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Home  /  Integrative Cancer Care  /  Body  /  Cancer Vitamins, Supplements and Herbs  /  Green Tea and Cancer

Green Tea and Cancer

By Jeannine Walston


What is green tea?

A Camellia sinensis plant creates different types of tea from leaves and particularly from the three main varieties of green, black, and oolong. Green tea is the type with strong anticancer activity.

What are the major health benefits from green tea?

The major health benefits from green tea come are extremely powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, which contain catechins and EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). Antioxidants support important health functions.

What are some specific anticancer effects from green tea?

According to research by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, explained in his book Anticancer, green tea provides the following anticancer effects.

• Reduces the growth of new blood vessels needed for cancer growth and metastases through high levels of polyphenols, including catechins
• Acts as a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier activating enzymes in the liver that eliminate toxins from the body
• Facilitates the death of cancer cells
• Enhances the effects of radiotherapy on cancer cells in the laboratory

Other research shows benefits of green tea against cancer, for cancer prevention, and for other health conditions.

What are the best recommendations to prepare and consume optimal green tea against cancer?

Dr. Servan-Schreiber says that green tea should be steeped for at least 5 to 8 minutes and ideally 10 minutes to release catechins. Steep 2 grams or .07 ounces of green tea for that amount of time and drink it within one hour. The beneficial polyphenols in green tea is lost after an hour or two. Drink two to three fresh cups of green tea daily.

Why does black or oolong tea not provide the same anticancer benefits compared to green tea?

Green, black, and oolong tea comes from different leaves. Some are fermented and others are not to varying degrees. Green tea comes from unfermented leaves. Black tea is fully fermented and oolong tea partially fermented. Unfermented leaves have the most polyphenol contents and fermented leaves provide the least. That is why you should drink green tea and choose organic green tea!

For More Information

  • Anticancer by David Servan-Schreiber MD, PhD