Background: Epidemiological studies have established an association between dyslipidemias and atherosclerosis. Nutritional therapy is a key point in the prevention strategy for individuals who present with risk factors for atherosclerotic disease.
Objectives: To investigate the effects of green tea (Camellia sinensis) in patients with dyslipidemias.
Methods: The study included 33 patients aged between 21 and 71 years who had a low-fat diet (25-35% of total calories and 200 mg of cholesterol per day). They were randomized for two sequential treatments: 250-mg capsules of green tea dry extract or placebo for a total period of 16 weeks; each patient received green tea (Camellia sinensis) for eight weeks and placebo for another eight weeks.
Results: Baseline lipid values (mg/dL) were: HDL-cholesterol 60.7 +/- 7.3; total cholesterol 255 +/- 30.9; LDL-cholesterol 158.8 +/- 29.0; triglycerides 169.0 +/- 61.3 and Apo-B 120.2 +/- 18.9. Mean lipid variations induced by the use of green tea (Camellia sinensis) showed a 3.9% reduction (p = 0.006) in total cholesterol concentrations and a 4.5% reduction (p = 0.026) in LDL-cholesterol. The intake of green tea did not significantly influence HDL-cholesterol, triglyceride, and Apo-B levels. Non-significant results were found in the assessment of blood lipids (total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol) with the use of placebo.
Conclusion: A beneficial effect of green tea (Camellia sinensis) was demonstrated, with a significant reduction of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels in eight weeks, in the patients studied.