Cancer Prevention with Green Tea

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Green Tea and Antioxidants

Cancer is often caused by free radicals (oxidants). Free radicals damage cells and damaged cells are more prone to cancer. Green tea contains antioxidants (polyphenols) which destroy free radicals, thus fighting cancer. One of the big causes of free radicals is UV radiation (sun radiation). So the polyphenols in green tea can fight off skin cancer which is why if you’re at a higher risk for skin cancer, it’s important to add green tea to your diet.

The polyphenols in green tea include epicatechin (EC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin (EGC) and epigallocathechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is the most effective cancer preventer in green tea and some tea farmers are working to increase the amount of EGCG in green tea.

Polyphenols may also inactivate some viruses, which can make you healthier. The polyphenols in green tea may actually inactivate the viruses that contribute to cancer such as the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Green Tea Reduces Nitrate

Not only does green tea fight off free radicals, but it also reduces nitrates which can cause digestive cancers. Nitrates in the stomach can turn into nitroso-amine which has been linked with digestive cancers. Drinking green tea reduces nitrates, thus helping to prevent some digestive cancers.

Cancer Prevention with Green Tea

While all teas contain some antioxidants, because of the way green tea is produced, it contains the most, which is why it’s so good at preventing cancer.

To get the most out of green tea, make sure you seep it for a good five minutes before drinking it to get the most antioxidants released. You will also need to drink at least four cups a day to get benefits.

Some research shows that green tea supplements may contain higher antioxidants, but more research needs to be done.

References

Hara, Yukihiko. Green Tea Health Benefits and Applications. Marcel Dekker, Inc. 2001

Mitscher, Lester PhD & Dolby, Victoria. The Green Tea Book. Avery Publishing Group, 1998

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