Nearly all of us are aware that green tea has gained attention for research results showing that it can prevent, and possibly even treat, cancer. Green tea has been shown in many studies to have the ability to slow the growth of abnormal cells, and act as a scavenger against them.
While we don’t have all the answers, it does seem clear that tea’s anti-oxidants are what make them so effective at preventing cancer. Anti-oxidants are critical to the protection of our health because they neutralize the free radicals created by our body as it converts food to energy. Free radicals damage cells and DNA and, over time, contribute to the development of diseases like cancer.
But, anti-oxidants keep the free radicals in check, so that they’re not able to damage our bodies. Anti-oxidants are abundant in many sources, including fruits, vegetables, chocolate, red wine, coffee, tea and several vitamins.
However, one of the most potent anti-oxidants you can find is the EGCG found in green tea. EGCG has been shown to be 100 times more potent than other significant anti-oxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E.
EGCG is more abundant in green tea than black tea because of the way that black tea is processed. Black tea is fermented, which virtually rids it of EGCG. However, black tea does contain other anti-oxidants, but these do not seem to be as effective at preventing cancer.
EGCG and other anti-oxidants in green tea have been shown to have significant ability to slow the growth of cancer cells. One study showed that green tea prevented breast cancer from spreading in patients who already had the disease. Another showed that breast cancer patients who drank green tea had a significantly lower risk of the recurrence of breast cancer than those who did not drink green tea. In addition, studies have shown traditional chemotherapy treatments to be more effective when administered along with green tea.
With regard to prostate cancer, green tea consumption appears to have the ability to act as a sort of scavenger against a substance called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). ROS are a form of free radicals that cause prostate cell damage and that especially contribute to the development of prostate cancer, when produced in excess. But, the anti-oxidants contained in green tea have the ability to get at these free radicals and eradicate them, preventing them from developing into cancer cells.
Green tea has also been shown to be an effective preventer of lung cancer. Green tea appears to cause apoptosis of abnormal lung cells. Apoptosis is the orderly process of cell death. Cell death due to apoptosis is good, because it is a process of killing off damaged or unneeded cells. Green tea seems to help the body rid itself of potentially harmful lung cells by inducing the process of apoptosis.
Green tea also seems to help prevent lung cancer by inhibiting the growth of the abnormal lung cells. So, green tea keeps the cells from growing and spreading until the apoptosis can kills the cells off. These two powers help to rid the body of abnormal cells before they can replicate and cause a problem.
Other research has shown green tea to be effective at preventing ovarian cancer, too. A study in Sweden reported that women who consumed green tea showed a significantly lower risk of developing ovarian cancer, and that the risk decreased as their tea consumption increased.
And, green tea has been shown to prevent cancers of the digestive system. One study concluded that the women who were regular tea drinkers had a significantly lower risk of biliary tract cancer and gallbladder cancer than those who did not drink green tea.
Green tea has even been shown to be effective at preventing and treating skin cancer, when given orally, or even applied topically. Topically applied green tea extract scavenges abnormal skin cells, ridding the body of them before they can mutate into cancer cells. Green tea also holds potential for preventing aging and other skin problems when applied topically.
In short, it appears that green tea is powerful when it comes to preventing abnormal cell growth, which can be an important tool in preventing and treating many proliferative diseases, like cancer.
So, as you can see, green tea’s anti-oxidants hold a wealth of power. They seem to be able to scavenge abnormal cells and prevent the spread of cancerous cells. An interesting report published by the UK Tea Council outlines the anti-oxidant activity of green tea and how it appears to have a potent effect on abnormal cell growth and spread.
Certainly, more research is required for us to fully understand green tea’s power. But, it seems fairly clear that green tea is an important cancer preventer and health protector. And, adding green tea to your diet is likely one of the simplest things you can do to help protect your health.
Green tea is easy to find, delicious and available in a wide range of forms and flavors. So, whether you like it hot or cold, flavored or plain, get your dose of green tea. It’s a refreshing and delicious way to prevent cancer!