Matcha Tea and Heart Health: A Scientific Look at the Potential Benefits for Cardiovascular Health


Matcha and effects on heart health

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 17.9 million deaths per year (World Health Organization, 2021). As the burden of these diseases continues to grow, it's become more important than ever to seek evidence-based strategies to promote heart health. One such strategy that has garnered significant attention is the consumption of matcha tea. Matcha, a traditional Japanese green tea, is praised for its potential health benefits, including cardiovascular health. In this article, we'll dive into the scientific studies supporting matcha tea's potential benefits for heart health and explore how incorporating it into your diet may support a healthy heart.

Understanding Matcha Tea

Matcha is a unique form of green tea that originates from Japan. It is made by grinding green tea leaves (Camellia sinensis) into a fine powder. Unlike traditional green tea, which is steeped and then discarded, matcha tea consumption involves ingesting the entire tea leaf, providing a higher concentration of beneficial compounds (Cabrera et al., 2006). These compounds include antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, which are known to contribute to overall health and wellness.

Matcha Tea and Heart Health: The Science

Several studies have investigated the potential benefits of matcha tea for heart health. These benefits can be attributed to the presence of various bioactive compounds in matcha, particularly catechins, a type of antioxidant. The most abundant catechin in matcha is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been extensively researched for its potential to promote cardiovascular health (Khan & Mukhtar, 2018).

Matcha tea and heart health benefits

Antioxidant Properties and Reduced Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is a significant factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases. It results from an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the body's ability to neutralise them (Lobo et al., 2010). High levels of oxidative stress can cause damage to cells, proteins, and DNA, contributing to inflammation and the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels (Madamanchi et al., 2005).

Matcha tea is a rich source of antioxidants, especially catechins, which have been shown to neutralise ROS and reduce oxidative stress (Khan & Mukhtar, 2018). A study by Suzuki-Sugihara et al. (2016) found that consuming matcha green tea significantly increased the antioxidant capacity of participants, suggesting that it may help protect against oxidative stress-related cardiovascular diseases.

Anti-inflammatory Effects

Inflammation is a natural defence mechanism in the body; however, chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis (Libby, 2012). The catechins in matcha tea, particularly EGCG, have been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and reducing the activation of inflammatory pathways (Singh et al., 2011).

A study by Kuriyama et al. (2006) demonstrated that regular green tea consumption was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, partly due to its anti-inflammatory effects. Although this study focused on green tea, matcha tea's higher concentration of catechins suggests that it may offer even greater anti-inflammatory benefits.

Read out blog on the differences between matcha and green.

Improved Blood Lipid Profiles

High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, commonly known as "bad" cholesterol, can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (Ference et al., 2017). Matcha tea may help improve blood lipid profiles by reducing LDL cholesterol levels and increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or "good" cholesterol.

A meta-analysis of 14 randomised controlled trials found that green tea consumption significantly reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels (Zheng et al., 2011). Another study involving 240 men and women demonstrated that daily consumption of green tea extract, which is high in catechins, led to significant reductions in LDL cholesterol levels (Nagao et al., 2007). Given that matcha tea contains even higher concentrations of catechins, it may have a more substantial impact on blood lipid profiles, although further research is needed.

Blood Pressure Regulation

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (Whelton et al., 2018). Some studies have suggested that regular consumption of green tea may help lower blood pressure, potentially reducing the risk of heart-related issues.

A meta-analysis of 13 studies found that green tea consumption was associated with a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure (Liu et al., 2014). The authors suggested that the presence of catechins, particularly EGCG, may contribute to these beneficial effects. As matcha tea is particularly rich in catechins, it may offer even greater blood pressure-lowering benefits.

Endothelial Function and Blood Flow

Endothelial dysfunction, characterised by impaired blood vessel function, can contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases (Flammer et al., 2012). The catechins in matcha tea, particularly EGCG, have been shown to improve endothelial function by increasing nitric oxide production, a molecule that promotes blood vessel relaxation and improves blood flow (Schini-Kerth et al., 2010).

A study by Widlansky et al. (2007) demonstrated that short-term consumption of green tea extract, which is high in catechins, improved endothelial function in healthy individuals. Although this study focused on green tea extract, the higher catechin content in matcha tea suggests that it may offer even greater benefits for endothelial function and blood flow.


The scientific evidence supporting the potential benefits of matcha tea for heart health is promising. Matcha tea's high concentration of catechins, particularly EGCG, may contribute to reduced oxidative stress, anti-inflammatory effects, improved blood lipid profiles, blood pressure regulation, and enhanced endothelial function. As cardiovascular diseases remain a leading cause of death worldwide, incorporating matcha tea into your daily routine may be a delicious and healthful way to support a healthy heart.

However, it's essential to remember that matcha tea should be consumed as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, stress management, and a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are also vital for maintaining good heart health. 

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