Green Tea and Breast Cancer
Many types of food and drink have been shown to have a preventative effect on the development of cancer. What makes Green Tea of particular interest is that there are indications that it has a curative effect at least with regard to some types of cancer.
Some interesting research studies have been published. One in the International Journal of Oncology has looked at the growth of breast cancer cells in tissue culture. The researchers from the University of Alabama treated the cells with a polyphenol EGCG extracted from Green Tea and found an 80% inhibition of growth rate with a death rate of the cancer cells rising to 51% after 72 hours of treatment. They even managed to demonstrate that the effect was to lower the telomerase of the breast cancer cells, which is elevated in 90% of breast carcinomas.
This year at the University of Southern California scientists worked with women who, for genetic reasons had a higher risk of breast cancer. They found that green tea but not black tea was effective in reducing the chances of getting breast cancer in the high risk group. They identified the mechanism involved as affecting the production of a particular enzyme controlled by the DNA of certain cells.
The same group in 2005 published some very different findings. This time they examined the levels of estrone (an oestrogen) in green tea drinkers and black tea drinkers in the female Chinese population in Singapore. Compared to non-tea drinkers those consuming green tea regularly had a 13% lower estrone level while black tea drinkers had a 19% higher estrone level. These results were so definite that the statistics showed 95% confidence level. There was also a similar pattern with two other sex steroids, oestradiol and androstenedione..
The conclusion from these studies and numerous others over the last 15 years is that green tea is a must.
When I was in Japan in 2005 I found that green tea was automatically given to you in cafes as soon as you sat down. This seems to me to be a great idea. I feel that green tea should be considered as an essential medicine for us all. So why not start your meal with a cancer beating green tea. But, if you find it not very appetising then add a bit of root ginger, which contains another anti-cancer agent.
Colin Sutherland (May 2008)