Drink more tea to reduce risk of certain cancers

Extensive research shows that traditional tea — black, green and other varieties — is one of nature's richest sources of disease-fighting antioxidants. Increasing your intake may decrease your risk of certain cancers.

Drink more tea to reduce risk of certain cancers

Go for green tea

  • Despite its subtle flavour, green tea packs a wallop against cancer cells
  • The grassy-tasting brew is brimming with antioxidants called catechins, particularly one known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), one of the most potent of all antioxidants
  • Green tea is one of the richest sources of EGCG among all foods and drinks, packing three to 10 times more than black tea
  • Lab and animal research suggests that EGCG has the potential to destroy cancer cells
  • EGCG blocks the growth and spread of cancer by triggering a process within cancer cells that makes them self-destruct
  •  EGCG starves the cells by cutting off their blood supply and inhibits an enzyme needed for cancer cell growth

Research suggests you drink up

  • The strongest evidence that tea fights cancer in humans comes from population studies conducted in Japan and China, where most people sip the green variety
  • In particular, some (but not all) studies show a benefit against colon cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers
  • One review found that green tea drinkers cut their risk of colon cancer by 18 percent, while black tea appeared to have no effect
  • Studies show that Japanese women who drink vast quantities of green tea — 10 or more cups a day — are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer

Potential for prostate cancer prevention

  • Antioxidants in green tea may have a potent effect on prostate cancer
  • In one of the first clinical studies to test tea's catechins against cancer in humans, a group of scientists divided 60 men at high risk for developing prostate cancer into two groups. Half the men received tablets containing green tea catechins, and the other half received placebos
  • A year later, just one of the men who took the green tea extract had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, compared to nine men who took placebos

While drinking tea is no guarantee against illness, studies suggest that consuming more of this antioxidant-rich beverage may lower risk factors for certain cancers. So put the kettle on and drink to your health.

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