West African Green Tea may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in patients at risk for heart disease, a new study suggests.
Researchers from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina and Sinai Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland explained that 'the Vert (green)' is a special type of green tea widely consumed in West Africa and locally associated with many health benefits. However, limited research has been conducted to evaluate its health benefits, such as its enhanced hypolipidemic potential.
Researchers (1) evaluated the cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering effects of West African green tea (WAGT) as affected by diet and tea intake, (2) determined the impact of WAGT consumption on the CHD risk ratio and (3) explored possible mechanisms through which WAGT improves serum lipid profile.
In the study, 45 male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to one of nine treatment combinations, three diets (regular, high-cholesterol, and trans-fat diets) and three fluid sources (no tea, diluted tea, and concentrated tea). After six weeks of feeding, animal blood, liver and feces were harvested. Total cholesterol, HDLc, LDLc and triglycerides in serum, liver and feces were determined. The concentrations of bile acids in feces were also measured.
The study found that WAGT significantly lowered serum and liver cholesterol (30 percent and 15 percent, respectively) and increased serum HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) (30 percent). It also reduced liver enlargement caused by storage of excess lipids in high-cholesterol diet.
Researchers found that overall, the CHD risk ratio was cut by two-thirds in rats fed high-cholesterol diet and WAGT. A marked increase in fecal total lipids, cholesterol (60 percent) and bile acids (50 percent) was observed in rats that consumed WAGT compared to the control group.
Researchers concluded that the beneficial effects may be attributed to the significantly high flavonoid content of WAGT.
Integrative therapies with strong or good evidence in the treatment of high cholesterol include beta-glucan, beta-sitosterol, calcium, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil, alpha-linolenic acid, policosanol, psyllium, red yeast rice, soy, avocado, barley, betaine anhydrous, carob, coleus, cordyceps, gamma oryzanol, garlic, globe artichoke, L-Carnitine, pantethine, sweet almond, yoga, zinc.