Did you know that one of the simplest ways to keep your cholesterol in check is by drinking matcha regularly? That's right! Matcha can help control your cholesterol ratio and aid in healthy weight loss. Over 20 recent clinical trials have shown that green teas (such as matcha) effectively reduce the harmful cholesterol levels in the body while increasing the percentage of healthy cholesterol you have. (5) (1)
What is cholesterol, and how does it work?
Let us take a step back and explain cholesterol. Cholesterol is a natural substance essential for your body in various ways, such as the construction of hormones, insulating nerve fibers, and helping your cells create new surfaces. You need cholesterol for your body to properly function, but keep in mind there are two types of cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). (1)
The 'good' cholesterol vs. the 'bad' cholesterol
HDL cholesterol is often known as the 'good' cholesterol as it has many health-promoting properties, like increasing fat burn, better blood circulation, and improved heart health.
LDL cholesterol is referred to as the 'bad' cholesterol, as it is the substance known to clog the heart and arteries. When your body has a significantly increased LDL compared to HDL, you have an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Can matcha help reduce high cholesterol?
Yes! Matcha can help reduce high cholesterol levels. Both green teas (which includes matcha) and black teas have been studied to help lower cholesterol levels naturally. (10)
What is the best tea to drink to lower cholesterol?
The best tea to drink to lower cholesterol is matcha powdered green tea. Compared to black tea varieties, it contains much higher amounts of catechins and other antioxidant-rich compounds that help bring down 'bad' LDL levels and total cholesterol. Matcha, compared to other green teas, has the highest amounts of catechins. Matcha green tea also has notable amounts of caffeine, which has also been shown to help raise 'good' HDL levels of cholesterol. (10)
In one specific animal study over 56 days, scientists discovered a significant reduction of 'bad' LDL levels and total cholesterol in the group given water infused with catechins and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) by 30.4% and 14.4%. (4)
What gives matcha green tea its strong cholesterol-lowering properties?
Researchers have found that catechins, a type of antioxidant found in large amounts in matcha and other green tea varieties, are responsible for matcha's cholesterol-reducing effects. Studies have shown that the catechins found in matcha impact cholesterol in the following ways: (1) (2)
- Lowers total cholesterol levels
- Lowers LDL cholesterol levels
- Increases HDL cholesterol levels
- Increases LDL receptor activities in your Liver
- It prevents direct cholesterol absorption in the intestines
How much green tea should I drink a day to lower cholesterol?
If you want to lower your cholesterol naturally with matcha, experts recommend two to five cups of matcha green tea daily. Though keep in mind every cup of matcha counts! It is estimated that just enjoying one single cup of matcha tea can reduce your cholesterol levels by up to 0.58 mg/dl. (6) (9)
In one study that involved over 200 adults with high cholesterol levels, half the participants were given a daily supplementation of green tea extract. They had their cholesterol levels measured after six months and 12 months. The study concluded that the supplementation of green tea extract has a significant reduction in LDL-cholesterol concentrations and provides a natural alternative to statin medications. (5)
What are statin drugs for cholesterol?
If you are currently someone who has high cholesterol or is at an increased risk of heart disease, you might consider using a statin as part of your treatment protocol or may already be on a statin. Statins are a group of drugs that reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol in the blood. They work by blocking the action of a liver enzyme involved in the production of cholesterol.
While statins are effective and relatively safe, they aren't without side effects: muscle pain, fatigue, and gastrointestinal symptoms, for example. (7)
If you can lower cholesterol through dietary changes and natural remedies, you might ask your doctor about drinking matcha daily instead of taking a statin.
Will matcha green tea interact with statins?
In short, yes. Statins are a form of cholesterol-lowering drugs that inhibit the production of cholesterol in the Liver. If you are on statins, it is always worth talking to your healthcare provider about how your cholesterol management will be impacted by drinking matcha. This is because researchers have found that green tea may interact with different statins and reduce the overall effectiveness of the medications. Why is this? Studies have shown that green tea may halt the absorption of metabolic liver enzymes necessary for common statin drugs such as rosuvastatin to be effective. (5)
The bottom line: Lower your cholesterol levels the natural way (with matcha!) by replacing statins with matcha.
If you are looking to lower your cholesterol naturally, start by decreasing your consumption of sugar flour and other quick-digesting carbs and saturated fats. Also, increase your physical activity and get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
And while not all individuals may be able to forgo medication for matcha, many may find that with dietary change, exercise, and matcha, they can keep their cholesterol in the healthy range and avoid taking statin drugs. (3)
If you drink matcha every day, not only will you see an improvement in your cholesterol levels, you will also notice heightened mental clarity (due to l-theanine), alleviated anxiety, and a consistent level of energy throughout your day. Plus – unlike coffee, matcha is a caffeine-containing drink that has been shown to improve focus, boost energy while also reducing the risk of any caffeine jitters or a caffeine crash later on in the day.
Discuss the possibility of drinking matcha for cholesterol with your doctor. As an added benefit, matcha tea may also improve many other areas of your health. If you're interested in trying matcha but are confused about which matcha is suitable for you, the answers you're looking for can be found through our matcha quiz.
- Bursill, Christina A., Mavis Abbey, and Paul D. Roach. "A green tea extract lowers plasma cholesterol by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis and upregulating the LDL receptor in the cholesterol-fed rabbit." Atherosclerosis193.1 (2007): 86-93.
- Kochman, J., Jakubczyk, K., Antoniewicz, J., Mruk, H., & Janda, K. (2020). Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. Molecules, 26(1), 85. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010085
- Kuriyama, Shinichi, et al. "Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes in Japan: the Ohsaki study." Jama 296.10 (2006): 1255-1265.
- 村松敬一郎, 福與眞弓, and 原征彦. "Effect of green tea catechins on the plasma cholesterol level in cholesterol-fed rats." Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology 32.6 (1986): 613-622. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12873714/
- Samavat, H., Newman, A. R., Wang, R., Yuan, J. M., Wu, A. H., & Kurzer, M. S. (2016). Effects of green tea catechin extract on serum lipids in postmenopausal women: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 104(6), 1671–1682. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.137075
- Schwalfenberg, G., Genuis, S. J., & Rodushkin, I. (2013). The Benefits and Risks of Consuming Brewed Tea: Beware of Toxic Element Contamination. Journal of Toxicology, 2013, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/370460
- Sizar O, Khare S, Jamil RT, et al. Statin Medications. [Updated 2022 Jan 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430940/
- Xu, R., Yang, K., Li, S., Dai, M., & Chen, G. (2020). Effect of green tea consumption on blood lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition Journal, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-020-00557-5
- Younes, M., Aggett, P., Aguilar, F., Crebelli, R., Dusemund, B., Filipič, M., Frutos, M. J., Galtier, P., Gott, D., Gundert‐Remy, U., Lambré, C., Leblanc, J., Lillegaard, I. T., Moldeus, P., Mortensen, A., Oskarsson, A., Stankovic, I., Waalkens‐Berendsen, I., Woutersen, R. A., . . . Wright, M. (2018). Scientific opinion on the safety of green tea catechins. EFSA Journal, 16(4). https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5239
- Zheng, X. X., Xu, Y. L., Li, S. H., Liu, X. X., Hui, R., & Huang, X. H. (2011). Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 94(2), 601–610. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.110.010926