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Sleep Apnea
And Green Tea


Sleep apnea may be life-threatening

While asleep, people with this condition will stop breathing for short intervals up to 30 times an hour.

There are many different causes of this condition, but the results are the same: less sleeping and oxygen deprivation.

  • Less sleep can lead to daytime fatigue and increased risk of accidents.

  • Oxygen deprivation affect the heart and brain rapidly.

In addition,

  • Adult sleep apnea is associated with increased risk of diabetes and obesity (U.S. National Heart Lung and blood Institute, 2008).

  • Studies also show a greatly increased death rate for severe cases.

    A Wisconsin study showed triple the death rate within an average of 13.6 years after diagnosis with treatment (Sleep-disordered breathing and mortality: eighteen-year follow-up of the Wisconsin sleep cohort, Sleep, August 2008).

    Without treatment, the death rate climbed as high as five times greater than normal.

    An Australian study found six times the death rate for both moderate and severe cases (Marshall N, Sleep, August 2008).

Green tea research protects brain during oxygen deprivation

In a preliminary study, researchers tested green tea polyphenol (GTP) antioxidants in an oxygen-deprived model that shows the same effects on the brain as sleep apnea in people.

Test animals were intermittently deprived of oxygen during their night cycle.

One group received water with green tea polyphenol antioxidants and the control group received plain water.

After two weeks of intermittent oxygen deprivation, all animals were tested for learning, oxidative stress, and inflammation.

Those receiving water only showed a loss of learning in a maze test, as well as markedly increased oxidative stress and inflammation.

Those receiving green tea polyphenol antioxidants in their water showed that

  • green tea prevented the loss of learning in the maze test, and

  • it reduced both oxidative stress and inflammation, up to 40% in some cases (Burckhardt JC, Green tea catechin polyphenols attenuate behavioral and oxidative responses to intermittent hyposia, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, May 2008).

While this study is preliminary, researchers suggested that green tea polyphenol antioxidants may be a useful protective strategy for oxygen deprivation during sleep apnea.

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This page last updated by Sharon Jones on September 25, 2012

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