Like fine wine, some supplements seem to get better with age. But by that I don't mean you should be saving your supplements until well after their expiration dates before cracking them open in search of enhanced effects. On the contrary - you should be striving to use all of your supplements well in advance of their expiration dates to get the best results and ensure your safety. So what do I mean by getting better with age? It's actually a simple concept, and one that is pretty logical if you think about it - the longer a supplement is on the market, the higher the number of benefits from its use are revealed.
When you stop to consider this, it makes a lot of sense; a longer duration on the market tends to increase popularity and availability of a supplement, which leads to more research being performed analyzing its effects. Researchers are constantly delving into the science behind supplements, especially those that are widely used and have persisted in the public consciousness. And while some people may not see the point in this - why investigate something that already has established effects and at least a reasonable amount of safety? - there are plenty of good reasons to keep the research going. First, this research can help discover a new trait that could aid millions. and on the other hand, research may uncover a potentially harmful side effect. Without a doubt, society stands to benefit from additional research on supplements with established track records.
Recently, the benefits of studying established supplements has paid off in a big way for users of green tea. Though usually used for energy and fat loss, new research has uncovered a few other significant benefits. The first study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analyzed research collected from more than 42,000 people, tracking their green tea intake and the effects it had on their health. Energy and fat loss weren't the focus, however. According to the research, increased green tea intake promoted mental well-being and helped to ease psychological distress. In fact, drinking five cups of green tea per day was found to reduce mental distress levels by 20 percent (1).
Another recent study found an additional, unexpected benefit. This research, published in Respiratory Medicine, found that green tea consumption could prevent against damage caused to lungs by cigarettes. The researchers considered the EGCG, epigallocatechin gallate, in green tea to be the driving factor behind the results (2).
These studies show that even if you thought you knew everything a supplement could do, there still may be other advantages waiting to be discovered. This recent research found that green tea isn't just for fat loss, but for lung and mental health.
1. Hozawa, A., et al. Green tea consumption is associated with lower psychological distress in a general population. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009; doi:10.3945
2. Chan, K.H., et al. Chinese green tea ameliorates lung injury in cigarette smoke-exposed rats. Respiratory Medicine, 2009; 103(11): 1746-1754