The miracle that is green tea has long been promoted for its anti-cancer properties; now, researchers say they may know the secret behind its cancer-kicking abilities.
In the latest study, researchers gave participants with breast cancer a green tea extract or a placebo; they found after two months that those given the green tea extract had significantly lower tumor growth than those given the placebo. And in a prostate cancer study, men given six cups of brewed green tea had lower levels of the antigen associated with prostate tumor growth. (However, it did not inhibit tumor growth.)
So how does green tea slow down tumor growth? It's thanks to the polyphenols in green tea, the antioxidants that help protect cells from damage. Said the researcher of the prostate cancer study, Susanne M. Henning, to WebMD, the polyphenols reached the prostate tissue and helped decrease inflammation — which is linked to cancer growth.
While the researchers say it's too early to declare tea the miracle cancer fighter, they're excited at the possibility. The researchers are even testing if the addition of quercetin, the antioxidant found in apples and onions, would boost the polyphenols' anti-cancer properties even more. We can drink a cup of tea to that.