Saturday, April 23, 2005



The evidence for tea's cancer-fighting ability is overwhelming, and continuing to accrue. In this recent study, green tea has been shown to prevent prostate cancer.

The findings came from a presentation at last Tuesday's meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research.

A group of Italian researchers are conducting a double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial to determine the cancer preventive qualities of the flavonoids in green tea. All the men in the study were at high risk for prostate cancer, meaning they all had premalignant lesions. A third of those cases were predicted to have full blown invasive cancer within a year.


After a year of taking green tea catechins, only 1 man in a group of 32 was diagnosed with prostate cancer, compared to 9 in a group of 30 men receiving placebo.

The lead author of the study, Saverio Bettuzzi: "We wanted to conduct a clinical trial to find out whether [green tea] catechins could prevent cancer in men. The answer is clearly yes."

Catechins are another type of flavonoid, like quercetin in my apple post. (See for a description of the catechin employed in this study.) Black tea contains the same catechins as green tea but in lesser amounts. Former presidential candidate John Kerry, who was ridiculed in the press for ordering green tea during his campaign travels, lost his father to prostate cancer and eventually lost his own prostate to the disease in 2003.

These particular flavonoids are emerging as such potent warriors against so many types of cancer, it's likely they'll be extracted from tea and dispensed like medicine in the future. Until then...

Salada and Lipton make some respectable green teas. Or you can explore the gamut of specialty teas ... organic, tea leaf tips only, dried in the ethereal Indian sun, picked at dawn by nubile young barefoot women, etc. Whatever you chose, just drink it, as often as your palate can bear.

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