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Tea has been a dietary staple for 500,000 years. People in India and China appear to
be among the first to have enjoyed this beloved beverage. But it's one variety in
particular--Camellia sinensis--which appears to have a number of health benefits
associated with it. That variety is also known as green tea.

What Makes Green Tea Special

Green tea is unique in that it is produced from unfermented leaves and it contains a
high concentration of polyphenols, which are chemicals that can serve as
antioxidants. Antioxidants are essentially on a search-and-destroy mission against
free radicals, compounds which compromise DNA and destroy cells. Free radicals are
often to blame for the development of cancer as well as heart disease. The
antioxidants immobilize free radicals and inhibit the damage often associated with
them.

Medicinal Uses of Green Tea

For years, Asians have used green tea to promote a healthy lifestyle. It helps to
promote good digestion, improve concentration, and promote the excretion of urine.
In addition, a number of studies in human beings, animals, and in laboratories suggest
that green tea can be effective in combating a number of ailments.

Green Tea's Effect on Cancer of the Pancreas and Colon

In an article entitled, "Green Tea Consumption and the Risk of Pancreatic and
Colorectal Cancers," researchers B.T. Ji, W.H. Chow, A.W. Hsing, J.K. McLaughlin, Q.
Dai, Y.T. Gao, W.J. Blot, and J.F. Fraumeni, Jr. examined the question of green tea's
effectiveness as an antidote to certain types of cancers.

The Columbia University researchers conceded that the effect of green tea on cancer
risk is uncertain, although a number of animal studies seem to indicate a positive
effect.

In order to test the hypothesis that drinking green tea can, in fact, lessen cancer risk,
the researchers conducted an extensive study in Shanghai, China in order to see
whether green tea consumption had any impact on cancers of the colon, rectum, and
pancreas.

The research team found that the greater the consumption of green tea, the lesser
the risk of cancer. As a result, it appears that green tea may, in fact, lower the
incidence of both colorectal and pancreatic cancers. Yet, it should be noted that other
similar studies have produced conflicting results. As a result, scientists recommend
additional research before a definitive statement can be made about green tea as a
colorectal cancer prevention tool.

As far as pancreatic cancer is concerned, another study showed that those individuals
who consumed the most green tea were far less likely to develop the disease. It
appears that the reduced risk is most pronounced in women, who cut their pancreatic
cancer rate in half by drinking large amounts of green tea.

In contrast, male green tea drinkers were 37 percent less likely to develop the
disease. However, it should be noted that it is impossible to tell from this particular
study whether green tea was solely responsible for cutting pancreatic cancer risk.

Green Tea and Other Cancers

But what about other cancers? How effective has green tea been in preventing other
forms of the disease? To begin with, cancer rates are often lower in Japan and other
nations where green tea consumption is high. Animal studies also indicate that the
polyphenols in green tea are effective antioxidants which kill cancerous cells, stopping
them in their tracks.

A study of bladder cancer patients found that those who consumed green tea had a
much better five-year survival rate than cancer patients who did not drink the
beverage. In addition, animal studies appear to confirm that the chemicals in green
tea stop the growth of breast cancer cells.

One study of nearly 500 women with breast cancer found that those who drank
green tea did not see their cancer spread as much as those who did not consume
green tea. Yet, those who were in the later stages of breast cancer who drank green
tea saw little or no improvement in their condition.

Animal studies also indicate that green tea can prevent the growth of cancer cells in
the esophagus. But studies in human beings have yielded mixed results. For instance,
one study showed that green tea could help prevent esophageal cancer--especially in
women, while another indicated that the tea could actually increase the incidence of
such cancer.

Consequently, additional research is needed before scientists can determine
conclusively whether green tea can act as a cancer preventative.

The effects of green tea on lung and prostate cancer remain unclear. However, the
beverage does seem to prevent the onset of skin cancer. There is also some
evidence to suggest that it can inhibit the growth of stomach cancer cells.

It appears that green tea may be effective in the fight against inflammatory bowel
disease. This is significant because people who suffer from this disease are at a
greater risk for colon cancer. Specifically, green tea appears to reduce the
inflammation characteristic of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, two forms of
inflammatory bowel disease.

Green Tea and Chemotherapy

There have been lab tests to indicate that green tea can improve the effectiveness of
chemotherapy drugs such as doxorubicin and tamoxifen. But the positive effect has
not yet been demonstrated in studies of human beings. In fact, green tea and green
tea extracts are not recommended for prostate cancer patients who are undergoing
chemotherapy.

The Final Word

Although scientific studies at this point are not altogether conclusive, there is strong
evidence to suggest that green tea can be effective in preventing cancer. That may be
particularly true for colorectal and pancreatic cancers. At this point, a number of
doctors agree that, for most people, the health benefits of drinking green tea far
outweigh the risks.


About The Author

Jon M. Stout is the Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. Golden Moon Tea
carefully selects the finest rare and orthodox teas, which are processed slowly and
handcrafted with extreme care. At their website, you can learn more about their
current
offerings, including their exceptional green tea
[http://www.goldenmoontea.com/greentea/], white tea, black tea, oolong tea (also
known as wu-long and wu long tea [http://www.goldenmoontea.com/wu-long/])
and chai. Visit goldenmoontea.com for all details concerning the Golden Moon Tea
Company's fine line of teas.
Could Green Tea Provide a Cure for Cancer?
by Jon Stout
Cancer is a complex, devastating
illness which is responsible for the
deaths of millions of people each
year. For decades, scientists
have been attempting to uncover
some of the secrets of cancer in
order to find a cure. While, so
far, a cure has been out of reach,
there appear to be some natural
remedies which can prevent or
slow cancer growth. One of
those remedies is a beverage
which is commonplace in many
Asian households--tea.

The History of an Anti-Cancer
Copyright © EveryNutrient.com
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
this website is for educational purposes only.  Please consult with your physician before using natural
remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise
program.
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