Archive for the ‘green tea’ Category

The Great Green Tea Epidemic

Sunday, October 7th, 2007


Americans are apt to be unduly interested in what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

J.M Keynes

The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth.

Edith Sitwell

Millions are feeling the heat from the latest media blitz, The Great Green Tea explosion, appearing in print and TV. Quotes continue in millions of spam mail as well as interviews featured on ads and interviews from CBS, CNN “100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times better than vitamin E,” Dr. Perricone on Oprah. “…10 pounds in six weeks, I guarantee it” Read all about the New drink that will “Burn Calories” (Food News Story), Coca Cola, makers of Nestea, jumps on the green tea bandwagon, launching Enviga beverage with Nestle.

In a USDA chart on green tea read about the flavenoids, polyphenols, thearubigins, epicatechins, and catechins it contains. These antioxidant compounds, described in my newsletter, are hailed by enthusiasts and green tea marketers as “more than 10-100 times more potent than in black tea,” and better and more potent than antioxidants present in fruits and veggies. If you do a Google search on “green tea,” you’ll find 24 million sites among which are uncountable url’s where the health benefits of this astounding drink are catalogued. For example, you can discover ways to treat Alzheimer’s, prevent cancer (tell that to Asians with some of the highest rates of esophageal and gastric cancer in the world), and achieve robust health and long life. I could go on.

Green tea is not the first product to move from health foods stores into the supermarket mainstream thanks to its alluringly seductive image. Prefigured in the New Age niche by tofu, soy and rice-based milk, and, don’t forget chai (Chinese, Persian, Hindi, and Russian equivalent for the word tea), virtually unavailable in supermarkets 10 years ago, green tea received its first big push from Starbucks. No reliable Government or other research has confirmed tea’s purported anti-oxidant-rich healing powers. However, the day after Starbucks introduced the green tea frappuccino in the United States, The American Institute for Cancer Research (a privately-funded organization) described on its web site as “The cancer charity that fosters research on diet and cancer prevention and educates the public about the results,” in a funded report claimed that green tea contained a substance, EGCG, that may “short-circuit” cancer development.

An Enviga Web site says that the drink’s blend of green tea and caffeine burns more calories than it contains and can help drinkers maintain an ideal weight.

In the meantime, the Connecticut attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, said that his office was investigating claims by Coca-Cola and Netstle that a new drink can burn calories, saying it may amount to “voodoo nutrition.”

Mr. Blumenthal said the investigation would focus on Enviga, a green-tea drink that contains caffeine, calcium and a green-tea extract known as epigallocatechin gallate. Coke says the extract speeds metabolism and increases energy use.