The Mayo Clinic reported findings (2010) on the effects of green tea extract on a form of Leukemia called chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). CLL is a hybrid between lymphoma and leukemia. The disease, which is a blood cancer, is measured by the amount of leukemia cells in the blood and bone marrow and any enlargement of the lymph nodes
In the ongoing clinical trials the green tea extract was found to reduce the number of leukemia cells in the patients. The chemical found in green tea responsible for the results is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Using a non-toxic chemical approach to cancer prevention is a goal in oncology research and treatment. In the study 69% of the CLL patients had a positive response to the testing with EGCG. The trials are not completed yet and it is recommended that patients with CLL who wish to use green tea extract do so under supervision on their oncologists as they should be monitored with appropriate lab tests. EGCG supplements are readily available over the counter.
Green Tea Heals.
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Matcha is high grade Japanese green tea that is derived from using the entire tea leaf that is crushed into a fine powder form and consumed whereas most other teas are made by straining the tea leaves after steeping in hot water. The Kyoto region of Japan is where matcha traditionally comes from. The soil and climate provide perfect growing conditions. Kyoto produces the worlds most sought after matcha tea.
Matcha is a vibrant and bright almost neon colored green. It gets its beautiful color from a special cultivation process prior to harvesting.
During this process the tea plants get covered with special mats to create about 90% shade for several weeks. This slows down the natural photosynthesis process causing the plants to create much more chlorophyll so that the leaves become soft and supple. The leaves also create more amino acids creating a much sweeter flavored tea. After the harvest, the plant stems are removed, the leaves are dried then stone-ground into a fine talc-like green powder called matcha.
Over the last decade or so, you have no doubt been witnessing the proliferation of green tea products on grocery shelves, in health food stores, and in the vast amount of content written on the subject. For your benefit, this article will serve to summarize, in regular folk-speak, why an obscure, polyphenol-laden, plant leaf, discovered thousands of years ago in China, has suddenly become the health miracle of the new millennium.
While tea has long been known to be a healthier alternative to the daily drink preferences of today such as coffee, sports and energy drinks and sugar-laden soda, green tea is relatively new on the scene. Widely published studies on green tea and its remarkable healing properties have catapulted it to near miracle status as a drink alternative as well as an herbal supplement.
At the heart of this beverage are health and healing properties called Polyphenols. Found in green tea are these powerful chemicals that have potent antioxidant properties which, according to studies, far exceed the antioxidant effects of Vitamin C. Evidence indicates that just one cup of green tea packs more punch than single servings of antioxidant powerhouses such as broccoli and spinach.
Just What Does a Polyphenol Do Anyway?
Without getting deep into the weeds on this, it is important to know that your body, through both natural processes (breathing) and unnatural processes (i.e., smoking, stress, weight gain, excessive sun exposure), produces something called free radicals. While naturally produced free radicals have a healthy function in cell growth, those that are generated from unhealthy sources have been found to damage your body’s cells which, in some cases, can lead to disease such as cancer.
Antioxidants are your body’s defenses against renegade free radicals and, when in plentiful supply, can neutralize their potential damaging effects. Antioxidants are found in many different food and nutritional sources. Plant-based antioxidants, or polyphenols, are considered to be the best source for optimum protection against free radicals.
The science is pretty well settled that, through a steady diet of antioxidant rich foods, will produce long lasting health benefits through disease prevention. Occurrences of incurable or life threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes, HIV, obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s have been significantly reduced among populations rich in polyphenol sources.
Green tea is also known to eliminate bad breath, excess fat and acne. With so many options – bottled cold, tea bags or even green tea capsules – why wouldn’t you add it to your diet regimen and reap the health benefits of the polyphenol miracle?
Adding green tea to your diet may be a good step toward healthier living. Combined with a commitment to an exercise program and healthy food choices will give you the best possible chance at reaching your personal health goals whether it be weight loss or just feeling better.