For the last several years, we have been discovering the health benefits of drinking green tea. In particular, scientists are telling us
that green tea may have significant benefits when it comes to reducing our risk of cancer, and may even help slow the progress of
cancer in patients who already have the disease.
The power of green tea comes from its high level of anti-oxidants which are also available in coffee beverage recipes. Tea comes
from the Camellia sinensis plant, and the tea leaves naturally contain catechins. Catechins belong to the flavan-3-ol class of
EGCG is one of the many catechins contained in tea, and is considered to be the most powerful anti-oxidant in tea leaves. Green
tea contains more of its original anti-oxidants than black tea because of the processing that black tea undergoes. Fermenting the
tea leaves, which is part of processing tea leaves for black tea, converts these catechins to other compounds and reduces their
Anti-oxidants are important to our health because they combat free radicals in our body. Free radicals occur naturally as part of the
process our body goes through when converting food to energy. Free radicals can damage our cells and our DNA if we don't
In conjunction with the study on the patients, researchers also tested some brands of green tea that are very popular in China.
They found that, when the tea had a tendency to mutate during metabolism when fed to rats. So, this may further indicate that
green tea, when combined with other typical pollutants that we're exposed to, may become chemically altered in the body. This
chemical change may actually cause long term, low dosage exposure to green tea to hasten the development in some individuals.
So, as laymen, what should we conclude from this study? Well, even scientists believe that the only conclusion we should draw
from this study is that more research is required.
So many studies have shown that green tea's anti-oxidants likely have the power to help us live longer and healthier lives. This
study does not specifically spell out the other lifestyle habits of the lung cancer patients who drank green tea. For example, we don't
know if a large percentage of these patients also smoked.
So, as you can see, it's a complicated issue. It will certainly take far more research to determine just what the magic combination
might be. More comparison between Asian lifestyle and our own and more studies about the specific benefits and risks of certain
foods and beverages may help us better determine how we can best use products like tea to preserve health.