Health and Longevity Q&A
Preventing Colon Cancer with Green Tea
Q: Hey How’s it going? I used to read your column in Powerlifting USA magazine every month and was so sad to see the magazine go under back in 2012. I have been looking for more of your work and was super happy to have bumped into your website. I have a good question for you that I was hoping you could answer for me in print if possible. You see colon cancer runs in my family and now that I am in my late 40’s I want to make sure that I don’t suffer the same fate as many others in my family. I heard from a guy at the gym that green tea can provide some positive benefits at reducing your risks of colon cancer if taken daily. Can you shed some light on this for me as I would be truly grateful if you could steer me in the right direction?
Thank you so much,
A: Hi Mike it’s great to hear from you. Yes, I was saddened by the loss of the amazing magazine Powerlifting USA and to be honest, nothing has even come close to filling its shoes. I have written articles for numerous other magazines since my time at PLUSA but I wanted to start producing more content and creating my own website was what I decided on. I am so happy you found me as well and I look to providing some great content for my loyal fans.
Now back to the topic at hand. Yes, your buddy at the gym was correct in the fact that green tea does show some positive effects on dealing with the prevention of colon cancer. If you have read my articles in the past then you know that I am a big fan of green tea for many reasons. New research has brought to light some of what we already knew in the past but also some information we were unaware of. Now when it comes to colon cancer you need to take this very seriously especially if it runs in your family. You might not be aware of this but it is the third most common form of cancer that strikes our population. Close to 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer, with over 50,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. In Europe, it gets even worse with close to 400,000 new cases every year. Worldwide we see close to 1 million cases with close to half of them resulting in death. If this doesn’t grab your attention then I don’t know what will. I want to cover some of the new findings from recent studies to help you understand the relationship between the compounds found in green tea and how it works its magic on keeping your colon cancer-free. So let’s take a look at some of these finer points
Green Tea has Shown Anti-Cancer Benefits!
- Now you may already know this but the well-researched compound in green tea is the amazing polyphenol Epigallocatechin Gallate or what is known as EGCG
- In a recent study performed on mice, researchers found out some interesting information
- By giving the mice a green tea EGCG extract, they found that it caused a major reeducation in the formation of a precancerous lesion from forming in the colon
- This is great news because if you can stop cancer from forming in the first place this is half the battle
- Now this was just the beginning as the researchers wanted to find out what would happen to the rats when they were given cancer by loading them up with chemical carcinogens and a diet that would encourage the growth of cancer as well in the colon
- During this study that lasted almost 9 months in duration, half the mice were given a placebo while the other half received polyphenol extracts derived from green tea
- So what did this study actually prove? The majority of the control mice did develop colorectal cancer which is a given since they were doused in carcinogens not only from chemicals but also with a diet that was one that promotes cancer
- Yet few of the mice who consumed the polyphenol-rich green tea extracts came down with cancer. This is some very interesting news for sure but it gets even better
- Now the mice who did get cancer and did consume the green tea supplementation, showed some very interesting findings especially when compared to the control group
- There were 55% fewer tumors and they were 45% smaller in size in comparison
- Even better is the fact that the scientists noted that the majority were benign in nature and not malignant
Green Tea is Critical for Colon Health!
- Now this was not all that scientist discovered during this study and everyone should take note for sure
- The mice that were fed the polyphenol-rich green tea supplements showed lower levels of pro-inflammatory signaling hormones
- These same mice also produced a lower expression of a gene regulator that is tumor-promoting known as Beta-Catenin
- Lastly, these same mice had a higher level of tumor cell death when compared to the control group
- When you look at the data just from this one study you see what an amazing benefit the compounds found in green tea can have in the prevention of colon cancer
- No another study that was conducted at the Seoul National Hospital in South Korea also shed some new findings that should be noted
- They found that green tea may not only help prevent colon cancer, to begin with, but also prevent its recurrence
- Another study being conducted in Japan at the Gifu University found that only 15% of the patients who supplemented with green tea compounds had colon polyp recurrence compared to over 30% for those who did placebo
I Love Organic Matcha Green Tea!
- Now one thing to note here is that both studies done in Korea and Japan used high dose extract equivalency of green tea
- Both studies used the same dosing requirements found in about ten cups of green tea daily
- Now here is some information that those of you who consume too much fast food, sugars, processed foods, and everything that I pretty much tell you to avoid
- During this study, rats were given a cancer-inducing chemical that specifically causes colon cancer
- They then broke up the cancerous rats into two categories. One that was fed healthy foods and the other high in bad fats and sugars
- I bet this sounds like plenty of you reading this right now…lol
- They found that the green tea compounds were even more effective on the group that ate low-quality foods that replicated the Standard American Diet
- They also found that in this group, the green tea also prevented fat gain as well as maintaining normal blood sugar levels
- This shocked researchers because we all know that poor food choices lead to different forms of cancer primarily from elevated Insulin blood levels and whole-body chronic inflammation
- So if you are someone that doesn’t eat as clean as you should then green tea offers you even more protection versus someone that is always on point with their eating
- Remember the compound EGCG I mentioned earlier that is contained in green tea?
- A recent study showed that EGCG has the power to suppress the activity of colorectal cancer stem cells
- It did this by downregulating a key signaling pathway known as Wnt/beta-catenin
- Now you may be wondering why this pathway is so important in preventing colon cancer?
- This is because this pathway has a direct relation in the development of stem cells into functioning cells in human tissue
- This shows us very clearly that by shutting down this pathway, it leads to cancer suppression in the colon
So what does this all mean? Numerous studies have shown some positive results in relation to drinking large amounts of green tea or taking green tea extracts in the reduction of colon cancer. Those people who as part of their culture drink green tea daily and several times per day do show lower cancer rates than those who do not drink it at all. We can also conclude that even if you eat a horrible diet on a daily basis that does put you at higher risk for colon cancer, drinking green tea can help prevent the damage done to your health. For these same individuals, green tea can help you put on less fat, help stabilize blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation.
Start Making Green Tea Part of your Health Plan!
I would first find yourself a good quality organic green tea. Make sure it’s organic because since you are trying to do something healthy here the last thing you want to do is add in some pesticides to the mix. Next start consuming it throughout the day, several times per day. In fact, some of my clients will use this as their daily water consumption. So when they have to take in 3 liters of water, they will make the equivalency in green tea which comes out to about twelve cups. If we look at many of the studies most were conducted with around ten cups per day where they saw the most benefit. So this amount works out perfectly to where you would want to be in terms of how much you need daily to hit your target amounts. Next, start slowly when it comes to drinking green tea. If you have never drunk a cup in your life, don’t go and try and drinking ten cups starting tomorrow. No, you may feel off as your body is not used to consuming it in those large amounts. Try and drink 3-4 cups to start off and then slowly increase the amount over the next couple of months. Now I hope this helped shed some light on this topic with information you can put to use in your daily health plan.