Green tea reduces risk of blood cancers by 42 percent

Monday, November 09, 2009 by: Paul Louis, staff writer
Tags: green tea, health news, Natural News

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(Natural News) A Japanese green tea study has determined impressive results regarding the reduction of blood and lymph cancers. Tohoku University researchers found a 42 percent reduction for blood cancers and 48 percent reduction for lymph cancers with high green tea consumption.

To arrive at these results, they analyzed the age, gender, lifestyle and health of 40,000 Japanese over a ten-year period. The epidemiological studies (statistical observations over time) of Japan have been bolstered with western clinical application and lab studies that revealed interesting observations.

For example, the Mayo Clinic of Minnesota fed leukemia patients large doses of GTE's (green tea extracts) and discovered immediate benefits in their patients. However, the doctors consider GTE's a helpful adjunct to orthodox cancer treatments. They declined the notion of using GTE's exclusively or in conjunction with other natural cancer treatments.

Researchers in Spain and England isolated the mechanics of green tea's inhibition of cancer cells. Their research was published back in the March 2005 issue of Cancer Research. They found that ECGC, an extremely abundant catechin in green teas inhibits the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR).

Catechins are active polyphenolic antioxidant metabolites in green tea. The DHFR enzymes they inhibit are needed by cancer cells to proliferate. Upon closer scrutiny of green tea ECGC, they determined that its molecular structure closely resembles that of the cancer drug methotrexate used in chemotherapy.

The good news is that the binding properties of ECGC is not as intense as the drug methotrexate. Therefore, the side effects of green tea are minimal. But there is one situation where green tea's ECGC binding to DHFR can be detrimental: ECGC binding to DHFR can inhibit the folic acid needed by women pregnant in their first trimester. This situation has been shown to increase the risk of her child being born with spina bifida or other fetal neurological disorders.

Because of this, it is recommended that women curb their green tea consumption just prior to pregnancy and during the first trimester.

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