Food and Nutrition
Food and Nutrition

Omega-3 and Green Tea Healthier as Combo

| by Toni Brayer MD

We have known for some time that there are health benefits from drinking green tea. Research also shows that Omega 3 fatty acids have beneficial effects on a number of organs in the body, including the cardiovascular system and brain, and even on depression.

Dr. Fereidoon Shahidi, research professor in the Department of Biochemistry at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, is hoping to show that green tea polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may also prevent colon cancer and even have anti-viral effects when combined with certain Omega 3 fatty acids.

“We know from experience that green tea is not well absorbed by the body. Our premise was to see if, by adding something to it that has its own benefits, like Omega 3 fatty acids, we might get an entity that would have improved properties in terms of its absorption and health benefits,” Dr. Shahidi said. Their research proved that was indeed the case, but further testing on animals provided other surprising results. “When mice which had been exposed to carcinogens that usually produced significant numbers of tumors were given the green tea/Omega 3 compound at the same time, there was absolutely no tumor formation,” said Dr. Shahidi. “That was quite exciting to us.”

Although the results are early, the idea that Omega 3 can be combined with other compounds to augment the benefits of both is a new frontier.

I had forgotten that I once wrote a blog on green tea and Omega 3. I suggested that folks take Omega 3 supplement and wash it down with green tea. Little did I know that researchers would find the combo to be potentially more beneficial than each food alone.

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