At the end of September 2007, the American Journal of Epidemiology published an article demonstrating a halving of the risk of advanced prostate cancer in green tea drinkers. The habit of consuming this drink could explain the relative rarity of these cancers in Asia.
In China and Japan, where the incidence of cancers is lower than in Western countries, studies made on an autopsy table, after deaths with no apparent link to cancer, show that the people examined have the same number of small localized tumors as in Europe or the United States. Certain factors related to the environment would inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.
Green tea has been protecting you
For years 50, researchers at the National Cancer Center in Tokyo followed nearly 50 000 Japanese males, in order to isolate behaviors that could explain these differences. Their results are significant: the risks of developing advanced prostate cancer are 50% lower for men who consume at least 5 cups of tea green tea per day, compared to those who drank less than one cup.
These statistics support other research results which suggest that green tea is an interesting avenue for the prevention and the fight against cancer. In the laboratory, brain tumor cells were brought into contact with one of the active components of green tea: a catechin, called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). These tumor cells were sensitive to the activity of this molecule, already known for its powerful antioxidant activity.
EGCG is able to inhibit angiogenesis, it is that is, the creation of micro-blood vessels that supply energy to the cancer cell. In January 2008, a new study shows this action in a rodent to which a human tumor of the pancreas was grafted. Metastases are also less frequent.
Chemotherapy and theine: the winning duo
Another major benefit of substances extracted from green tea is known from a known study since 2006. The combination of products used during chemotherapy and theanine, an amino acid extracted from the leaves of young green tea shoots, increases the effectiveness of the treatment. The addition of this green tea extract helps destroy the blood network that feeds the tumor. The death of tumor cells is faster and the size of the tumor decreases faster than with the administration of the drugs alone (doxorubicin and tamoxifen).
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