The internet is awash with memes joking that the reason scientists have not found the cure for cancer is because they are wasting their time on pointless pursuits. It’s obviously not that straightforward and although it might not seem like it, cancer research has come a very long way. In recent years a lot of money has been spent on researching into the way that common foods can help in the fight against cancer, one of which is green tea.
This tea comes from the same plant that produced black tea and white tea, as we have discussed elsewhere here on TeaReviews, but it has some unique properties that you can’t find in those teas which is one of the reasons why green tea in particular has attracted so much attention from the scientific community.
So, can green tea cure cancer and if so, how much should you be consuming and in what form should you consume it?
Green Tea’s Cancer Killing Antioxidants
You know who the story goes: green tea contains antioxidants, antioxidants destroy free radicals, free radicals can cause cancer. You’ve likely heard the same story about many other so-called superfoods and while there is some truth to this, it’s not the only reason that green tea has been singled out as a potential cure or preventative treatment for cancer.
After all, if that was the case then we’d also be shouting about the potential cancer-killing properties of berries and wine (although, to be fair, many sites do exactly that).
One of the things that makes green tea so special in this area is a specific antioxidant known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG for short. It’s not exclusive to green tea and is found in a small number of plant-based foods and drinks, but it’s green tea where it is most accessible, with a very high concentration that ensures you get a therapeutic dose in just a single cup.
This antioxidant, in combination with the other antioxidants found in green tea, is thought to be one of the main reasons it’s such a powerful weapon in the fight against cancer.
One study found that regular consumption of green tea reduced the risk of prostate cancer in men by a significant number, while another found green tea consumption to be responsible for a reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer.
These antioxidants can also benefit your health in other ways, reducing inflammation (which itself can also lead to cancer) and even helping to improve your mental health.
Can Green Tea Cure Cancer? What the Studies Say
One of the most intriguing studies done on green tea in recent years resulted in the creation of a supplement named Pomi-T. This tablet contains just four ingredients: green tea, broccoli, turmeric and pomegranate.
This British study was the first to record the effectiveness of these ingredients at battling cancer after noting that the Pomi-T group had a significantly reduced PSA level (an indicator of prostate cancer) when compared to the control group. There were also positive user reports from people who used the drug after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
This study could not say for certain that this group of ingredients was effective at curing or preventing cancer, but the results were certainly noteworthy and have already had an impact on cancer studies the world over. It suggests that foods rich in polyphenols, a natural plant antioxidant, may be beneficial in treating/preventing this disease.
A lot more research needs to be done and this was just the tip of the iceberg. But it does tie-in with a lot of what we already know, including the fact that diets rich in natural whole foods and plant-based foods have fewer incidents of cancer than those rich in processed foods and meats.
Can Green Tea Cure Cancer? The Truth
We can say with relatively certainly that green tea is not a potent cancer killer, otherwise it would just take a daily extract plus a few cups of tea and a cancer patient would see all of their worries vanish away. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
However, these studies suggest that it may be effective as a treatment when used in combination with similar drugs and treatments, and based on what we discussed in the previous section, it may also be that regular green tea consumption can limit your chances of cancer developing in the first place.
Nothing is a guaranteed and because of the role that genetics and certain environment factors play in the development of some cancers, it’s not a certainty—nothing is. But we’re all just looking for a little help in keeping the Big C at bay and in one way or another, it looks like green tea might be able to do that.