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After much research we have chosen a line of green tea skin care products made with medical grade green tea and previously sold exclusively to dermatologists and spas. Please check them out by clicking the link above.
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Get 15% off the $17.99 price if you buy a minimum of 2 packs using coupon code: KOJ15 (while supplies last).
Lifestyle choices are pieces of the cancer prevention puzzle, but exactly which steps to take remain unclear, even to scientists. Still, more and more individuals are incorporating small changes into their daily routine - such as drinking green tea - in hopes of keeping cancer risk at bay.
Is it working? A large new Cochrane review of studies that examined the affect of green tea on cancer prevention has yielded conflicting results.
Researchers looked at 51 medium- to high-quality studies that included more than 1.6 million participants. The studies focused on the relationship between green tea consumption and a variety of cancers, including breast, lung, digestive tract, urological prostate, gynecological and oral cancers.
The comprehensive review analyzed studies conducted from 1985 through 2008. Many of the reviewed studies took place in Asia, where tea drinking is widespread and part of the daily routine for many.
The review appears in a recent issue of The Cochrane Library, which is a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.
"Despite the large number of included studies the jury still seems to be out on the question of whether green tea can in fact prevent the development of various cancer types," said lead review author Katja Boehm, Ph.D. Since people drink varying amounts of green tea, and different types of cancers vary in how they grow, it is impossible to state definitively that green tea is "good" for cancer prevention.
"One thing is certain…green tea consumption can never account for cancer prevention alone," said Boehm, a member of the Unconventional and Complementary Methods in Oncology Study Group in Nuremburg, Germany.
Three types of tea - black, green and oolong - come from the plant Camellia sinensis, and all contain polyphenols. Catechins, a subgroup of the polyphenols, are powerful antioxidants. Some say the polyphenols in green tea are unique, preventing cell growth and thus having the potential to prevent cancer.
The review found that green tea had limited benefits for liver cancer, but found conflicting evidence for other gastrointestinal cancers, such as cancer of the esophagus, colon or pancreas. One study found a decreased risk of prostate cancer for men who consumed higher quantities of green tea or its extracts.
The review did not find any benefit for preventing death from gastric cancer, and found that green tea might even increase the risk of urinary bladder cancer. Despite conflicting findings, there was "limited moderate to strong evidence" of a benefit for lung, pancreatic and colorectal cancer. None of the studies that simply observed a group of people over time found a benefit for breast cancer prevention. However, both of the case control studies - which compare people without a condition to people with it - found a positive association between green tea consumption and a decreased risk of breast cancer.
Nagi Kumar, Ph.D., director of Nutrition Research at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., is optimistic about the potential for green tea in cancer prevention. "The substances found in green tea are certainly promising," Kumar said. "The field now has progressed to where we [can]…test the effectiveness and safety of green tea polyphenols using a drug form similar to the constituents in tea to see if we can prevent cancer progression. Time will tell."
Kumar said the Cochrane review was "more an inventory of studies completed rather than a systematic scientific review," adding that "the discussion lacks a scientific approach in the interpretation of the discordant findings."
Kumar also noted that several groups are conducting randomized clinical trials, including one comprising six institutions: the Moffitt Cancer Center and the James A Haley VA Medical Center, University of Chicago, Jefferson in Philadelphia, University of Florida and Louisiana State University.
Both scientists agreed that more research is a good idea. Boehm said she highly recommends the conduction of a large, well-designed, study with adequate green tea consumption levels.
"The review provides where we have been in this field of research and where we are going and how much more we have on hand," Kumar said. "Although not as thorough as I would like it, it is a good quality review."
Therefore, while the questions about green tea consumption and cancer prevention remain unanswered, one thing remains clear: It is fine to consume green tea if you enjoy it and it might prove beneficial in the over time.
"If not exceeding the daily recommended allowance those who enjoy a cup of green tea should continue its consumption," Boehm said. "Drinking green tea appears to be safe at regular, habitual and moderate use at its recommended dosage of up to 1200 ml/day." That comes to a little over five cups a day.
Journal reference: 1. Boehm K, et al. Green tea (Camellia sinensis) for the prevention of cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 3, 2009
Adapted from materials provided by Center for Advancing Health.'
Study: Green Tea Has Role in Prostate Cancer Prevention
Friday, 26 June 2009
By: Heidi Kyser
A clinical trial whose results were published this month concluded that green tea has a potential role in the treatment or prevention of prostate cancer.
A team of researchers from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport, La., conducted the study, which sought to determine whether high doses of the polyphenol found in green tea could reduce the levels of serum biomarkers associated with poor prognosis in prostate cancer patients.
The study was based on previous work indicating that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the polyphenol in green tea, has possible benefits for patients with prostate cancer, which leads to the death of some 27,000 men in the United States each year.
Twenty-six men ages 18 to 75 took 800 milligrams of EGCG daily over an average of six weeks. The EGCG was contained in Polyphenon E pills, and the patients all were scheduled to have their prostates removed.
Before and after the surgery, researchers measured the levels of several tissue markers that have been shown to indicate the worsening of prostate cancer. They found that, "men diagnosed with prostate cancer who take 1.3 grams daily of green tea catechins (800 milligrams EGCG) show a significant reduction in" several of these markers, stated a report published in the June 19 issue of Cancer Prevention Research.
Further in vitro study of cells also indicated that EGCG blocked the production of two of the biomarkers - hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) -in "at least two different prostate cancer-associated fibroblast cell lines." This is significant because HGF has been demonstrated in other research to promote cancer progression, the report noted, and lower levels of VEGF is predicted to increase a patient's overall survival time.
The study also looked at the possible detrimental effects on the liver of the high doses of EGCG, and found none.
The report concluded, "These data support a potential role for Polyphenon E in the treatment or prevention of prostate cancer and suggest that these findings should be verified by larger, placebo-controlled clinical trials."
Dr. James Cardelli, professor of microbiology and immunology and co-director of the LSU Cancer Center told WSN, "The work will continue, and in fact we have opened a clinical trial to begin to determine if tea extracts can increase overall survival of lung cancer patients when combined with the targeted agent Tarceva. A lot of work still needs to be done."
A spray made from green tea could protect your skin against cancer. Experiments have shown the spray reduced the damaging effects of the sun's ultraviolet light.
Scientists who tested the solution at University Hospitals Case Medical Centre in Cleveland, Ohio, said the tea spray boosts the skin's in-built immune system and helps it fight off the sun's harmful effects.
Lifesaver? A spray made from green tea could protect your skin against cancer
Lifesaver? A spray made from green tea could protect your skin against cancer
Powerful disease-fighting chemicals, called polyphenols, are thought to explain tea's beneficial effects on the skin.
The number of Britons diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has topped 10,000 a year, according to recent figures from Cancer Research UK.
Although sunscreens can protect the skin, scientists now believe that tea could help prevent the cellular damage that leads to cancer.
They extracted polyphenols from green tea and mixed them into a solution containing water and various chemicals.
The mixture was then sprayed onto a tiny patch of skin of ten volunteers, before being exposed to ultraviolet light.
The results, published in the journal Experimental Dermatology, showed that the skin sprayed with tea was better equipped to resist cancer-related damage to cells.
A similar spray made from white tea worked just as well, said researchers.
MINNEAPOLIS - Once a day, Matthew Hudson takes a square of chocolate mixed with green-tea extract and lets it dissolve in his mouth.
Hudson, who has leukemia, is skeptical of natural therapies. But he has been taking the concoction for more than three years, ever since his doctor at the Mayo Clinic suggested it.
"My disease has not progressed since I've been taking it," said Hudson, a retired lawyer and investor from northern Virginia. "What does that mean? I don't know. It means I'm not going to stop taking it."
A recent study by Mayo Clinic researchers provided more reason for hope. They found that high doses of green-tea extract can have a positive effect on Hudson's type of cancer, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
In labs at Mayo and elsewhere, scientists are putting those hopes to the test, training their microscopes on everything from shark cartilage to mistletoe and finding some surprising answers.
At last count, the National Institutes of Health's center for complementary medicine had sponsored 47 cancer-related studies - on macrobiotic diets, soy, Reiki-energy healing, yoga, flaxseed, self-hypnosis, fish oil, massage, acupuncture and more.
So far, most have focused on how alternative therapies can help ease the pain or side effects of cancer treatment, says Mary Jo Kreitzer, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing.
Studies that have looked for cancer-fighting properties have been disappointing, she said. "There have just not been good vigorous studies that have found these natural remedies to cure cancer," said Kreitzer, who is both a scientist and a supporter of complementary medicine.
The green-tea study shows the promise, she said, as well as the difficulties in trying to tap nature's curing powers.
It was, by all accounts, a modest study, and the results fell short of a major breakthrough. Just one of 33 patients improved enough to be classified "in remission." Yet of the dozen patients with enlarged lymph nodes (one of the hallmarks of the disease), 11 saw them shrink by more than half in six months, according to the study.
"That was obviously encouraging," said Dr. Tait Shanafelt, a Mayo Clinic cancer specialist who led the study, which was published online in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Oncology. "There was a suggestion of some benefit to these patients."
As a scientist, Shanafelt became intrigued several years ago about the possibilities in green tea. For centuries, it had been touted for its supposed health benefits, including preventing cancer. So he and his colleagues decided to test it. They put leukemia cells in a test tube and exposed them to an extract from green tea, called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). Most of the cells were wiped out.
When the results became known, several of his leukemia patients started taking over-the-counter products with EGCG; Shanafelt and his colleagues found they showed "an objective improvement" in their medical tests.
At that point, they decided to do a formal test, giving concentrated doses of the extract to 33 patients. None of the patients was receiving chemotherapy at the time, because they were in early stages of the illness. The goal was to see if the green tea could keep the disease from progressing.
The patients couldn't drink enough tea to get the proper doses, which ranged up to 2,000 milligrams twice a day - the equivalent of "probably over 100 cups a day," Shanafelt said. Instead, they took it in capsule form.
Because no drug company was interested in funding the studies, Shanafelt turned to a patient group, called CLL Topics, which raised nearly $400,000 for this and other research.
Dr. Chaya Venkat, who founded the group with her late husband, said she was eager to put the theories about green tea to the test. Her husband, P.C. Venkat of Sedona, Ariz., had been taking green tea extract for several years before he died last summer at 59. While she believed it may have helped rein in his leukemia, she was cautious. "I'm a scientist. You don't pre-guess what the answer is going to be before you do the experiment," she said.
The results of the Mayo study were encouraging, if not perfect, she said. "Mayo showed that it works in a subset of patients," she said. "It has a chance of slowing things down, giving people more time." At the same time, she said, "it also proves that it doesn't cure CLL."
Shanafelt said most of the patients had only mild side effects, such as low-grade nausea. He and his research team are now working on a follow-up study.
Even if that's a success, he said, that doesn't mean cancer patients should start guzzling green tea. "Even though we think of them as
benign because we think that they have a natural origin, these are chemicals, like any other medication."
Antioxidants Help prevent Alzheimer's Disease: Research Focuses on Flavonoids and Curcumin
April 8, 2009
Medical researchers have come to believe that some antioxidant compounds, called flavonoids, can help keep our brains healthy as we age. Flavonoids and other antioxidants have been shown to benefit the heart and reduce cancer risks. Now there is an increasing amount of evidence that they also protect healthy brain functioning and help prevent Alzheimer's disease and cognitive impairments that occur in many elderly people. Not all flavonoids we consume will reach the brain, and clinical trials with some antioxidants have not shown significant effects on preventing or reversing dementia, so researchers are focusing on some specific antioxidants as they identify nutrients that can help prevent or slow the development of Alzheimer's disease.
Antioxidants are biochemical compounds that neutralize dangerous oxygen free radicals. Free radicals are destructive molecules that damage cell walls and can corrupt DNA. Free radicals build up in the body when we are exposed to toxins from food, air, and beverages, and they are generated in our body when we experience stress. Thus, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reducing stress in our lives is important to help prevent free radical damage. Part of a healthy lifestyle includes having a diet high in antioxidants and using natural antioxidant extract supplements to boost the body's ability to clear free radicals. Antioxidants are present in high amounts in many fruits and vegetables, and the overall level of these in a food is measured as the ORAC value, the oxygen radical absorbance capacity.
Scientists studying the brain and dementia now believe that flavonoids can also protect the brain through other mechanisms besides neutralizing free radicals. Recent studies looking at Alzheimer's disease have concluded that green tea and grape flavonoids can reduce damage to the brain and in some cases improve mental performance. One group at King's College London has focused on the flavonoid called epicatechin which is abundant in a number of foods, including cocoa. Dr. Robert Williams, the biochemist who lead the research, said: "We have found that epicatechin protects brain cells from damage but through a mechanism unrelated to its antioxidant activity." Other Alzheimer's researchers have focused on curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, the Indian spice used in curry. Curcumin has been found to reduce beta amyloid protein plaque buildup in the brain and scientists are now exploring how similar compounds found in ginger and rosemary spices might also affect this marker of Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's is closely associated with clumps of the disruptive beta amyloid protein that build up in the brain. Dr. Williams, who described his research at the British Pharmacological Society's Summer 2009 Meeting in Edinburgh, said that flavonoids seemed to protect the brain against the buildup of these amyloid plaques. He concluded: "Although our findings support the general concept that dietary intake of flavonoid-rich foods or supplements could impact on the development and progression of dementia, they are clearly insufficient to make any sort of nutritional recommendations at this stage." This cautious statement should not discourage anyone from immediately enhancing antioxidant consumption - it merely indicates that the dosage and types of antioxidants that will specifically help prevent or treat Alzheimer's are topics that need more study.
Did you know the first book of green tea was written in Japan in 1211? How to stay healthy by drinking tea.
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