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Green Tea & Breast Cancer Prevention

Photo Credit Photo by Tang Don

Last month I came down with a bad flu. I was in bed for days. After recovering, I replaced my daily cup of coffee with Match Green Tea. I must say, it took me about a week to get use to the flavor. I made the switch for the health benefits. I figured green tea was better than the cream and sweetener that I was adding to my daily cup of coffee.

What exactly are the benefits? Last time I checked, I did not have a PhD behind my name so I did some research and this is what I found from Very Well Health and Tia Tremblay.

"Amongst all the talk about the benefits of drinking green tea in recent years are several claims that a chemical found in green tea—epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)—may be a powerful weapon against breast cancer. The low rate of breast cancer (and some other cancers) in regions where people drink large amounts of green tea is what made researchers start examining the relationship.

Before you put faith in your teacup, it's important to dig into the science—what's known and what needs more examination."

Antioxidants and Free Radicals

Green tea's cancer-fighting reputation comes from its polyphenols, which are chemicals that have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect the cells in your body from free radicals, highly reactive molecules that speed the damage caused by chemicals in the environment or by aging, and that can lead to the development of cancer (and other diseases).

Use for Breast Cancer Prevention

Many studies have looked at the role of green tea and breast cancer prevention. Not all of them have found an association between drinking green tea and lower breast cancer risk, but some of the largest, most credible studies have.

In the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Screening Trial, which included more than 100,000 people, researchers found that those who consumed green tea had a lower overall risk of cancer; in other words, it appeared to reduce the risk of any cancer.2 Whereas some studies have looked at very large amounts of green tea—say, drinking 30 cups daily—this study looked at people who drank just one daily cup of green tea.

A 2017 study looked at breast density in women given a supplement of EGCG for one year.3 High breast density is linked with an elevated risk of breast cancer. While the supplement didn't change breast density in older women, it significantly decreased it in young women. The effect was similar to that of tamoxifen, a drug that's sometimes used to reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk individuals.

The researchers concluded that further studies should be done on the role of green tea in reducing breast cancer risk in young women."

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