By Elizabeth Radisson
Green tea provides numerous health benefits and while many have not been scientifically proven, some have been. Most recently, the claim that green tea helps fight and prevent breast cancer is being researched. Interestingly, the Chinese have been using green tea medicinally to treat disease for over 4000 years.
Green tea contains the polyphenol EGCG, that is an antioxidant that inhibits cancer cells from reproducing. Polyphenol is known to kill cancer cells while not harming healthy ones. Green tea is loaded with healthy minerals among others such as aluminum and fluoride and is rich in flavonoids, alkaloids, other polyphenols and tannins. Green tea lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and prevents blood clots from forming. Green tea has been proven to effectively help strengthen the immune system. It has also seen to be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases and infection. Studies show green tea to be a helper in preventing prostate cancer and a helper in reducing the risk of esophageal cancer in chronic smokers. Popular belief is that green tea will help prevent tooth decay and will aid in losing weight.
Green tea and black tea are different despite coming from the same camellia sinensis plant. Green tea, becoming popular throughout the world, is not fermented, whereas black tea is. Oolong tea comes from partially fermented tea leaves.
Green tea has been tested in experiments with rats. The studies indicated that rats drinking green tea had tumors reduce in size and others slow in development while the rats that drank just water saw no reductions or slowing of tumor growth of any kind. This kind of result sets up great hopes for green tea as a cancer fighter, though there are no conclusive results on humans and years of study are required before any determination can be made.
Three to four cups of green tea daily are needed to be considered effective as a cancer preventor in humans, but green tea in capsule form is not seen to be as effective. You should drink your green tea without milk and sugar. Three to four cups daily seems like a lot to drink, but people routinely drink that much and more coffee and soda in one day. Green tea does contain caffeine, which can be problematic. It has less caffeine than the same amount of coffee, but drinking large quantities could cause insomnia and disrupt your sleep patterns.
Grocery stores typically carry both caffeinated and decaffeinated green tea products in a large variety of flavors. Women with breast cancer may want to consider drinking green tea to help fight the cancer.
About the Author: Elizabeth Radisson is the editor of
, a website devoted to information on the causes and treatment of breast cancer. Also, visit
for more information on green tea.