It is not unknown anymore that green tea is considered as a health drink with multiple benefits to keep you fit. Already a popular name among tea lovers, it is soon a much-discussed topic among medical experts and researchers. Green tea is a less processed tea made from un-oxidised leaves – one of the main reasons for the high level of anti-oxidants present in this beverage. Green tea has significant anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-cavity properties. The health benefits of green tea range from preventing high-risk health issues like cholesterol and cancer to giving you a radiant look. Keeping our focus on cancer let’s look at the possible factors that establish the link between green tea and colon cancer.
Green tea contains polyphenols and catechins, both of which have the cancer prevention properties. The substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate present in green tea is thought to be the most helpful element in combatting cancer. Some laboratory tests have shown that green tea extracts can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Furthermore, it has also been observed that green tea activates detoxification enzymes, such as glutathione S-transferase and quinone reductase which may inhibit tumour development.
The issue of Carcinogenesis had published a study on preventing effects of green tea against colon cancer. The study was conducted on mice to test the benefits of green tea, white tea and a drug called sulindac. The mice were genetically predisposed to develop tumours in their intestines. After 12 weeks of treatment, it was found that mice that received no treatment developed 30 tumours; mice that consumed green tea had developed an average of 17 tumours; mice that consumed white tea developed 13 tumours and those who were administered a combination of white tea and sulindac had an average of six tumours. The results were indicative that the effect of tea on metabolism has the potential to block cancer-causing cells, and the same is applicable in the case of humans too.
It is also believed that the reason for lower cancer rates in Asia as compared to other parts of the world is due to high intake of green tea. Although the beneficial effects of green tea have been attributed to the presence of strong antioxidants and polyphenols, the accurate mechanism by which green tea might help in the colon cancer prevention is yet to be established.