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Of all the discussions about the benefits of drinking green tea in recent years, there are some claims that a chemical found in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate could be a powerful weapon. against breast cancer. Low rates of breast cancer and some other cancers in areas where people drink a lot of green tea is what prompted researchers to start looking at this relationship.
Before putting your trust in your cup of tea, it’s important to dig into the science – what’s known and what needs further testing.
Note: Green teas are obtained from the leaves of a tea plant called camellia sinensis, a plant native to parts of Asia. This cultivar also produces white tea, oolong tea and black tea, and each represents an advanced stage of leaf development. Green is behind white and appears to be the period when certain compounds are at their highest concentration (source : ban nguyen lieu thuc pham chuc nang , gia nguyen lieu duoc pham ) .
Antioxidants and free radicals
The well-known history of green tea’s anti-cancer properties comes from its polyphenol compounds, which are chemicals with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect the cells in your body from free radicals, highly reactive molecules that accelerate damage caused by chemicals in the environment or from aging and can lead to premature aging. development of cancer and other diseases.
Free radicals can damage tissues in many ways, one of which is direct damage to DNA. Since DNA damage (gene mutations) is what leads to cancer development, researchers have paid much attention to nutrients that can neutralize free radicals before they cause harm.
The compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate is one of the antioxidants found almost exclusively in green tea.
Use to prevent breast cancer
Many studies have looked at the role of green tea and its extracts for breast cancer prevention. Not all of them have found a link between drinking green tea and a reduced risk of breast cancer, but some of the largest, most reliable studies have.
In a prostate, lung, colorectal and ovarian screening trial, which included more than 100,000 people, researchers found that green tea drinkers had a lower overall cancer risk; in other words, it seems to reduce the risk of cancer. While some studies have looked at very large amounts of green tea – for example, drinking 30 cups per day – this study looked at people who drank only one cup of green tea daily.
A 2017 study looked at breast density in women who received epigallocatechin-3-gallate supplements for one year. High breast density is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. While the supplement did not change breast density in older women, it did significantly reduce it in younger women. Efficacy is similar to that of tamoxifen, a drug sometimes used to reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk individuals.
The researchers concluded that further studies are needed on the role of green tea in reducing breast cancer risk in young women.
Used in the treatment of breast cancer
Given its ability to prevent breast cancer, it’s only natural that green tea could slow the growth of cancer cells in people who already have breast cancer.
So far, most of the research has been done on breast cancer cells in the lab or in mice (that is, they can’t be applied to humans), but the results so far have been encouraging.
To understand cancer development and how green tea might work, it’s helpful to think about the different processes that must take place for cancer to grow and spread. When looking at these separate steps, the researchers found that:
However, researchers who conducted a 2019 study looking at all tea consumption and its association with breast cancer found that green tea is not alone in a favorable association with breast cancer. survival did not improve. In fact, the only variety that was not associated with favorable outcomes was oolong (the next growth stage of the camellia sinensis tea plant after it is green).
In these studies, green tea was not used as a substitute for conventional treatment, but as an adjunct to current best practices. Some researchers think green tea could one day become part of a breast cancer treatment plan.
Important for many people being treated for breast cancer is the possible effect on long-term treatment – hormone therapy – for breast cancer. The news on this account looks good. A few studies show that green tea has a positive effect on certain anti-breast cancer drugs such as tamoxifen and raloxifene.
In other words, the combination of green tea and one of these drugs was better at inhibiting estrogen-positive breast cancer cells than either the drug or green tea alone.
Studies also show that green tea does not interfere with the function of aromatase inhibitors, another long-term breast cancer treatment option. That said, it also doesn’t appear to help it. Thankfully, studies looking at both estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer cells have found some possible benefits from green tea.
Some vitamin or mineral supplements can interfere with treatment, and the same is true of dietary supplements. Talk to your doctor about this to make sure that what you eat and drink from green tea or other teas won’t affect the effectiveness of your treatment regimen .
Tips for enjoying green tea
Green tea has become readily available in most countries around the world, largely due to its well-publicized health benefits. However, when it comes to the benefits of cancer, there are some guidelines to follow.
Some things to keep in mind:
Skip the milk: If you often add cream to your tea, you may want to stop. Dairy products contain compounds that bind epigallocatechin-3-gallate and inhibit absorption. In contrast, adding a bit of lemon seems to help better absorption and thus increase the effectiveness of epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea .
It is important to remember that green tea extracts and other anticancer nutritional uses are not a substitute for proven cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and chemotherapy. hormone therapy. Instead, you should consider adding it to your treatment or prevention regimen to enhance its effects .
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