Green tea is commonly touted for its weight-loss properties, but according to a new study from Japan's Kyoto University, it could also prevent a deadly condition in the body’s main artery.
A Kyoto University research team has found that abdominal aortic aneurysm developed less frequently in rats that drank green tea polyphenol, a major component of the popular beverage.
A ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm is the 10th leading cause of death in adults in the U.S., according to Northwestern Medicine’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. Approximately 15,000 Americans dies each year from this disease, which is characterized by the overstretching a bloating of the main artery.
The polyphenol found in green tea helps regenerate elastin, a protein that gives the artery it’s stretchy texture, said Shuji Setozaki in a statement.
“Considering that abdominal arterial aneurysms are caused by inflammation and the degradation of elastin components in the arterial wall, we thought drinking green tea may show promise for treatment,” wrote Shuji Setozaki et al.
Without treatment, abdominal aortic aneurysms can eventually rupture and lead to death in 50 percent of cases. There are currently no pharmacological treatments for the condition. If caught early enough, surgical interventions including an artificial blood vessel transplant or stent graft are a patient’s best options.