New Study Shows How Green Tea Prevents Cancer

New Study Shows How Green Tea Prevents Cancer

Green tea has been praised for its laundry list of health benefits before, but a new study found answers to explain how exactly the beverage reduces the risk of cancer.

Previous studies have found that the antioxidant epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) in green tea reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, prevents rheumatoid arthritis, and aids in cancer prevention and treatment. However, the new research published in the journal Metabolomics studied the effect of EGCG and found that the antioxidant changed the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells.

Metabolism refers to the chemical reactions in cells—including cancerous cells— that allow them to survive, thrive, and multiple.  Led by Dr. Wai-Nang Lee from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, researchers found that EGCG disrupts cancer cells from growing by curbing an important enzyme in cancer metabolism, lacate dehydrogenase A (LDHA).

When looking at pancreatic cancer cells, Dr. Lee and his researchers discovered that EGCG disturbs the metabolism “flux,” or the rate of turnover of molecules to slow and reduce the growth of cancerous cells.

“By explaining how green tea’s active component could prevent cancer, this study will open the door to a whole new area of cancer research and help us understand how other foods can prevent cancer or slow the growth of cancerous cells,” Dr. Lee stated.

Scientists had previously believed that doctors must use molecular mechanisms to treat cancer; however, this new discovery leads to another option, changing the metabolic system, when battling armies of cancer cells.

“It is no longer a case of glucose goes in and energy comes out,” Dr. Lee said in a statement. “Now we understand how cancer cell metabolism can be disrupted, and we can examine how we can use this knowledge to try to alter the course of cancer or prevent cancer.”

If this research does not sway you to make the switch from coffee to green tea, consider the other health benefits of this beverage. Green tea contains caffeine, which boosts metabolism and will give you the same stimulating effects of coffee—minus the added sugars, syrups, and dairy products that are added to a cup of Joe.

Green tea contains Flavonoids, antioxidants that act as anti-inflammatory agents, preventing the buildup of plaque in the arteries for increased heart health. The antioxidants in green tea from chemicals Catechin Polyphenols and Theonine prevent aging, boost energy, increases stamina, promotes weight loss, increases immune system health, protects against tooth decay and bad breath, reduces blood glucose levels (when served without sugar), combats fatigue, detoxifies the body and prevents the formation of carcinogens in the body.

Green tea also contains vitamins A, B1, B3, C, and E. Long-term excessive consumption of green tea could lead to insomnia, headaches, abnormal heartbeat, and constipation.