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Green Tea: A Preventative Measure Against Cancer?

Posted by Nirmala N.

The Chinese have consumed green tea for some 5,000 years. It contains antioxidants called flavonoids - also found in leafy vegetables - which are thought to prevent cancer. Green tea has been used to treat hypertension and atherosclerosis. Studies have shown EGCG to modulate the growth factor leading to leukemic cells, while theaflavin-enriched green tea extract has been shown to lower cholesterol and may reduce the risk of hypertension. Researchers such as Thomas Gasiewicz, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester (UR) in New York, have studied green tea's chemopreventive abilities. In 2003, Gasiewicz and his colleagues at UR's Environmental Health Sciences Center determined that chemicals in green tea shut down the aryl hydrocarbon (AH) receptor, one of the key molecules in tobacco that may spur cancer. Chemicals in green tea successfully shut down the AH receptor in cancerous cells in mice. The manner in which green tea is metabolized in the human body is still not fully understood, so more research is needed, according to Gasiewicz. "The data from studies on human populations are not convincing as to a health benefit of green tea consumption," Gasiewicz said. "Some studies show some benefit; some studies do not. However, the evidence from animal investigations is more convincing for an anti-cancer activity of green tea and its components." "Determining how these chemicals work in animals may help us to understand how they might - or might not - act in humans and the concentrations that may be effective. This information may also assist in the design of agents that may be more effective in humans for anti-cancer therapy," he said. The Mayo Clinic research team also stated that more studies are needed to determine optimal doses, side effects and the frequency of medication before green tea can be recommended for widespread use among cancer patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there's no concrete scientific evidence to support claims that green tea prevents cancer. In a June 2005 statement, the FDA cited studies with conflicting information about the effectiveness of green tea in preventing certain types of cancer. While two studies revealed that green tea didn't demonstrably reduce the risk of breast cancer, one "limited" study suggested that it might. Similarly, while one study found that green tea didn't reduce the risk of prostate cancer, a smaller study found that it did. As part of the FDA's Consumer Health for Better Nutrition Initiative, experts concluded that it is highly unlikely that green tea reduces the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. The FDA also concluded that qualified health claims for green tea consumption as a preventive measure for reducing the risk of other types of cancers must be investigated further, as no substantial scientific evidence exists for such claims.
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Because of Green tea's powerful antioxidant potency. While this will take years of research to substantiate there are other studies that strongly suggest Green tea's role in supporting heart health and boosting immune health. Because of its antioxidative properties, Green tea also is an anti-aging agent working inside the system as well as through topical applications of green tea extracts. You'll find several cosmetics and facial creams containing Green tea. There are plenty of good reasons to drink Green tea regularly and if you don't like it freshly brewed, you can always revert to pure Green tea concentrate, like Green Tea Plus—just a few drops in any beverage is equal to 6 cups of Green tea!

We put so much expectation on ONE food that will cure it all.  Researchers have been investigating the cancer prevention merits of green tea, so far without success.  Rather, they have found that green tea extract inhibit the effect of certain prostate cancer drugs.

But this doesn't mean that green tea shouldn't be part of a healthy diet.  So, mix it up: all teas (green, white, black, herbal) have different properties that may help your body stay healthy longer.  And did you know that the health benefit of tea is greater if someone ELSE fixes that cup of tea for you?  A recent British study showed that, tea-for-tea, a cup prepared by someone else had a greater relaxing effect, meaning lower cortisol level and ... weight loss.  How about that! 

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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