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Green Tea Benefits: Study Finds Tea Compound Could Tackle Cancer

08/22/2012 02:55 EDT | Updated 09/14/2012 11:13 EDT
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Talk about a superhero tea.

According to a new study from researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, a compound found in green tea could be used to tackle cancer.

The compound, which is known as epigallocatechin gallate -- a type of flavonoid -- has been known to contain cancer-defying properties, but until now, has failed to treat cancer-ridden tumours, according to the study.

But researchers at the university, through laboratory tests, were able to use a method that allowed the treatment of the compound to be directly delivered to tumours. The result? At least two thirds of the tumours either shrank or disappeared within a month and showed no irregular side effects to the tissues, according to the report.

"When we used our method, the green tea extract reduced the size of many of the tumours every day, in some cases removing them altogether. By contrast, the extract had no effect at all when it was delivered by other means, as every one of these tumours continued to grow," said lead researcher Dr. Christine Dufès, a senior lecturer at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, in the press release.

"This research could open doors to new treatments for what is still one of the biggest killer diseases in many countries."

For everyday consumption, some experts recommend drinking at least three cups of green tea a day. A 2009 review of 51 green tea studies found that three to five cups of the beverage could lower the risks of ovarian, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers, but not breast or other cancers, according to Health.com.

Other studies have shown that drinking one to four cups of black or green tea a day can lower the risk of Parkinson's disease, help with our body's ageing process and is packed with antioxidants that can help with weight loss, according to Health.com.

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