Each year, more than 26,000 men die in the U.S. from prostate cancer.
Just the phrase "prostate cancer" is enough to scare many men I've met (including a fair number of our readers), especially in Western countries.
Countries like the U.S., Norway, and France have some of the highest prostate cancer rates in the world.
Countries in Southeast and Central Asia, like India and Thailand, have some of the lowest prostate cancer rates.
One possible reason?
A new study from Taiwan found that green tea leaf waste inhibits cancer cell growth. Researchers used the waste (the leftovers from making green tea beverages) on prostate cancer cells, finding that the waste was able to stop cell growth.
This isn't the first study to show green tea's impact on prostate cancer.
In 2010, researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that an antioxidant called antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells. EGCG even sped up cell death in cancer cells while leaving noncancerous cells unharmed.
In fact, a new randomized-control study (the gold standard for medical research) saw that a compound in green tea actually lowered prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in men with early stages of prostate cancer.
Too much green tea causes liver damage... even complete liver failure.
And as I've mentioned in the past, most men diagnosed with prostate cancer die from other causes. That's because prostate cancer is often a slow-progressing disease. But some men do develop a more aggressive form of cancer. (Read here to learn how to spot the signs if you think you're at risk.)
But the side effects of prostate cancer treatments can be more devastating than the disease. So I'm happy to see studies piling up on the possibility of green tea preventing prostate cancer.
And green tea doesn't just help reduce your risk of prostate cancer...
In 2012, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that found women who drank three cups of green tea a week were 14% less likely to suffer from stomach, colon, and throat cancers. Women who kept this routine for 20 years saw a 20% drop.
The anticancer properties likely come from EGCG. Green tea also lowers your risk of lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.
And green tea is a great drink for people who already have cancer. Green tea contains catechins, which are polyphenols, or so-called "flavonoids." One of those catechins is EGCG. This powerful antioxidant is known to kill cancer cells in vitro and also leaves healthy tissue unharmed.
Interestingly, the tea chemicals' mechanism of action may be due to the inhibition of a unique class of compounds called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). This inhibition can be directly linked to decreased cell and blood-vessel growth in tumors in the lab... And keeping the blood supply away from cancer is one of the best methods of fighting the disease.
Sipping tea can be a great time to sit quietly and meditate... even for just 10-15 minutes a day. The relaxation response triggered with meditation is great for longevity. And combining it with sipping green tea could be a potent way to fight stress and disease.
I drink about a cup of green tea a day. In the winter, I drink it hot with a little honey. And in the summer, I'll drink it room temperature or with a little ice.
- Something different: Live in a wealthier neighborhood? You probably have a lot of bugs.