Vastly cultivated in India and China, tea is the
second most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water. Of all the
different varieties of tea, green tea (Camellia sinesis) is thought to be the
best in terms of its impact on health.
Until now, green tea was a favorite among people
attempting to lose weight and among the select few who look for medicine in
their daily diets. However, a recent study suggests that extracts from green
tea may be useful in preventing breast cancer.
Green tea, being made from unfermented and
unprocessed leaves, is packed full of antioxidants and polyphenols. Free
radicals, when present in the body, can prove to be dangerous. They change the
composition of body cells, altering their true nature and function, damage the
cellular DNA, speed up the ageing process and even cause cell death. This can
result in a number of potentially hazardous health issues including cancer and
Green tea, being rich in polyphenols, fights
these free radicals effectively and prevents the free radicals from causing
Early studies conducted on the health benefits
of green tea were merely population based studies. Even so, a report conducted
demonstrated the surprisingly low numbers of cancer cases in Japan, where green
tea forms a major portion of one's fluid intake.
However, the recent study conducted proves that
Polyphenon E, a component of green tea is responsible for inhibiting hepatocyte
growth factor and endothelial cell growth, both of which are responsible for
causing cancerous and non-cancerous tumors. It is also believed that the
polyphenols play a major role in killing cancerous cells and inhibiting their
This recent research conducted in the Columbia
University Medical Center in New York analyzed 40 women to demonstrate the
efficacy of green tea in reducing cancer cell count and inhibition of growth of
new cells. Women assigned to green tea
extract showed a whooping ten-fold increase in resistance to breast cancer
than those women assigned to placebo.
A few plus
The great news is that green tea is not just
effective at warding away cancer, but also helps deal with many other health
problems; a few of which are listed below.
• High Cholesterol:
Green tea is thought to raise the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and
significantly reduce cholesterol levels.
• Atherosclerosis: The
antioxidant properties of green tea may help prevent atherosclerosis,
particularly coronary artery disease, according to researchers. Also, a recent
survey conducted in the US claims that drinking 3 cups of green tea a day can
reduce your risk of heart attack to 11%.
• Other cancers: The
components of green tea are thought to prevent not just breast cancer, but also
other cancers including colon cancer, ovarian cancer, bladder cancer, stomach
cancer and skin cancer.
• Diabetes: Green tea
extracts have already demonstrated their efficiency at regulating blood glucose
levels, proving to be a boon to diabetic patients.
• Liver disease: Studies
show that people who consume more than 2 cups of green tea a day are less
likely to suffer from liver damage and other liver problems.