T Nation

Of Sprouting and Green Tea


Hi folks,

Basically i have 2 burning questions. The first is regarding nuts. To skin or not to skin (or rather sprout actually)

According to the Abs Diet by David Zinczenko from Men's Health (I know, its not the best source of health information) nuts should be eaten with their skins intact. However, others such as Paul Chek and Nick Delgado recommend that nuts and seeds should be soaked or rather sprouted so that their skins break down.

The reasons for it being that the skin contains phytic acid that binds to prevents mineral absorption and other enzyme inhibitors. Sprouting also apparently improves the nutritional value.

Secondly, Bryan Haycock who developed HST, recommended not to consume green tea as it has anti-androgenic properties.

His claims are supported by a number of studies conducted but i am not sure about their validity.

1) Hiipakka RA, Zhang HZ, Dai W, Dai Q, Liao S. Structure-activity relationships for inhibition of human 5alpha-reductases by polyphenols. Biochem Pharmacol. 2002 Mar 15;63(6):1165-76.

?Since some of these compounds [EGCG and others] are consumed as part of the normal diet or in supplements, they have the potential to inhibit 5 alpha-reductase activity, which may be useful for the prevention or treatment of androgen-dependent disorders. However, these compounds also may adversely affect male sexual differentiation.?

2) Liao S. The medicinal action of androgens and green tea epigallocatechin gallate. Hong Kong Med J. 2001 Dec;7(4):369-74.

?It is now clear that a specific green tea catechin, (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate, can modulate the production and biological actions of androgens and other hormones.
Modulation of androgenic activity and administration of (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate may be useful for the treatment of various hormone-related abnormalities, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, baldness, and acne, as well as androgen-dependent and -independent prostate cancers.?

3) Ren F, Zhang S, Mitchell SH, Butler R, Young Cy. Tea polyphenols down-regulate the expression of the androgen receptor in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Oncogene. 2000 Apr 6;19(15):1924-32.

?In conclusion, we have described a new property of tea polyphenols that inhibits
androgen action by repressing the transcription of the androgen receptor gene.?

4) Liao S, Hiipakka RA. Selective inhibition of steroid 5 alpha-reductase isozymes by tea
epicatechin-3-gallate and epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 Sep 25;214(3):833-8.
?(-)Epigallocatechin-3-gallate also inhibits accessory sex gland growth in the rat. These results suggest that certain tea gallates can regulate androgen action in target organs.?
And from the study you referred to?

5) Kao YH, Hiipakka RA, Liao S Modulation of endocrine systems and food intake by green tea epigallocatechin gallate. Endocrinology. 2000 Mar;141(3):980-7.

?The effect of EGCG on the weight of male accessory sexual organs was due to lowered circulating levels of testosterone. This conclusion is supported by the following observations. 1) Androgens such as TP and DHTP blocked the effect of EGCG on the weight of accessory sexual organs, including prostates. 2) EGCG did not reduce prostate weight in androgen-supplemented castrated Sprague Dawley rats (our unpublished observations). 3) EGCG-induced weight loss of prostate and other androgen-sensitive organs was accompanied by an EGCG-induced lowering of serum testosterone.?

? Also, by lowering plasma levels of sex steroids and other endocrine factors, such as IGF-I, long term use of EGCG or green tea may be effective in the prevention and suppression of the growth of hormone-dependent and -independent prostate and breast cancer (14, 34, 35). This may relate to the low occurrence of breast and prostate cancer metastasis and mortality in some Asian countries (14, 36) where green tea is consumed regularly.

Despite many potential benefits of green tea and EGCG consumption, it is also important to evaluate undesirable health-related consequences that may arise from EGCG- induced reductions in the levels of sex steroid hormones and other endocrine factors.?

I would really appreciate any feedback from you guys, and hopefully from Dr.John Berardi. I know you are a terribly busy man, but i'd like to hear your views as i know you recommend drinking green tea.

I am currently drinking 3 bags of green tea a day and 1 bag of rooiboos (redbush) tea and eat about 20 almonds and walnuts with skins intact a day.


Your raising these questions brings an important topic to mind: at what point can we finally make up our minds, choose a program, and decide to stick to it whatever distracting information to contrary we hear?

I'm sure you've already noticed that on any given topic, especially nutrition, there are 20 experts on the pro side (with a stack of scientific studies 30 miles high) and another 20 experts who insist the exact opposite, and have the studies to prove it.

In my opinion, you have chose your expert (Berardi is a great choice) and stick with whatever he says, unless you get a shitload of convincing evidence to the contrary. Changing your mind with every new "fact" that comes along leads to insanity.

Now to get to your issue. In the first place, 3 bags of green tea is an inconsequential amount, pro or con. Those mythical Asians who are dodging cancer drink 10+ cups of green tea a day. At three cups a day, your testorone is safe either way. No worries.

The nuts are a slightly different issue. I'm sure that it is healthier to sprout them (as sprouted grains digest better and have increased nutrient bioavailability.) But are you hurting yourself somehow by eating skins and not sprouting them? I think not --and certainly human beings didn't evolve going through that rigamarole before eating a handful of nuts. The question then becomes, do you have the patience (or anal retentive obsessiveness to get the very best nutrition in all cases) to sprout all the nuts you eat? Well, do ya?


Well i personally like to find the easiest/most efficient way of doing everything, cause i am such a lazy ass.

I steep my 3 bags of green tea in a pint glass and drink it with the bags still inside. Thats exactly how lazy i am.
Also, i had my testosterone levels checked recently, and they are smack in the middle of the normal range. (which i find strange, being the horny dog that i am)

So when it comes to soaking nuts and sprouting, i am probably the most reluctant guy in the world to do it. The sprouts would be probably taste horrible and lose their crunchiness, and thats the best part about eating nuts isnt it? (well for me at least)


I agree in part to the above poster about there being pros and cons to everything to the nth degree. At the same time, if you are into the science behind human biology/physiology, topics like this should be investigated until you can form your own informed opinion. Either way, a few cups of green tea might not hurt you - but, what dose(s) of EGCG were used in those experiments? Often times its a dose many hundreds of times what most humans could/would consume, as is the case when sodium saccharin (Sweet-N- Low) was slated to cause cancer in lab rats.

As for sprouting, any grain, nut, or legume are generally better for your after sprouting, yes because of phytic acid reduction. But it may be minutea if you are a "lazy ass" as you say and not washing the pesticides off of your non-organic produce (if that's the case). I'm basically saying don't miss the trees for the forest - I would have all your basics on nutrition covered before you worrry about sprouting things.

That said, most health food stores (at least in the mid-west/north) carry Food For Life sprouted, organic, whole grain, flourless bread or similar that I highly recommend. This stuff is crunchier than potato chips when you toast it - great texture! As for the nuts, I think raw nuts (except peanuts) are as far as you need to go - the hassle:benefit ratio may be too high to worry about sprouting.




i just started taking Universal's Thermo Green Tea... 6 capsules per day (as per recommendation)... that's 2250mg....

someone tell me it aint true!@!!