Cancer is considered to be one of the most serious issues affecting humanity worldwide and is the second leading cause of mortality after cardiovascular diseases. Could a daily supplement help to reduce your risk?
A study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews assessed possible associations between green tea consumption and the risk of cancer incidence and mortality.
The authors reviewed 11 experimental studies, including a total of 1,795 participants consuming either green tea extract or a placebo and 131 non-experimental studies.
Studies found phenolic compounds act on carcinogenesis throughout the induction of cell defence systems, including detoxifying and antioxidant enzyme systems, as well as the inhibition of the anti-inflammatory and anti-cellular growth signalling pathways that culminate in cell cycle arrest and/or cellular death.
These contributions strongly suggest the anticancer effects of polyphenols, due to their ability to alter the epigenome of cancer cells.
Epidemiological studies have also shown that green tea intake was associated with a moderate reduction in risk for cancers such as colorectal, stomach, oesophageal and prostate cancer.
Catechins which are considered as an inexpensive, readily applicable and safe phytochemicals, are the major bioactive constituent in green tea polyphenols.
Most of the anti-cancer effects of tea are catechin-mediated, of which EGCG has the most prominent effect.
Although researchers have yet to prove an association between green tea consumption and cancer prevention, it is a widely accepted fact that a healthy body may aid in lowering one’s risk of cancer, said the National Foundation for Cancer Research.
It added: “As many studies have suggested that green tea is linked to good health, it is not unlikely that future research will be able to prove that it reduces the risk of cancer.
“Luckily, drinking green tea only yields benefits without any consequences.
“As researchers continue gathering evidence of green tea’s role in cancer prevention, consuming green tea regularly will continue improving other measures of health.”
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