Monday, May 14, 2007

Green tea against cancer

green tea
Green tea is good for your health: There are so many new medical studies about positive green tea effects these days that I am simply unable to report them all right now. Today I'll concentrate on cancer because some of the most interesting research takes place in this field. - (Picture by BluMania @ Flickr)

A great number of studies have shown that green tea reduces the risk of cancer and other diseases. Yesterday I have found no less than 92 such studies. Many studies show a protective effect of green tea, others don't. Studies in human populations, even if their outcome is positive, only indirectly show any effect of green tea. If and how the healthy substances really work can never be proven this way.

For this reason, researchers have isolated the most bio-active antioxidants (polyphenols) from green tea and tested their effect on cancer cells. These results confirm the findings of population studies. Polyphenols from green tea inhibit the growth of cancer cells in many ways: For instance, they diminish the growth of blood vessels in the tumor, making it starve. They also force tumor cells to die as healthy cells use to do when their time has come. The natural agents from green tea are as effective to fight cancer cells as the strongest anti-cancer weapons of the chemical industry are, but without their side effects. Based upon such studies in cell cultures and animals, researchers now develop new anti cancer drugs from green tea.

The first clinical studies with such drugs are now under way. First results in a small number of prostate cancer patients are reported from Italy: In a group of thirty men treated with green tea extract because of a high risk, only one developed a prostate cancer. In thirty men treated with placebo at the same time, nine cancers have been detected. These results are preliminary, of course. But the age of anti-cancer drugs from green tea has only begun.

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