love Green Tea

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Researchers went on and experimented the effects of green tea on the development and reproduction of fruit flies. In the experiment, they exposed fruit fly embryos and larvae to changing doses of antioxidants found in green tea, called polyphenols .Larvae that was exposed to higher amounts of green tea polyphenols, , "were slower to develop, emerged smaller and exhibited a dramatic decline in the number of emerged offspring." The polyphenols did protected them against dehydration, but also caused them to be more sensitive to starvation and heat stress.The polyphenols had been found to have "a negative impact on reproductive organs in both males and females," likeĀ  atrophic testes in males. "Collectively the data show that high doses of GTP adversely affect development and reproduction" of fruit flies, the team wrote. Could the tea harm humans as well?

#1 So what is the connection between fruit flies and humans?

Mahtab Jafari's, the head of the research group at the University of California, Irvine, seeks ways to increase the human lifespan. Fruit flies, make an ideal model system to study aging due to the similarity to disease genes. They share 75% of the disease genes found in humans. They even share certain aspects of human physiology, like consuming too much alcohol makes them act drunk. "While green tea could have health benefits at low doses, our study and other have shown that at high doses, it may have adverse effects," Jafari said, according to the Indian Express. "Further work is needed to make any definite recommendations, but we suggest that green tea should be consumed in moderation."

#2 What about the benefits?

Benefits versus risks makes us wonder, how much tea should we drink knowing it does harm, and good to your body. Even Mahtab Jafari, the study's authors acknowledge that green tea is good for you when drank in small doses, and it does have demonstrated health benefits. Various researches published in science magazines have shown that green tea promotes longevity and fights health problems such as cancer, heart disease and Parkinson's disease. green tea contains polyphenols and a flavonoid called epigallocatechin gallate, both of which have antioxidant properties.

#3 Green tea promotes cellular DNA and membrane structural integrity

"There is a large volume of research suggesting that green tea promotes cellular DNA and membrane structural integrity because of the antioxidant activity, which protects cells from oxidative damage," says Marci Clow, a registered dietician nutritionist at Rainbow Light. Green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, that "has been studied and used traditionally for its immune-boosting benefits, role in metabolism and relaxing and anti-anxiety effects."

#4 Marci Clow does not agree with the study's findings.

Marci Clow disagrees with the study's findings, "Although fruit flies apparently share 75% of the same genes that cause disease in humans, I find it difficult to extrapolate data and make a case for effect on human health when the subject group was fruit flies," she said.

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