Question: "Do I still get the health benefits of green tea if I drink decaffeinated types?" —Jennifer T. Enson, via e-mailAnswer: Despite the marketing hype, the jury's still out on any health benefits gained from drinking green tea--whether caffeinated or not. One of the tea's compounds, ECGC (or epigallocatechin gallate), has received the most attention from the beverage industry and nutrition research as a powerful antioxidant. Several studies, some through the National Institutes of Health, are in progress to better understand the potential benefits. For now, only preliminary findings have linked green tea to delaying or preventing the growth of certain cancers, slowing weight gain, and lowering blood pressure. Fewer results are available for decaffeinated green teas, but the beverage's likely benefits come from the antioxidants and not the caffeine.
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