Over the centuries, green tea has been known for its benefits on human health. A traditional drink in several Asian cultures, it has a rightly earned reputation for increasing longevity, brain function and sexual drive. The appreciation for it goes as far as a centuries-old tradition in Japan, where its preparation is a ritual.
Benefits of Green Tea
Twenty-first-century tea lovers have even more reason to welcome the green tea habit: proven health benefits. Thanks to worldwide research, we now know that green tea contains several beneficial phytochemicals with powerful antioxidant properties, which is known to slow down the effects of ageing and prevent diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a long list of diseases caused or promoted by cell damage due to oxidative stress, inflammatory condition, chemicals, UV radiation, fungus, virus and bacteria.
What is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
Among other wonderful compounds, green tea contains EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin; flavonols such as kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin.
EGCG is of special interest due to its proven therapeutic effects for the integrative treatment of several diseases. Studies have demonstrated that EGCG helps reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, improves metabolism in diabetic patients and helps to fight cancer by inhibiting cancer cell growth. EGCG has even been proven to improve cognitive function, by preventing the overexpression of gen Dyrk1A, which causes defective brain and synapsis development.
Now, if you want to get a significant therapeutic amount of EGCG by drinking lots of green tea, well, not so fast. To ingest the required amount would require an awful lot of tea! The good news is that there are products available, either oral or injectable, that provide an effective dose of EGCG. These are also being used widely in alternative and complementary therapies, as well as in western medicine around the world.
EGCG in Cancer Treatment
Practitioners in the fields of anti-ageing, cancer, chronic degenerative diseases, depression and anxiety are using this wonder substance to help patients. Particularly in cancer, studies have reported an increase of apoptosis in digestive system cancer in mice as well as an increase in the effectiveness of Cisplatin chemotherapy in the cervical cancer patient. And the list goes on.
Facts like these give us a hint that including EGCG in cancer therapies, it could also represent an excellent supportive compound for patients being treated for cancer.
But proceed with caution. Although EGCG is good for you, there is a recent study that indicates possible liver toxicity caused by doses 800 mg or more per day. So, it seems that higher daily intake of this substance should never go beyond the 400-600 mg range, and ALWAYS under the care of a health professional.