Drinking green tea has a significant effect on the free circulating estrogen found in your body, because of a component it has called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). While this “globulin” may invoke images of ghouls and goblins running around in your bloodstream, it's actually not that scary. Here's why.
What Happens to My Hormones When I Drink Green Tea?
It's 10:00 a.m. and you're chained to your office desk or a load of laundry. You decide to enjoy a delicious and nutritious cup of green tea. Perhaps, you add a little honey to taste. As you digest your tea, your body will break it down into useful substances like SHBG.
This SHBG seeks out estrogen and other sex hormones like testosterone, and binds them. It does this by making sure these hormones cannot interact with any of the receptors designed to fit them. This is a significant disturbance, because these hormones carry out specific bodily functions, like cell growth, by connecting to these receptors.
How Is SHBG Beneficial?
In your middle school sex education class, your teachers probably told you that estrogen is a natural and necessary part of your reproductive system before they showed you a slideshow of really explicit cartoon drawings, right?
Well, your teachers were right indeed. Estrogen, as the primary female sex hormone, oversees the complex processes of menstruation, pregnancy, and breast development, among many others. However, too much estrogen, much like what women experience during postmenopause or as the result of exposure to environmental estrogens, can cause certain types of cancer like breast cancer or uterine cancer. This means that allowing estrogen a free reign inside the body can have detrimental effects to your health, which is why it pays to have SHBG in your system.
How Much Green Tea Should I Drink?
Experts suggest drinking a minimum of three cups daily to reap the full benefits of green tea. If you're interested in these wonderful health benefits, substitute green tea for your usual cups of coffee or cans of soda.
However, some people do recommend taking a break from green tea every once in a while, so that you body doesn't build up a tolerance.
More Information about Estrogen
Estrogen can increase the production of uterine tissue, drinking green tea may be an effective way to prevent uterine cancer. Click on the following link to learn more about estrogen roles.