Thursday, May 15, 2008

Green Tea Extract May Protect Against Sleep Apnea

Do you snore loudly? Do you frequently toss-and-turn in bed because you feel like you can't breathe very well? Do you often wake-up, after a full-night's sleep, feeling tired and "foggy" headed? Are you overweight and/or out-of-shape?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing, for short periods, during your normal sleep cycle.

This is obviously a very bad thing. And, since this can be a chronic (long-term) problem ... the health consequences can be very dire indeed. But don't despair, there are some natural options that just might help.

What does green tea have to do with Sleep Apnea?

Green tea is a powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory agent.

People who suffer from sleep apnea often show signs of increased oxidative-stress and high-levels of inflammation. Both of these symptoms are considered to be health-risks.

Another common problem, in those with sleep apnea, is poor mental functioning. If you can't sleep well and your brain is deprived of oxygen ... damage occurs, to your brain, and it just doesn't work very well. And, these effects will likely worsen the longer you suffer from this condition ... unless you do something about it.

In this study, the researchers used a rat-model, to try and determine if green tea could help protect from the damaging effects of oxygen-deprivation.

How exactly did they do that?

The researchers first provided one group of rats with green tea supplemented water and another group with just plain water.

All the rats were exposed to a laboratory-model of sleep apnea (referred to as intermittent hypoxia).

After the induced sleep apnea, researchers took measurements of several markers of oxidative-stress and inflammation. They also put the rats through a "water maze" test. A "water maze" is a test that helps to establish how mentally-sharp the rats are.

What were the results of the testing?

The rats that received the green tea infused water were protected from some of the brain-damaging effects of oxygen deprivation. The researchers believe the protection occurred because of the antioxidant effects of the green tea.

The group of rats that received water-only suffered the expected brain-dysfunction.

What's the take-home message of this study?

Green tea isn't a cure for sleep apnea but it may be able to offer some protection until you can find a real solution.

Please keep in mind that green tea does contain a small amount of natural caffeine. If you're caffeine-sensitive, you may wish to consume green tea earlier in the day.

You can learn more about green tea here:

Want to see the actual study I've been commenting on? Great! Check it out.

What is a real solution for sleep apnea?

If you're overweight, even just slightly overweight, lose those extra pounds. If you do it in a healthful way - a healthy diet and regular exercise ... your sleep apnea may just be lost as well.

The Vitamin Tutor

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