Drinking Tea to Fight Cancer

Posted on: August 1, 2016

By Jewel Johl, MD

By Jewel Johl, MD

Starting primarily in China and Japan, over 5,000 years ago, royalty started drinking tea and this fine drink is now consumed by many all over the globe. There are a variety of important nutrients and natural polyphenols found in tea, an important one being Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG is the most active and abundant type of polyphenols in tea. It is capable of lowering levels of a certain protein in the body which is required for cancerous cells to grow. Tea can also trigger apoptosis of cancerous cells, which is when the cell dies. Catechin’s, a property also found in tea, is capable of blocking blood vessel formation in tumors. When this occurs the supply line is cut off which keeps the tumor from growing. With a combination of both the EGCG and other catechins, tea is able to stop tumor growth as well as kill cancerous cells. Tea has been shown to prevent or suppress ovarian, prostate, breast, colon, and lung cancers.

Oolong, black, and green teas have the most effective active nutrients for fighting cancer. Overall, green tea shows to be the most promising of all tea types. Its polyphenols are made up of 50-70% EGCG which, as mentioned earlier, is the most effective and active polyphenol of them all. Packaged or “instant” tea powders do not contain the same benefits as fresh tea bags or leaves. To get the most active nutrients out of your tea, drinking it freshly brewed and plain is most beneficial. When tea beverages are iced, have other liquids or sugars added into them, their nutritious components are diluted. Drinking about two-three cups of tea a day can lower your overall risk for cancer.

In the year of 2014, just shy of 600,000 people died in the United States from cancer. There are many simple lifestyle changes that help to prevent it, just as the example stated above. By eating healthy, maintaining an ideal weight and staying active, it is easier for your body to keep fighting off diseases so that you can live a long, healthy life.

Dr. Johl is a Medical Oncologist and Hematologist at Diablo Valley Oncology.  Dr. Johl practices evidence based medicine with an integrative approach.  He educates patients about the therapeutic benefits of natural compounds and supplements that have very little or no side effects. 

Call 925-677-5041 to schedule an appointment.