Healthy Living

Matcha Tea And The Different Cancers It Helps Prevent From Developing

Matcha tea is a popular product endorsed by many celebrities for its numerous health benefits. The leaves of the same plant used to make green tea, Camellia sinensis, are harvested, steamed, dried and grounded into powder to produce the healthy tea variety.  

The leaves have more antioxidants than green tea because of the difference in the way they are grown. Tea plants are covered in shade for about 20 to 30 days to prevent contact with direct sunlight to boost chlorophyll production. Since the tea includes nutrition from whole leaf, they contain more nutrition than green tea. 

Specifically, a particular kind of antioxidant-polyphenol compounds, catechins, is found more in matcha tea, compared to any other food. Hence, for people who regularly consume matcha tea, the benefits reaped are weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and cardiovascular health. 

Other than weight loss, the most important health benefit according to several studies is the protection provided against cancer. The chemical compounds in matcha tea kill cancer cells and free radicals that spread disease by detoxifying the body. 

Here are some studies to attest to this fact:

Bladder Cancer -  A study based in Metropolitan Nagoya in Japan compared the general population against case control study patients with bladder cancer.  The analysis of bladder cancer was done with 293 patients and 589 controls who were adjusted according to age, sex, smoking habits and residence. “Reduced risk of significance was suggested for the intake of black tea and matcha (powdered green tea) in females and of fruit juice in males,” as per the study

A multi-center trial with 330 patients was underway in the United States in 2008. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study said that polyphenols contained in green tea extract were able to kill tumor cells and prevent the recurrence of  bladder cancer. 

Breast Cancer - A review of 13 papers across eight countries examined data related to consumption of black tea, green tea and both, with respect to breast cancer risk. Before this, many experimental studies have looked into the association between tea polyphenols and anti-carcinogenic properties against breast cancer. As per the review, a total of four studies indicated a lower risk of breast cancer with green tea consumption. 

matcha Matcha tea has been found effective to help kill harmful stem cells that may trigger breast cancer. Pixabay

Prostate Cancer - The diet in Asian populations, especially in Japan, contains green tea, so there is generally a low incidence of prostate cancer among Asians, compared to Western populations.  

The Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study ( JPHC Study) was started in 1990 with one cohort and the second cohort was started in 1993. About 49,920 men in the age group of 40 to 69 answered a detailed questionnaire on their green tea consumption. They were followed till 2004 in one study.

From them, 404 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 114 of them were in advanced stages. It was found that a dose-dependent consumption of green tea had decreased the risk of prostate cancer’s escalation to an advanced stage. Those who drank 5 or more cups per day had a reduced risk, compared to the men who drank less than one cup. 

Colorectal Cancer - While the anti-carcinogenic activities of tea have been proven in in vitro and animal studies, epidemiological studies have thrown up mixed results. In one study, face to face interviews were conducted on 69,710 Chinese women aged between 40 to 70 years. They were given follow-up questions two to three years later. Within the period of six years, 256 cases of colorectal carcinoma were found. 

Women who consumed green tea regularly over a long duration, for many years, were at a reduced risk of developing colon cancer. “The inverse association with regular tea drinking was observed for both colon and rectal cancers. This study suggests that regular consumption of green tea may reduce CRC risk in women,” the study’s abstract read.