Recent studies have shown that Green Tea not only performs a preventive action against malignant tumors, but also inhibit the development of existing carcinomas.
Regular Green Tea intake helps to prevent esophagus, stomach, bowel, liver lung as well as prostate, breast and skin cancers. This happens thanks to the interaction of several factors, but the main anticancer that is contained in Green Tea is a tannin called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
A group of researchers from Murcia University in Spain, together with the researchers of John Innes Centre (JIC) in Norwich (U.K) have found out that the EGCG could represent the starting point of a new group of anti-cancer drugs.
"It is an exciting discovery", has commented Roger Thorneley, chief leader of the Norwich group. For the first time the reason why this polyphenol (EGCG) inhibits the growth of cancer cells in the blood of tea drinkers is clear. "We have discovered that EGCG prevents the cancer cells from secreting the enzyme that causes metastases to develop. In this way malignant cells can no longer invade other tissues. The EGCG inhibits cell growth and division resulting in their death".
This research was subsidized by the European Community and has been published on the magazine "Cancer Research".
Similar results were shown at the thirty-eighth Congress of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco by a group of researchers from Purdue University.
Their researches have shown that four or more cups of Green Tea every day can provide our body with enough active compounds that slow down or prevent the growth of cancer cell.
The most surprising result of recent research is that Green Tea can protect against skin cancer (melanoma).
In another study a group of researchers have discovered that drinking Green Tea can inhibit the formation of cancers related to the exposure to UVB rays. In those cases where such cancers have already developed, regular Green Tea intake has slowed down the growth of malignant cells or has even reduced their size. As a matter of fact, exposure to UVB rays is the main risk factor of skin cancer. Two components of Green Tea, epigallocatechins as well as caffeine have significantly reduced the growth. These substances basically select cancer cells without attacking the healthy ones in the surrounding tissue.
Generally speaking, some catechins inhibit the secretion of the enzyme that causes the formation of metastases and can work together with chemotherapeutic drugs (these are the result of Shizuoka University), thus boosting the effectiveness of the treatment and protecting healthy cells.
In 1991 a study by the American Chemical Society showed that smokers drinking Green Tea has a lower risk of contracting lung cancer.