Why green tea (camellia sinensis) is Great

green-tea-leaves

 

I’m sure most people have heard that green tea is good for you.  It’s well known that green tea MAY encourage weight loss (there is conflicting evidence on this) and that it is high in antioxidants. However you may not be aware of how GREAT green tea is for health. Camellia sinensis contains a group of flavonoids called “catechins”.  One particular catechin called epigallocatechin 3 gallate (EGCG) is thought to play a critical role in many of green teas benefits.  Here are 3 more reasons why this tea is so great:

  1. CANCER PREVENTION: drinking green tea is associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic, esophageal bladder cancer and ovarian cancer.  In fact, one study showed that woman who drink 2 or more cups of green tea a day have a 46% lower risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to those who do not regularly drink green tea.  Research continues on various other anti-cancer properties and applications of green tea.
  2. CERVICAL DYSPLASIA: Green tea applied topically or taken orally appears to reduce cervical dysplasia caused by the HPV virus
  3. Protection against harmful UV RAYS: oral and topical applications of EGCG from green tea may help protect photo-aging from the suns harmful uv rays

It is best to use water no higher than 80 degrees Celsius to brew your green tea, as higher temperatures can make the tea taste bitterer and also may decrease some of its healthy properties.

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Works Cited:

Ohno Y, Aoki K, Obata K, et al. Case-control study of urinary bladder cancer in metropolitan Nagoya. Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 1985;69:229-34.

Wakai K, Ohno Y, Obata K. Prognostic significance of selected lifestyle factors in urinary bladder cancer. Jpn J Cancer Res 1993;84:1223-9.

Bushman JL. Green tea and cancer in humans: a review of the literature. Nutr Cancer 1998;31:151-9.

Nemecz G. Green tea. US Pharm 2000;May:67-70.

Mitscher LA, Mitscher LA, Jung M, Shankel D, et al. Chemoprotection: a review of the potential therapeutic antioxidant properties of green tea (Camellia sinensis) and certain of its constituents. Med Res Rev 1997;17:327-65.

Larsson SC, Wolk A. Tea consumption and ovarian cancer risk in a population-based cohort. Arch Intern Med 2005;165:2683-6.

Ahn WS, Yoo J, Huh SW, et al. Protective effects of green tea extracts (polyphenon E and EGCG) on human cervical lesions. Eur J Cancer Prev 2003;12:383-90.

Elmets C, Singh D., Tubesing K. et al, Photoprotection from ultraviolet injury by green tea polyphenols. J Am Acad. Dermatol 2001;44:425-432

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Cervical Dysplasia

The main risk factors that contribute to cervical dysplasia are: increased sexual partners, smoking, deficiencies in folic acid and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

HPV can cause venereal warts and is associated with abnormal pap smears.  It is thought that about 75% of women will have a genital HPV infection at some point in their lives.  Usually, woman exposed to HPV do not develop warts of dysplasia. And only certain strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer (Most women that acquire the HPV virus do not develop cancer).  According to Health Canada, the highest incidence of cervical cancer occurs in woman over the age of 65, once they stop having annual PAP tests.

However, research has shown that we can reverse abnormal cervical cells before they turn into cancer!   If you, or someone you know has had an abnormal PAP test, here are some helpful ways to get those cells healthy again:

Supplements:

-Folic Acid- reverses mild dysplasia
-Indole 3- carbinol- Stops healthy estrogen from converting to the cancer causing form
-Vitamin C-improves immunity
-Beta Carotene- helps tissues and strengthens immune system
-Vitamin B6- supports immune system
-Vitamin B12-supports immune system
-Vitamin E mixed tocopherols -promotes tissue healing
-Selenium -activates immunity

Foods
-Green Tea- protects against abnormal cell growth
-Eat cooked tomato sauce a few times a week for protective lycopene, an antioxidant along with olive oil to improve its absorption
-Eat foods high in folic acid (brewers yeast, black eyed pees, lentils, lima beans, freshly squeezed orange juice, kidney beans, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens and leeks.

Stop Smoking!!!! Smoking increases the risk of cervical dysplasia and cancer up to FOUR times. Carcinogens in cigarette smoke concentrate in cervical mucosa at levels 10-20 times higher than in the blood. Smoking also depletes vitamin C, which therefore decreases your immunity!!

Remember to get your annual PAP test every year and think positive- your mind can influence the way your body heals.

Adapted from:
Kaur, Sat Dharam, ND 2010
Northrup, Christine, 2003
Vanderhaeghe, Lorna, MD 2007

A schematic drawing of a posterior view of the cervix, uterus, fallopian tube, and ovary.
(Redrawn from Clemente CD: Anatomy: A Regional Atlas of the Human Body, 3rd ed. Baltimore-Munich, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1987.)