Benefits of green tea are immense. It helps to lower bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and reduces the risk of heart diseases. But tea drinkers might don’t know one other benefit of green tea.
In recent years, another possible association has been seen between green tea and cancer prevention. Hirota Fujiki and colleagues experimented on green tea for over 30 years and have outlined significant anticancer properties. The major component found in this green tea extract, the (−)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and other catechins shows synergistic role with 46 anticancer drugs in 58 human cancer cell lines.
Therefore, it is not wrong to say that adequate cups of green tea along with on-going anti-cancer medicines can provide cancer patients with the double prevention. It is majorly due to the cell growth inhibition and apoptosis initiation actions of green tea components. So, taking this tea with a healthy lifestyle can help you to keep cancerous cells at bay.
Let’s take a brief look how green tea show such activities against cancerous cells:
A Brief Introduction On Tea:
Tea is the second most-consumed drink, well ahead of carbonated soft drinks, coffee, wine and beer. It is formulated from the buds and leaves of Camellia sinensis plant. You can see a variety of teas in the market. These varieties of teas depend upon leaves processing and harvesting methods, for instance, green tea is non-fermented, black tea is fermented and oolong tea is semi-fermented tea.
Being a non-fermented tea, this tea is a healing drink of its own kind. The health beneficial components present in this non-fermented tea are completely preserved in the absence of fermentation. This is the reason this tea contains more catechins than any other tea.
Green Tea and Cancer Prevention
Several studies have suggested a significant cancer preventive role of theaflavins and catechins present in green tea. The reports have explored an inverse association of green tea consumption and lung, prostate, skin and breast cancer.
Among many investigated dietary agents, this tea and its polyphenols have gained much attention for its chemopreventive properties against prostate cancer (Pca).
As per the reports of one of the phase 2 trials, green tea exhibits antineoplastic effects against prostate carcinoma. In another analysis, a potential reduction was noticed in PSA serum levels and hepatocyte growth factors among males with prostate cancer upon treatment with green tea withdrawn EGCG.
Altogether, this tea exhibits promising chemopreventive and therapeutic actions against prostate cancer. However, more studies are required to validate these evidence.
It is well known how dangerous ultraviolet radiations are for skin. Its cutaneous overexposure can impart significant adverse impact on skin, including development of nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers.
EGCG present in this non-fermented tea is a potent photoprotective agent. It can help to protect skin from UV carcinogenesis. So, either in topical or dietary form, this tea can reduce the risk of UVB-induced skin tumor.
There are many studies that evaluated the role of green tea in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Patients with stage 1 and stage 2 exhibited a lower recurrence rate and longer disease-free period, when taken green tea (5 cups per day) on a daily basis.
However, the results in this context are inconsistent and require further evaluation for proper validation.
Drinking green tea also reduces the risk of lung cancer, especially among active smokers. Smoking is injurious to health. Active smokers have a high risk of lung cancer.
It has been evaluated that smokers who never consume green tea showed higher risk of lung cancer as compared to smokers who consume more than 1 cup of this tea on a daily basis.
Consuming this tea is also known to reduce risk of various other cancers. For instance, esophageal cancer, colon cancer and liver cancer.
Therefore, a cup of green tea every day can really benefit you, keep you physically active, healthy and lower the risk of certain cancer cell lines. However, its over consumption can also make you sick. So, make sure you are taking an adequate number of green tea bags every day.
Also, read how red and processed meats are bad for health.