Green tea catechins decrease total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Nov;111(11):1720-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2011.08.009.


Green tea catechins (GTCs) have been studied in randomized control trials for their lipid-lowering effects. Studies, however, have been small and demonstrated conflicting results. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials evaluating the relationship between GTCs and serum lipid levels, including total, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides. A systematic literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane CENTRAL, and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database was conducted through March 2010. Randomized controlled trials evaluating GTCs vs control in human beings and reporting efficacy data on at least one of the aforementioned serum lipid endpoints were included. Weighted mean differences for changes from baseline (with 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for lipid endpoints were calculated using random-effects models. Twenty trials (N=1,415) met all inclusion criteria. Upon meta-analysis, GTCs at doses ranging from 145 to 3,000 mg/day taken for 3 to 24 weeks reduced total (-5.46 mg/dL [-0.14 mmol/L]; 95% CI -9.59 to -1.32) and LDL cholesterol (-5.30 mg/dL [-0.14 mmol/L]; 95% CI -9.99 to -0.62) compared to control. GTCs did not significantly alter HDL cholesterol (-0.27 mg/dL [-0.007 mmol/L]; 95% CI -1.62 to 1.09) or triglyceride (3.00 mg/dL [-0.034 mmol/L]; 95% CI -2.73 to 8.73) levels. The consumption of GTCs is associated with a statistically significant reduction in total and LDL cholesterol levels; however, there was no significant effect on HDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / drug effects
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Tea* / chemistry
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Tea
  • Triglycerides
  • Catechin
  • Cholesterol