Join Free! | Login    
   Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!


Featured Authors:  Lem Yedowicz, iHank LeGrand, iRaymond Sturgis, iMike Hartner, iFrederick Brooke, iInspire Hope, iArthur Jackson, i

  Home > Science > Articles Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Cindy L. A. Jones

· + Follow Me
· Contact Me
· Success story
· Books
· Articles
· News
· Messages
· 19 Titles
· 12 Reviews
· Save to My Library
· Share with Friends!
Member Since: Before 2003


Subscribe to the Cindy L. A. Jones Newsletter. Enter your name and email below and click "sign me up!"
Cindy L. A. Jones, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

Books by Cindy L. A. Jones

Tea: Steeped in Anticancer Properties
by Cindy L. A. Jones   

Last edited: Thursday, April 04, 2002
Posted: Thursday, April 04, 2002

  Print   Save    Follow    Share 

Recent articles by
Cindy L. A. Jones

Using Herbs to Treat Infections
What Does Skin Do?
Nighttime Light and Cancer
Grape Juice for Your Heart!
15 Flowers/Herbs in 15 Minutes
Move Over Vitamin E, Make Room for Grape Juice
Ginkgo Effective for Arterial Disease
           >> View all

Tea used to be the favored drink of Americans. With new evidence of its health promoting effects, many Americans are again drinking tea. Components of tea have particularly been found to have anti-cancer effects.

Tea: Steeped in Anticancer Properties
By Cindy L.A. Jones, Ph.D.
The tea ceremony is an important way to bind social relationships in many cultures. Although Americans have not traditionally partaken in this ritual, tea consumption here is increasing, possibly due to its health benefits.
Almost any drink made by adding hot water to leaves, flowers or roots can be called tea, but traditionally tea is made from the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis bush, grown primarily in India.
Three types of tea are derived from C. sinensis. The differences stem from how the tea leaves are handled after harvesting. The majority of tea produced is black tea, made by fermenting the leaves. Oolong tea is partially fermented tea, whereas green tea leaves are not fermented but simply dried or steamed. Green tea is most popular in southeastern China and Japan and is used there medicinally as a stimulant and a digestive aid.1
All these teas contain polyphenols, chemical compounds rapidly absorbed and distributed throughout the body that act as antioxidants. In black tea the main polyphenols are theaflavins and thearubigins, antioxidants that may help prevent both heart disease and cancer.2 In green tea the main polyphenols are the catechins epigallocatechin-3-gallate and epicathechin-3-gallate. Studies show the antioxidant compounds in green tea may have more of an effect than those in black tea.
Potent Antioxidants
Epidemiological studies suggest drinking tea protects against various cancers in humans, although evidence is contradictory. Some problems with studies are cultural variables, including diet, that make it difficult to determine the absolute effects of tea.
The Iowa Women's Health Study, which looked at 35,369 postmenopausal women, showed those who drank two or more cups of black tea per day had a decreased risk of digestive and urinary tract cancers. However, other cancers were not affected, including the skin cancer melanoma and cancers of the pancreas, lung, breast, uterus and ovary.3 The postmenopausal angle is important because many cancers, particularly breast and ovarian, are hormone-dependent cancers, and hormonal changes at menopause change the risk ratios for different types of cancer.
Another study indicated that men who drank one to six cups of tea daily had a decreased risk of developing all types of cancer, while heavy tea drinkers (more than six cups per day) increased their overall risk of getting cancer.4 A recent Japanese study showed 472 women with breast cancer who regularly drank green tea prior to diagnosis had less severe cases than women who did not drink green tea.5 The most inconclusive results on the effects of tea are for stomach and colon cancer; some studies show increased risk, others show decreased risk, and still others show no association whatsoever between drinking tea and developing cancer.4 These discrepancies may be due to the inherent drawbacks of epidemiological studies.
On the other hand, animal and other preclinical laboratory studies suggest that both green and black tea (oolong is the least consumed and studied) decrease the risk of several cancers. Studies regarding tea's effect on lung cancer in humans are inconclusive, but animal studies suggest tea may inhibit tobacco-induced cancers.6
One 1997 animal study showed that green or black tea applied to the skin inhibited ultraviolet light-induced skin cancer in mice. When decaffeinated green or black tea was administered, however, tumor formation was not inhibited. This indicates, interestingly, that caffeine may be another medicinally active ingredient of tea.7 Other animal studies indicate that tea might help prevent lung, stomach and esophageal cancers.8
In test-tube experiments, tea polyphenols exhibit many anticancer qualities, including the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells while not affecting normal cells;9 promote apoptosis, or cell death of damaged cells;10 inhibit chromosomal damage;11 affect enzymes that metabolize cancer agents;11 and inhibit an enzyme associated with tumor metastasis called urokinase-type plasminogen activator.12
A Japanese group that green tea may enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy typically has side effects, and anything that can decrease the amount of drug administered while maintaining a tumor-inhibiting effect would most likely improve the quality of life for cancer patients. When green tea and doxorubicin--a cancer treatment drug that prevents the development, growth and proliferation of malignant cells--were given together to mice with cancer, the inhibitory effect of doxorubicin was enhanced 2.5-fold.13
Tea may prove to be more than a pleasant afternoon ritual, but do avoid overhot tea. Overhot tea--and perhaps all overhot drinks--has been associated with a greater risk of developing esophageal cancer, and as mentioned, drinking more than six cups of tea daily has been associated with an increased cancer risk.
From The March 1999 Issue of Nutrition Science News
Understanding Herbs
Cindy L.A. Jones, Ph.D. is a consultant, biomedical writer and biology instructor in Colorado.
1.Gutman RL, Ryu B. Herbalgram 1996;37:33-45.
2.Chemoprevention Branch and Agent Development Committee, Clinical Development Plant. J Cell Biochem 1996;26S:236-57.
3.[Anonymous]. Nutrition Research Newsletter 1996;15:104.
4.[Anonymous].Nutrition Research Newsletter 1997 Feb;16:19-20.
5.Nakachi K, et al. Jpn J Cancer Res 1998;89:254-61.
6.Chung FL, et al. Cancer Res 1998;58:4096-5101.
7.Huang M, et al. Cancer Res 1997;57:2623-9.
8.Weisburger JH. Cancer Lett 1997;114:315-7.
9.Chen ZP, et al. Cancer Lett 1998;129:173-9.
10. Yang GY, et al. Carcinogenesis 1998;19:611-6.
11.Katiyar SK, Mukhtar H. J Cell Biochem 1997;S27:59-67.
12.Jankun J, et al. Nature 1997;387:561.
13.Sadzuka Y, et al. Clin Cancer Res 1998;4:153-6.

Web Site: The Antibiotic Alternative

Reader Reviews for "Tea: Steeped in Anticancer Properties"

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Reviewed by Florence Fry
Well that was a great read for me because I certainly drink a lot of tea. So think I will go and make another cup right now :) Thanks for this information :)
Popular Science Articles
  1. The Pale Blue Dot
  2. New Science Perspectives on Ghosts and Oth
  3. Predicate of Reality: Wheeler's Paradox Co
  4. Is This a Purpose-Driven Universe?
  5. Casting Light on Dark Matter
  6. Universe in a Glass of Wine
  7. Water
  8. The Cylons Cometh: Human-Machine Hybrids a
  9. The Pi Day of the Century
  10. Mr. Fusion

Noa The Little Scientist by Shenell Bolden

A K-3 children's first chapter book introducng young girls and boys into the STEM pipeline...  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Evolution in the Universe The Solar System and beyond by David Hamilton

A book that offers a new theory of Solar System formation. Other articles describe further evolution in the universe...  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.