May 6, 2012 by Robert Wascher
Filed under A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, Cancer, Cancer Prevention, Catechins, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Glucose, Insulin, LDL, Metabolic Syndrome, Tea, Weekly Health Update, breast cancer prevention, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, coronary artery disease, diabetes, estrogen, green tea, heart disease, hyperglycemia, polyphenols, sex hormones, testosterone
New research finds that green tea may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
GREEN TEA REDUCES CHOLESTEROL, BLOOD SUGAR AND INSULIN LEVELS
As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, the evidence for green tea as a cancer prevention agent is quite mixed, with most (but not all) studies showing little impact on cancer risk or cancer-associated death rates. Some research studies, however, have suggested that green tea may affect levels of the female sex hormone estrogen in ways that could potentially reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. However, most of the research in this area has not been in the form of prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical research, which is considered the “gold standard” method of conducting clinical research.
A newly published prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluated 103 postmenopausal women, and their response to green tea supplements. This study appears in the current issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research.
In this study, the women volunteers were randomly divided into three groups. One group received 400 milligrams (mg) of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) per day, for two months. (EGCG is considered the most active ingredient in green tea.) The second group of women received 800 mg of EGCG per day, also for two months. The third group, which served as this study’s control group, received placebo (sugar) capsules that appeared identical to the EGCG capsules. Neither the female volunteers nor the study nurses who dispensed the capsules to these study volunteers knew which group each woman had been randomized into.
Repeated measurements of urine levels of EGCG were performed, and blood levels of estrogen, testosterone (the primary male sex hormone), cholesterol, glucose (blood sugar), insulin, and growth factors were tested on all of the 103 study volunteers throughout the course of this study.
The results of this innovative study revealed that green tea supplements had no apparent effect on the levels of estrogen and testosterone in the blood of these postmenopausal research volunteers, which suggests that any potential breast cancer prevention effects associated with EGCG are probably unrelated to sex hormone levels. However, while EGCG had no apparent impact on sex hormone levels, LDL-cholesterol (the “bad cholesterol”) levels significantly decreased among the women who were secretly randomized to receive EGCG supplements. Additionally, blood levels of glucose and insulin, which are linked to diabetes risk, also significantly declined in the two groups of women who received EGCG supplements. (Diabetes, itself, is a powerful risk factor for developing cancer.)
While green tea supplementation had no discernible effect on the levels of male and female sex hormones in the blood of the postmenopausal women participating in this study, EGCG supplementation was observed to significantly reduce LDL-cholesterol, glucose, and insulin levels in these women. Therefore, while the impact of green tea on breast cancer risk remains unclear at this time, the results of this clinical research study suggest a potential clinical role for green tea in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are, like cancer, two of the great killers of modern humans.
For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!
Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com “Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.
Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity
Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author
I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.