Catechins: What Are They & Why Are They Beneficial?

By July 29, 2016 February 9th, 2017 Oral Hygiene
Matcha Green Tea

You may or may not have heard about what a catechin is, but it is an antioxidant that is well known for its dietary and health benefits. It’s found in a variety of forms (dark chocolate, red wine, açaí berries, pomegranates, goji berries, blackberries, broccoli & spinach), but the highest concentration of catechins are found in green and matcha green tea.

We have talked about the benefits of tea previously, but are going to specifically talk about the benefits of catechins and their overall health benefits.

What Is a Catechin?

A catechin (pronounced “kah-tuh-kin”) is a highly effective antioxidant, and catechins found in matcha tea have been discovered to be greater than any other source by 137 times. Studies are still in the process of being completed regarding the health benefits specifically regarding matcha green tea, but antioxidants derived from the ingestion of green tea have been commonly and clinically associated with health benefits and healing properties for years. Here is a list highlighting many of these benefits.

What Do Catechins Do to Keep My Mouth Healthy?

In addition to their overall health benefits, catechins act as microscopic plaque eliminators that eliminate bacteria in the mouth, preventing cavities from forming and inhibiting periodontal disease. It isn’t the same as flossing (which everyone should do!), but catechins have been found to help significantly with overall tooth and mouth health.

In fact, there is a study that has been widely publicized in the medical community highlighting these effects. Yasushi Koyama of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and colleagues looked at more than 25,000 Japanese men and women between age 40 and 64 in making the determination. They found that men who drank at least one cup of tea a day were 19 percent less likely to have fewer than 20 teeth (a full set including wisdom teeth is 32) than those who did not drink green tea. Tea-drinking women had 13 percent lower odds.

There are further in-depth studies here, but the overall concept is that green tea and matcha green tea specifically, is very good for you.

Contact Our Family Dentists in Little Rock, AR

It always pays dividends to be mindful of what you eat and drink, and we highly recommend adding matcha and green tea to your diet – in moderation, of course. However, it is good to remember, that despite the myriad of benefits that any super-food or drink may possess, it will never fully replace your need to visit the dentist, at least once every six months. Contact Little Rock Family Dental Care to schedule your next appointment today!