Green tea extract is fast becoming one of the most popular dietary supplements on the market for lots of sound, scientifically valid reasons. In recent years numerous health studies have reinforced the already widespread belief that green tea provides a range of health benefits, while being virtually free of negative side effects for most people.
The same can be said for green tea extract supplements that are a convenient and affordable way to enjoy the benefits of green tea even if you don’t have the time to sit down every day and enjoy a cup.
Below we’ve brought together the 10 best green tea extract supplements on the market for your consideration.
1. Nobi Nutrition Green Tea Extract
Nobi Nutrition Green Tea Extract is made from pure, unadulterated green tea and is free of the kind of additives that can undermine the effectiveness of other supplements. There are no genetically modified organisms (GMOs), no artificial additives, flavors, colors or preservatives. And no gluten, wheat or other potentially problematic fillers.
Just pure green tea leaf extract and a smidgen of apple cider vinegar powder to help boost metabolism and energy levels. Nobi supplements are made in the US in a Good Manufacturing Practices-certified facility under the supervision of the FDA. And if you’re not satisfied they also offer a 60 day money back guarantee.
2. NOW Supplements, Green Tea Extract
NOW supplements are found on scores of “best of” lists because they put the emphasis squarely where it should be: on delivering potent, pure ingredients that benefit the taker. There are no games with NOW supplements and that goes for their Green Tea Extract as well. Each of these capsules provide 400 mg of pure green tea extract.
They’re also low in caffeine; providing only about 1/3 the amount you’ll find in a cup of regular coffee. NOW also includes a modest amount of vitamin C to help bolster the important antioxidant effects of the green tea. Best of all NOW Green Tea Supplements are rich in EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), the compound in green tea the produces most of its beneficial effects (1).
3. Zhou Green Tea Extract Supplement
Each Zhou Green Tea Extract capsule contains 500 mg of pure green tea extract with an outstanding EGCG content of 50%. That makes it one of the more potent green tea supplements on the market. If you’re looking for a supplement focused squarely on providing the many benefits fo green tea without the ingredient side show, here it is.
Another great thing about this green tea extract supplement is that it’s low in caffeine. Where some similar supplements may burden you with 30 or 40 mg of caffeine per capsule, there are only 15 mg of caffeine in a single Zhou capsule. That’s about the equivalent of what you’d get in just a few sips from your morning coffee.
4. Jarrow Green Tea Supplement
Jarrow Green Tea Supplement comes in tablet form and provides 500 mg of green tea extract per tablet. That’s the good news. The not so good news for some people will be the fact that each tablet also contains 45 mg of caffeine. Now, if you’re not burdened by caffeine sensitivity you won’t find that a problem. But if you are you may want to choose something like the Zhou capsule we just looked at above.
Those who find 45 mg of caffeine to be no big deal (and there are lots of you out there) are going to appreciate the purity and potency of this supplement. It’s also one of the more affordable green tea extract supplements on the market so keep that in mind too.
5. Bulk Supplements Green Tea Extract
What you won’t get from Bulk Supplements is fancy packaging and beautiful labels with scenes of idyllic country mornings. Instead you get a white plastic bag with a cross-walk guy striking a Saturday Night Fever pose. And that’s fine. Because Bulk Supplements passes on the savings from their bare bones presentation to the customer.
In this case the savings are even greater because the company has completely done away with the expense of making capsules. Instead they present their green tea extract in powder form. Just mix it with your morning OJ or protein smoothie and you’re set for the day. Bulk Supplements Green Tea Extract powder also sports the lowest caffeine concentration of any supplement on our list at just over 1 mg per 500 mg serving.
6. Nature’s Wellness Green Tea Extract
Nature’s Wellness Green Tea Extract has a lot of things going for it. Which is how it wound up on our list. First of all each 500 mg capsule is rich in EGCG and relatively low in caffeine. That means you get the benefits of green tea extract without most of the caffeine-driven side effects. Nature’s Wellness supplements are also produced in a GMP facility under FDA supervision in the US and and contain no artificial ingredients of any kind.
It’s been tested for potency by independent 3rd party labs and is also naturally low in caffeine. Nature’s Wellness Green Tea Extract is a powerful antioxidant that provides a range of health benefits both short and long term. It’s also free of potential allergens that could undermine its effectiveness for some people.
7. PrimaForce Green Tea Extract
PrimaForce Green Tea Extract is among the most potent on the market. With 60 percent of the contents of each capsule made up of EGCG. With many green tea supplements hovering around 30 or 40 percent EGCG that’s a significant difference.
Beyond that it doesn’t contain any compromising or superfluous ingredients meant to make it appear more effective than it is. It doesn’t need them. What you get here is highly pure green tea extract and nothing more. If there’s a downside it’s a small one. And that is that the facility where these are produced also processes other supplements that contain gluten, shellfish and peanuts. Take that for what it’s worth.
8. PureTea Green Tea Extract
What these Pure Tea Green Tea Extract capsules may be lacking in potency they make up for by their sheer size. Each gelcap contains a robust 1000 mg of pure green tea extract with no harmful fillers, artificial flavors, genetically modified organisms, sugar, gluten or anything else that could undermine their effectiveness.
The EGCG content here is around 45 percent. Not great, not bad. But again, since you’re getting twice the volume in each capsule that you get with most competitors it still works out to one of the more substantial EGCG doses on the market.
9. Nutrigold Green Tea Gold
Not everyone wants or needs to push the green tea extract pedal to the floor. In some cases it might be better to avail yourself of a more moderate dose. This will still provide you with most of the benefits and will help you better avoid the unlikely, but still possible, side effects. Nutrigold Green Tea Gold’s EGCG level comes in at 20 percent, while the overall size of each capsule is a very modest 375 mg.
Another benefit of the smaller capsule is the smaller caffeine load you’ll be expected to bear. Here, it’s a very agreeable 3 mg. Nutrigold is gluten-free, soy-free, vegan and kosher and produced in an USDA certified organic facility (2).
10. Healths Harmony Green Tea Extract 98%
The final entry on our list of best green tea extract supplements is from Healths Harmony. While the company does not have the reputation or visibility of NOW or some of the other supplement heavyweights they nonetheless hit it out of the park with this product.
EGCG content hovers around 50 percent. Which is above average for such supplements. While caffeine content is a very modest 10 mg, give or take. Healths Harmony is also produced in a GMP facility without GMOs or artificial additives and is free of most common food allergens.
What is Green Tea Extract?
Green tea extract is produced from the dried leaves of the camellia sinensis (3) plant. It’s one of several types of tea products originating from this particular plant. Each type is the result of the leaves being processed in a different fashion. Historically, green tea has been consumed in the traditional manner of being steeped in hot water. But in recent years it has found its way onto the supplement shelf, where it is valued for its ability to alleviate a range of health conditions, including headaches, depression, Crohn’s disease and much more. There is also some evidence that it may be useful in preventing and/or fighting various types of cancer. So let’s take a deep dive into its benefits now.
What are the Benefits of Green Tea Extract?
The number of potential benefits being assigned to green tea and green tea extract is staggering. Perhaps even more staggering is the fact that many of these purported benefits are actually being verified by scientific scrutiny. Let’s take a close look then at some of the most important benefits assigned to green tea extract.
- It may help reduce the risk of breast cancer – Green tea has undergone some pretty rigorous scientific scrutiny in recent years. Much of that has been focused on what role if any it may play in helping reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, or breast cancer recurrence. The NIH has concluded that there is reason to believe regular consumption of green tea may indeed play a role in doing both (4). While more study is needed, results to this point are very encouraging.
- It may help reduce the risk of other cancers – Multiple studies have suggested that green tea may also play a role in reducing the risk of bladder, ovarian, esophageal and stomach cancer and may even be useful as a treatment for early stage prostate cancer (5). Again, studies of green tea are in their early stages but the positive signs are there and more studies are under way as you read this to try and verify the early results.
- It can help lower the levels of bad cholesterol – One of the most important health discoveries of recent years was the realization that there are in fact two distinct types of cholesterol (6). One that is good for you and one that is bad for you. Subsequent studies on green tea have demonstrated that it can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood (7) and thereby reduce your risk of developing heart disease (8).
- Green tea may help stabilize blood glucose levels – The overriding concern among diabetics is stabilizing blood sugar levels. But even among seemingly healthy individuals roller coaster blood glucose levels can be an unrecognized problem and a precursor of developing Type II diabetes. Numerous studies from various institutions in the US and elsewhere have strongly suggested that regular consumption of green tea can lower blood glucose levels both in diabetics and in those who may be in danger of developing Type II diabetes (9).
- Green tea extract may help control weight – In the past it was thought that people who drank green tea were thinner than those who drank sugary drinks simply because they weren’t drinking sugary drinks. But more recent studies indicate that the effects of green tea on weight management may be more significant than simply addition by subtraction (i.e. staying healthy by not consuming unhealthy things). They suggest that green tea extract may play a proactive role in preventing obesity (10). It may also be useful as a dietary supplement for those on various types of weight loss diets.
- It may help boost mental acuity – Some of the more recent studies of green tea and its effects have centered on its possible role in improving brain function. Researchers in Singapore for instance, have concluded that older adults who have drank green tea consistently for 25 years had better organized brains and were less likely to experience significant cognitive decline (11) than non-tea drinkers. The results are promising for other ongoing studies related to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Green tea extract may help lower blood pressure – For centuries practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have argued that regular green tea consumption can help prevent high blood pressure and the myriad health problems that come with it. Recent studies now suggest there may be something to this claim (12). The exact mechanism by which green tea works its magic is not understood but it may have something to do with the antioxidant properties of the tea. Just remember that, even if these claims turn out to be true, it doesn’t mean you can simply take a green tea extract capsule and lower your blood pressure. You’ll need to make green tea part of your daily diet to see these potential benefits.
Are There Any Side Effects From Green Tea Extract?
With all the incredible benefits being ascribed to green tea and green tea extract you might think that it’s a kind of super compound that can do no wrong. The thing is, that while green tea is generally considered safe for most people there is no denying that others are beset by various side effects that range from the annoying to potentially dangerous. So while the number of people who suffer adverse side effects is small it’s still important to lay out the potential downside along with the potential upside. So here are some of the side effects some people have reported from green tea and green tea extract.
- Upset stomach – This is probably one of the most common side effects of taking green tea extract. But being one of the most common side effects doesn’t mean lots of people experience this. It just means that among the small number of people who experience side effects this is one of the most common. Researchers suggest that if you experience stomach upset from taking green tea extract simply reduce the amount you’re taking to 500 mg or less per day (13). Or take smaller doses spread out over the course of the day.
- Headaches – A small number of people have reported experiencing headaches after drinking green tea or taking green tea extract. This is most likely a reaction to the caffeine in green tea (14). And that caffeine level (as we saw in our product reviews) can vary from capsule to capsule. Which is why you’ll often see it as an ingredient in weight loss supplements. But back to the headaches. If you experience headaches from green tea or green tea extract you should try cutting down on the amount you drink or take. And if that doesn’t alleviate your headaches you may have to avoid green tea altogether.
- Insomnia – Another side effect of the caffeine in green tea is insomnia. Many people, unaware that green tea and green tea extract contain caffeine, will have a cup of tea or take a supplement capsule shortly before turning in. They’re then surprised and confused as to why they’re laying in bed unable to get to sleep. Do yourself a favor and take any of the above green tea extract supplements early in the day when the caffeine is likely to provide a benefit. And not late in the evening when you’re getting ready for bed.
- Lightheadedness – This is another side effect of caffeine. Should you drink large amounts of green tea or take more than the recommended number of green tea extract supplements it’s possible that the excessive amount of caffeine may cause you to feel somewhat dizzy or lightheaded. The moral of this particular story is to moderate the amount of green tea or green tea extract you consume.
- Anemia – In a tiny number of cases green tea has been associated with the development of an iron deficiency (15). While the exact mechanism by which green tea interferes with iron absorption are complex in the extreme and still widely debated in scientific circles, the risk is nonetheless there for a small number of individuals who consume large amounts of green tea or green tea extract. So again, the moral of the story here is “all things in moderation”.
Who Should Avoid Taking Green Tea Extract?
For the vast majority of people green tea extract is a perfectly safe supplement with an enormous potential upside. There is no reason they should avoid it, nor are they likely to experience any adverse side effects such as the ones we laid out above. That said, there are some folks who may want to discuss things with their doctor before they begin taking green tea extract supplements.
Those include people with caffeine sensitivity, people with liver conditions, those with ulcers and to some extent pregnant women; simply because there is not a lot of clinical data on the potential effects of green tea on pregnancy. So better safe than sorry. Also, if you have been prescribed amphetamines to deal with a medical condition you should not take green tea extract until you have thoroughly discussed the matter with your doctor and received the okay. Those taking blood thinners may also want to take a pass.
Green tea has been an important component of traditional medicine for centuries. Today its many benefits are finally being uncovered and appreciated by science as well. While a small number of individuals may want to think twice about taking green tea extract the overwhelming majority of people will experience only benefits from this incredible compound. Any of the above profiled green tea supplements will likely provide you with those benefits. So what are you waiting for? Start taking green tea extract today and open the door to a healthier future.