Drink up. Research indicates that antioxidant-rich green tea may improve inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Green tea and black tea both come from the camellia sinensis plant, but are processed differently. Because green tea is less processed, it still maintains much of its original plant substances, which are beneficial to your body and skin.
Green tea is believed to reduce inflammation and itching of the skin, and may calm the body’s overactive immune response. This is due to the high levels of polyphenols found in green tea, which neutralize free radicals in the body and repair damaged cells.
Green tea also contains anti-carcinogenic, anti-allergenic, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. It may also help protect the body against skin cancer and slow growth of existing tumors.
In a study published in 2007 in Experimental Dermatology, scientists found that green tea significantly diminished the severity of psoriasis in mice. The scientists found that the tea slowed the production of skin cells by regulating the activity of Caspase-14.
Dr. Stephen Hsu, an oral biologist in the MCG School of Dentistry and lead investigator on the study, explained the significance of Caspase-14, a protein in genes that controls the life cycle of skin cells:
“That marker guides cells by telling them when to differentiate, die off and form a skin barrier. In people with psoriasis, that process is interrupted, and the skin cells don’t die before more are created and the resulting lesions form,” Hsu said.
Animal models treated with green tea also showed reduced levels of proliferating cell nuclear antigen, a gene expressed when skin cells multiply. In psoriasis, the gene is over-expressed and speeds production of skin cells.
“Before treatment, the antigen, PCNA, was present in all layers of the skin,” Dr. Hsu says. “Typically, PCNA is only found in the basal layer, the innermost layer where skin cells continually divide and new cells push the older ones to the skin surface, where they eventually slough off. After being treated with green tea, the animal models showed near-normal levels of PCNA in only the basal layers.”
Read more about the study here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070806174354.htm.
Do you drink green tea everyday?