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Antioxidant-rich matcha green tea found to help beat breast cancer
Matcha green tea is rich in antioxidants and has been found to help fight breast cancer, according to a report by The Daily Mail. In desperation to find a treatment for her mother’s breast cancer, Katherine Swift, 45, traveled to Japan from the United Kingdom to harvest these tea leaves rich in antioxidants, and eventually turned it into a business.
Swift was inspired to seek help for her mother Elizabeth, then 60, who was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer seven years ago. Swift met a professor named Michael Lisanti, a genetic and cell biologist, in a fundraising appeal in Manchester, U.K. Lisanti was working on a study that focused on the benefits of antioxidants.
“I found out that Japanese matcha was in fact that green tea; thanks to the way it’s cultivated and processed, it has 137 times the amount of antioxidants that regular green tea contains,” Swift explained.
With this knowledge, Swift ordered matcha green tea straight from Japan, where it is harvested, and started drinking it with her mother. They began by drinking one cup a day, and they “felt the physical lift immediately.” They reported feeling better and stronger, and having more energy.
Today, Swift’s company cooperates with medical professionals who carry out scientific and clinical studies into the health benefits of matcha green tea, and one of these studies is currently examining the potential effect on breast cancer stem cells. After years of drinking matcha green tea, Swift’s mother learned she was in remission in 2015, which she believes is an improvement partly because of the tea. However, the antioxidant-rich green tea does not work on its own. Swift said that the tea, together with diet, exercise, and positive attitude, all made a positive effect and helped improve her mother’s health.
“Laboratory studies suggest that compounds found in tea called catechins, especially catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), show an anti-cancer effect,” explained Rajendra Sharma, an author and doctor who is trained in complementary and functional medicine.
He said that EGCG might hamper the formation of blood vessels around tumors as it was found in laboratory studies that it was involved in cell replication and tumor cell death. He also explained that epigallocatechin (ECG), which is another component of green tea, prevents leukemic cells from multiplying in laboratory studies. It is a proven antioxidant and may repair cell damage. (Related: Boku unveils Matcha Green Tea with extraordinary nutritional profile; 500% more antioxidants than goji berries.)
“Green tea contains higher levels of catechins than black tea, and Matcha tea contains four times the catechins of regular brewed green tea. It is very possible that Elizabeth benefited from drinking matcha green tea,” he said.
Sharma suggests that matcha green tea should be used fresh, boiled in hot water and allowed to cool down to a temperature that is low enough to drink before pouring it on the tea. This is because if the water is extremely hot, it may damage the active ingredients, yet if it is too cold, it may not extract the active components.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 200,000 women and over 2,000 men in the U.S. who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, and 41,211 women and 465 men died from this type of cancer.