Cancer Prevention And Green Tea Consumption

| Monday, December 19, 2011
By Owen Jones

Most people are scared stiff of contracting cancer. That is perfectly understandable - who wants to spend a couple of years experiencing chemotherapy just to die a couple of years later? Or even if you recover it is a couple of years out of your life that have been worrying and gruelling. And not merely for the patient but for friends and family too.

So, some people do everything possible to reduce the risks of developing cancer. Most of us do not think we know how to do this, others are not certain, but they have heard or read something that sounds 'around about correct' and others are convinced that they know how to avoid contracting cancer.

My wife is convinced that I may develop cancer from eating burnt toast and others are convinced that they can ward off cancer by saturating their flesh with green tea. It has frequently been pointed out and for decades too, that countries where green tea is the norm, say the Far East, have a much lower rate of cancer than we do in the West.

And this is probably a fact at the moment. But why is it the case? I live in Asia and diabetes is the number one killer near me. Do Asians not get cancer as much as we do because they drink green tea or for other reasons?

In fact, where I live in Northern Thailand, I have never seen anyone drink tea or coffee or accept a cup off me, except my wife. People here drink water or alcohol, depending on the time of day. Kids like Cola or Sprite or whatever because they watch as well much TV, but drink a lot of water.

It is said that green tea is an anti-oxidant and it is alleged that anti-oxidants help get rid of free radicals which could cause cancer. If this is true, then the claims for green tea are maybe more substantial.

However, the claims are so all-embracing that it makes me sceptical. I am reading a report just now that claims that green tea will prevent the formation of cancerous cells in the: "... aesophagus, bladder, on the skin, in the ovaries, the pancreas and the prostate".

That is a very tall order indeed.

The problem for me with all these claims is that they are not substantiated - there are no references that you can follow that do not lead to businesses selling green tea. This is a difficulty.

Some will say that the government or the pharmaceutical businesses are suppressing the information because they want to sell more expensive drugs - and this might be the case - grist to the mill for conspiracy theorists and retailers of Chinese tea.

Now that we seem to be entering into a 'new era', a more sceptical and more progressive era (thanks a great deal to the World Wide Web), couldn't someone do some research on green tea and Acai berries and all the rest of the stuff you read of in your junk emails and put an end once and for all to the false hopes, if that is what they are, that we are being sold every day by unscrupulous advertisers looking for a quick dollar?

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