People around the world enjoy green tea as their favorite beverage. In fact, it’s the drink of choice only after water. Used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, green tea was used as an astringent, stimulant, and diuretic.
Other traditional practices used green tea for stomach ailments, regulating blood sugar, and improving mental acuity. In addition, recently studies have been conducted on green tea – showing that this popular beverage is extremely beneficial for a variety of conditions including diabetes, inflammatory conditions, and cancer – especially breast cancer.
The numbers speak for themselves: It’s time for a ‘new’ attitude about cancer
With an estimated 235,000 newly diagnosed cases and 41,000 deaths in 2015, breast cancer is a huge risk for every woman. Yet, the approach of conventional medicine is nothing more than ‘wait and see.’ If a woman gets diagnosed with breast cancer – only then, is the approach of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation offered.
But, you and I both know ‘conventional wisdom’ has nothing to do with prevention. It’s important to include a healthy approach to lifestyle in order to reduce the risk of cancer. Along with many other preventative steps, a quality organic green tea can be an integral part of a life-giving diet (with some cautions).
Interesting to note: The EGCG component of green tea has tested very beneficial for breast cancer prevention and therapy. In fact, it is 25 times more powerful than Vitamin E and 100 times more powerful than vitamin C.
The anti-cancer benefits of green tea revealed
The World Journal of Clinical Oncology recently discussed the effect of green tea components on breast cancer. The reported study discovered green tea’s catechins – especially EGCG – to inhibit tumor growth, proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis of breast cancer. A very recent study published in Molecular Carcinogenesis also found green tea’s catechins, specifically EGCG, to suppress activity of the breast cancer gene. Other studies have found green tea as beneficial for estrogen and fat metabolism, as well as therapeutic for oxidative stress.
Recent data reported in the Pharmacology journal have shown green tea’s polyphenols and EGCG to be a vigorous chemo-preventive against breast cancer. It may also have cancer chemotherapeutic effects. Consumed with prescription drugs for breast cancer (such as Tamoxifen), treatment has been shown to be more effective. Because of green tea’s favorable safety profile, the report encouraged it to be used as a strategic approach in chemoprevention, as well as adjuvant and metastatic breast cancer treatment.
Green tea dosage for breast cancer prevention and therapy
A very large study in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention showed that women under the age of 50 years old benefited most from drinking green tea. By consuming three or more cups per day, they were 37 percent less likely to develop breast cancer.
Another large study in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research showed benefits for women who were diagnosed with breast cancer. If they drank five cups or more per day prior to cancer diagnosis, they had the least chances for getting the disease again. The recurrence rate for stage I and II was 24.3 percent. This study also showed younger women to benefit more.
A word of caution for green tea drinkers
If you decide to add green tea to your diet for breast cancer prevention or therapy, make sure you evaluate the tea’s quality for safety. Green tea attracts naturally-occurring fluoride from the soil.
Older tea like brick tea has been found to contain much higher levels of fluoride than new tea from early spring leaves, and organic teas may contain even lower amounts than non-organic teas. In addition, total polyphenols and amino acids are richer in young leaves and poorer in mature ones.
Remember, excessive fluoride is an endocrine disruptor and can also affect the bones, thyroid, pineal gland, brain, and blood sugar. On top of that, non-organic teas contain pesticides – which only increase your toxic burden.
So, if your goal is to include green tea in your diet, make sure you choose a quality green teas that are early, young, and hand-picked spring leaves.
About the author: Abby Campbell is a medical, health, and nutrition research writer. She’s dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Abby practices, writes, and coaches on natural preventive care, nutritional medicine, and complementary and alternative therapy.
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Editors of Reader’s Digest. (1999). The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs. Pleasantville, NY: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.