Can green tea reduce cholesterol?
A hot cup of green tea imparts a grassy flavor, gives your body a warm feeling, relaxes you, provides anti-oxidants to prevent damage from free radicals, and now, can even lower your cholesterol.
Research shows that drinking up to 10 cups of green tea a day has a significant impact on your blood cholesterol levels.1 Green tea lowers your bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) while leaving your good cholesterol (HDL) untouched. But by how much will green tea lower your cholesterol? How much protection does green tea offer from heart disease?
For every glass of green tea you drink you can expect a reduction of 0.015 milli-mols per liter (mmol/L), or 0.58 milli-grams per deciliter (mg/dL).2 That can be a little hard to grasp, so here is a graph to represent green tea's effect on your blood cholesterol levels:
This chart looks pretty impressive, however, looking at the bigger picture, green tea actually just makes a dent in our cholesterol numbers, and is in no way "a magic bullet". This graph shows the difference green tea makes in relation to risky cholesterol ranges set by the American Heart Association.3
The Bottom Line with Green Tea and Cholesterol
While green tea can help lower your cholesterol, it will not so greatly affect your numbers as to quickly pull you out of the high risk zones. Different foods will have a different affect on everyone. The best way to test if green tea works for you is to buy a cholesterol test kit, then test your cholesterol numbers before and after 1 month of drinking green tea every day.
If you are looking to lower your cholesterol, you should drink green tea in combination with avoiding high cholesterol foods, and also, adopting some form of daily exercise. For further reading see the article on foods which lower cholesterol.