Background: Strong epidemiologic evidence indicates that green tea intake is protective against hyperlipidemia; however, randomized controlled studies have presented varying results. In the present study, we aimed to conduct a literature review and meta-analysis to assess the effect of green tea on blood lipids.
Methods: PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library were electronically explored from inception to September 2019 for all relevant studies. Random effect models were used to estimate blood lipid changes between green tea supplementation and control groups by evaluating the weighted mean differences (WMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The risk of bias for study was assessed using the Cochrane tool. Publication bias was evaluated using funnel plots and Egger's tests.
Results: Thirty-one trials with a total of 3321 subjects were included in the meta-analysis. In general, green tea intake significantly lowered the total cholesterol (TC); WMD: - 4.66 mg/dL; 95% CI: - 6.36, - 2.96 mg/dL; P < 0.0001) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (WMD:- 4.55 mg/dL; 95% CI: - 6.31, - 2.80 mg/dL; P < 0.0001) levels compared with those in the control. Green tea consumption did not affect high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; however, it reduced the triglycerides compared with that in the control (WMD: - 3.77 mg/dL; 95% CI: - 8.90, 1.37 mg/dL; P = 0.15). In addition, significant publication bias from funnel plots or Egger's tests was not evident.
Conclusions: Collectively, consumption of green tea lowers LDL cholesterol and TC, but not HDL cholesterol or triglycerides in both normal weight subjects and those who were overweight/obese; however, additional well-designed studies that include more diverse populations and longer duration are warranted.
Keywords: Catechin; Cholesterol; Green tea; Meta-analysis; Triglycerides.