In the last two decades, the amount of research into the health benefits of green tea has been nothing short of tremendous.  This is due, in part, to the fact that numerous studies served to reveal that green tea benefited health in a surprising array of ways.  Green tea is more than just a strong antioxidant, as it protects the body against oxidative stress and thus helps to prevent premature aging.  Studies have shown that green tea also has the ability to protect the body against a range of diseases including cancer.

Since green tea has no calories, it only makes sense to add it to your diet in order to enjoy the health benefits.  Many people opt for taking green tea supplements and green tea elixir supplements, but are these supplements better than drinking green tea?  The short answer is that green tea supplements and green tea are two different "animals" and offer different benefits.

One of the key reasons that people use green tea supplements is that green tea can increase metabolism.  Studies indicate that green tea can increase metabolism slightly, and thus may help with weight loss to some degree.

Another reason that people use green tea supplements is due to the compound EGCG.  EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, is a powerful compound found in green tea that is a strong antioxidant and has great potential in fighting cancer and other diseases.  Research is on going, but extremely promising.  Green tea extracts are getting a great deal of attention in part due to the fact that they have shown the ability to potentially inhibit the growth of cancer cells.  Yet another reason that green tea extracts are being used and studied by scientists is that they appear to have anti-inflammatory capabilities as well.

It is important to remember that green tea does contain caffeine, and too much caffeine can be harmful. Thus, you may wish to consider green tea supplements that have low levels of caffeine or caffeine free, thanks to natural decaffeination processes.  Keep in mind that some decaffeination processes can use harmful chemicals in order to remove the caffeine from their products whether they are coffee or tea.

Ultimately, there is a difference between green tea and green tea extracts.  Green tea extracts can be high in the concentrations of EGCG, whereas drinking green tea alone may not allow drinkers to achieve these high levels.  Using both green tea and green tea extracts together can serve to give drinkers a wide range of potential health benefits and may even protect against disease.