Both China and Japan have used green tea as a medicine for centuries. The tea is made from the steamed, unfermented leaves of the Camellia sinensis
Both China and Japan have used green tea as a medicine for centuries. The tea is made from the steamed, unfermented leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant with manufacturers promoting it as a dietary supplement. They claim that it helps control blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and weight. Green tea can either be consumed as a drink or in supplement form with some believing it might prevent certain types of cancer.
The substance in green tea that researchers think is most helpful is catechin, said Cancer Research UK.
The health charity added: “It is called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It also contains caffeine and theanine.
“EGCG, the helpful substance in green tea, is available as green tea extract.
“People take it as a supplement in liquids, tablets or capsules.”
In a study published in the National Library of Health, green tea consumption and a reduction in cancer risk was further investigated.
Cancer preventive activities of green tea and its main constituent –epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – have been extensively studied by scientists all over the world, began the study.
It continued: “Since green tea is a daily beverage in Japan, we paid special attention to green tea catechins for our main experiments.
“In 1987, we reported for the first time that topical applications of EGCG significantly prevented tumour promotion in mouse skin.
“Soon after publication, the British journal New Scientist introduced our research on cancer prevention with EGCG under the title of ‘green tea cuts cancerous growths’.
“We have studied cancer prevention with green tea for over 30 years, and our collaborations have produced numerous significant results, both from basic studies and with cancer patients and the general human population.
“The combination of EGCG and anticancer compounds induced apoptosis and increased efficacy of anticancer activity in rodents, and also showed synergistic enhancement of anti-cancer activity against human cancer cell lines.
“Green tea is a cancer preventive for primary cancer prevention, and green tea catechins act as synergist with anticancer drugs in tertiary cancer prevention.”
Although researchers have yet to prove an association between green tea consumption and cancer prevention, it is a widely accepted fact that a healthy body may aid in lowering one’s risk of cancer, said the National Foundation for Cancer Research.
It added: “As many studies have suggested that green tea is linked to good health, it is not unlikely that future research will be able to prove that it reduces the risk of cancer.
“Luckily, drinking green tea only yields benefits without any consequences.
“As researchers continue gathering evidence of green tea’s role in cancer prevention, consuming green tea regularly will continue improving other measures of health.”