(NaturalNews) An extract from green tea may slow the progression of the most common form of leukemia, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Mayo Clinic and presented at the annual meeting of the "American Society of Clinical Oncology."
The study was conducted on 42 patients suffering from early-stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Because CLL typically develops slowly with periods of remission, patients are only treated when the disease is actively spreading. None of the study participants were yet undergoing any cancer treatment, including radiation or chemotherapy.
The participants were treated with an extract of epigallocatechin galeate (EGCG), an antioxidant in the catechin family, leading to a significant drop in leukemia cell count in more than two-thirds of participants. In more than one-third of participants, the number of cancerous cells in the blood dropped by a full 20 percent. Additionally, 70 percent of patients who were suffering from enlarged lymph nodes underwent a 50 percent reduction in lymph node size.
"Although only a comparative phase III trial can determine whether EGCG can delay progression of CLL, the benefits we have seen in most CLL patients who use the chemical suggest that it has modest clinical activity and may be useful for stabilizing this form of leukemia, potentially slowing it down," said lead author Tait Shanafelt.
Prior studies have suggested that green tea and its compounds may help fight off cancers of the bladder, colon, esophagus, stomach and pancreas. More recent studies have suggested that it may help fend off tooth decay and aid in weight loss.
Green tea consumption has also been associated with a lowered risk of heart disease, liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis and impaired immune disease. In addition to helping prevent these chronic diseases, green tea may also help slow their progression. Advocates of the beverage also claim that it can help cleanse the body of toxins.