5 Proven Health Benefits of Green Tea

3. Green tea may help to prevent some types of cancer

Pancreatic cancer

A study has found that the active component in green tea called EGCG changes pancreatic cancer cell metabolism by the suppression of the expression of an enzyme linked to cancer known as LDHA. It was also found that oxamate, an enzyme inhibitor, which is known to reduce activity of LDHA, functioned in the same way by disrupting the metabolic system of the pancreatic cancer cells.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1007/s11306-014-0672-8

Making use of advanced metabolic profiling techniques, the researchers discovered the “flux” balance within the cellular metabolic network was disrupted by EGCG. Flux is the molecule turnover rate in a metabolic pathway. The balance was disrupted by EGCG in the same way that oxamate did.

The researchers concluded that both oxamate and EGCG reduced cancer risk by suppressing LDHA activity, a critical enzyme in the metabolism of cancer, subsequently disrupting the balance in the metabolic functions of the cancer cells.

Oral cancer

Another study has found that the polyphenol EGCG found in green tea sets off a cycle that destroys oral cancer cells while healthy cells remain intact. The study shows that EGCG may set off a process in the mitochondria that results in cell death.2✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201400485

EGCG does something that damages the mitochondria which sets up a cycle leading to more damage until the cell is run through programmed cell death. While this mitochondrial demise carries on, anti-oxidant gene expression is also reduced in the cancer cell, which further reduces its defenses.

Healthy human oral cells were examined side-by-side with human oral cancer cells to establish how cancer cells were affected differently by EGCG compared to normal cells. Normal and cancer cells were grown on petri dishes before exposing them to EGCG at concentrations normally found in saliva after having chewed green-tea chewing gum.

Digestive system cancer

In a population-based study of about 75,000 Chinese women, it was discovered that those who consume green tea may reduce their risk of certain digestive system cancers, particularly stomach/esophagus and colorectal cancers. They were asked for the initial interview if they consumed tea, the kind of tea they drank, and how much they drank. The majority of the women reported consuming mainly green tea.3✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.111.031419

The study found that regular tea consumption, characterized as tea consumption a minimum of 3 times a week for more than 6 months, was linked to a 17% reduced risk of all cancers of the digestive system combined. An increased level of tea drinking was found to be linked to a further decrease in risk. To be specific, individuals who drank approximately 2 to 3 cups daily (a minimum of 150 grams of tea monthly) had a 21% reduced risk of cancers of the digestive system.

There was a reduction in risk of 27% in women who had consumed tea regularly not less than 20 years for all cancers of the digestive system combined. There was a reduction in risk of 29% for colorectal cancer in the long-term drinkers of tea.

Green Tea Infographic

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About the author

Adrian has been writing on health and fitness for 18 years. He is the founder of several health related websites and the current owner of AHealthBlog, which regularly publishes evidence based health and fitness news and information. When he isn’t writing, you can find him mountain biking or surfing.



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