A meta-analysis of 14 clinical trials totalling 1136 subjects has found green tea, and green tea extract, to be remarkably effective for lowering cholesterol.
The analysis, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition set out to see what the effect of green tea and its extract had on total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol.
The analysis found that “green tea consumption significantly lowered the TC concentration by 7.20 mg/dL and significantly lowered the LDL-cholesterol concentration by 2.19 mg/dL.”
It didn’t appear to increase good HDL cholesterol, then, but did have a significant effect on the bad LDL and total figures. Interestingly the effects were not dose-dependent, influenced by study duration or individual health status. Just make sure you consume it consistently – I say 2 cups a day of really good quality stuff is fine, or take a green tea extract supplement if you prefer.
Source: Nutri Enews and Zheng XX, et al. Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug;94(2):601-10.