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Does Drinking Tea Lower My Risk for Cancer?

The most widely consumed beverage in the world after water is tea. Tea is consumed by billions of people and according to a number of studies, there are many health benefits. Tea can be subdivided into black, green and oolong. These three varieties of tea are made from the leaves of the bush named Camellia sinensis. The type of tea depends on the level of the oxidation of the leaves. Green is the less processed type of teas and it is made from unoxidized leaves. Needless to say, it has a number of health benefits. Let’s check out the possible health benefits of consuming green tea.

According to recent studies, green teas shows a positive effect in cases such as weight loss, liver disorder, Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes. This tea was traditionally used in Indian and Chinese medicine for treating wounds and controlling bleeding, for aiding in digestion and regulating the body temperature.

May lower the risk of certain types of cancer:

One of the leading causes of death is cancer. It is the uncontrolled growth and development of cells. Green tea is full of antioxidant which may help in reducing the risk of cancer. Drinking green tea might help in lowering the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer and colorectal cancer. It has been found that countries with high green tea consumption showed low rates of cancer. However, it is not possible to know for sure if the green tea consumption is helping or there is some factor as well.

According to researchers, high quantity of polyphenols in tea is responsible for killing cancer cells and preventing them from growing. The mechanism of tea interacting with cancerous cells is yet to be known. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that there is no evidence that can support the health claims for green tea towards the reduced risk of different types of cancer.

Improves Health:

By weight, green tea is 30 per cent polyphenols which consist of a huge amount of catechin that is named as EGCG. Catechins are natural antioxidants that prevent damage of cells and provide other benefits. Such substances present in tea can decrease the formation of free radicals while providing protection to cells and molecules. The minerals found in green tea are important for health. We can even say that green tea is more than just liquid.

Improves Brain Function:

The main active ingredient of green tea is caffeine. However, the amount is less than that of coffee. The caffeine content of green tea blocks the neurotransmitter that is named as Adenosine. Caffeine leads to improvements in the brain function. Green tea also contains amino acid L-theanine that can cross the blood-brain barrier. L-theanine also enhances the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA which provides anti-anxiety effects. The combination of caffeine and L-theanine initiates brain function.

Improves physical function and increases fat burning process:

Green tea has listed itself as a fat burning supplement. It has been seen that green tea boosts the metabolic rate thereby increasing the rate of the fat burning process. In a study conducted on 10 men. It was observed that green tea consumption has increased energy expenditure by 4%. In another study, it has been seen that the process of fat oxidation has increased by 17%, which indicates that green tea helps in burning of fat. On the contrary, some studies have shown that there is no effect on the individual with regard to fat burning process.

Caffeine improves physical performance as it organizes fatty acids and fat tissues which can ultimately be used as energy. In some other studies, caffeine seems to increase the physical performance by 11-12%.

Lowers risk for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s:

Green tea also protects the brain in old age besides improving the brain function. The catechin found in green tea seems to have protective effects on neurons thereby reducing the chances of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are two of the commonest neurodegenerative disease.

Improves Dental Health:

According to some studies, green tea can kill bacteria and constrain viruses such as influenza virus that ultimately lowers the risk for infection. A harmful bacterium of the mouth is Streptococcus mutans and it is the primary cause of plaque that leads to cavity formation and tooth decay. Catechins can stop the formation of Streptococcus mutans.

Lower risk of type 2 diabetes:

Type 2 diabetes has become an epidemic and it now affects almost 400 million people. For type 2 diabetes, the blood sugar level is elevated and it may result in the inability to produce insulin. As per studies, green tea can enhance the insulin sensitivity thereby reducing blood sugar levels. A study that was conducted on a Japanese individual, it was found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was about 42%. When a number of studies were reviewed that involved 286701 individuals, it showed that people who drank green tea were at 18 % lower risk of becoming diabetic.

Lower risk of cardiovascular disease:

The biggest causes of death are cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart disease. According to studies, green tea consumption can improve the main risk factors. It can also improve risk factors for conditions such as cholesterol and triglycerides. The antioxidant capacity of the blood is also improved thereby stopping the oxidation of LDL particles. Green tea drinkers have a 31% lower risk of acquiring the cardiovascular disease.

There is no one particular food that can help you from a number of diseases. Anyone’s health is based on lifestyle and genes. Therefore, drinking green tea will not be enough and there is a need to take care of yourself in other ways as well. For more such health-related articles, visit our PatientMD.