Colon cancer rates are decreasing annually.
byrev / Pixabay – Colon cancer rates are decreasing annually.

Colon cancer rates have been dropping about three percent a year in recent years. The medical community attributes this to increased awareness and colonoscopies. The latest studies using animal testing show that green tea might be an effective agent to prevent or significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer.

The latest published results on 2014 stated that nearly 140,000 people were diagnosed with colon cancer. Men had slightly more cases than women. That same year over 51,000 people died from the same disease. In 2017, twenty-nine studies involving more than 1.6 million individuals were analyzed to determine the effect of green tea and colon cancer.

Overall, there is a reduction of risk of seven percent in the overall study when people drank green tea regularly. In women, the results were more astounding – a 32% decrease in the risk of colon cancer. This was based on a single cup of green tea a day.

The active ingredient in green tea attributing to this success is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Two studies were done with mice to assess the reduction in risk regarding prevention and the impact on existing tumors.

Both studies showed positive results. There were 55% fewer cases of tumors forming. Forty-five percent of the tumors that did form were smaller. And, the tumors that did form were more likely to be benign than malignant.

Scientists determined that the pro-inflammatory signaling molecules responsible for colon cancer were suppressed by EGCG. The presence of the tumor-promoting gene, beta-catenin, were inhibited by EGCG. Additionally, the rate of tumor cell death statistically increased.

EGCG was incorporated into the diet of mice with precancerous tumors. The study noted a reduction in the existing lesions. EGCG also reduced weight gain, fasting glucose and inflammation levels in these mice that had been fed the standard American diet high in fat and simple sugars. Our poor diet is a contributing factor to the increased risk of colon cancer.

Further studies demonstrate the mechanism of how EGCG interferes with colon cancer development. EGCG suppressed the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway used by colon cancer stem cells. This has caught attention of pharmaceutical drug manufacturers. There might be a new drug based on these studies.

Human studies show that people who drink more green tea have lower rates of colon cancer compared to those who do not drink green tea. It is harder to assess the total effect in humans because we do not infect humans with cancer-causing chemicals in testing. Animals injected with cancer-causing chemicals developed fewer and smaller tumors when EGCG was integrated into the testing regime.

I drink a combination of at least four teas daily – green tea, oolong tea, gynostemma tea and puehr tea. It took me decades to acquire a taste for unsweetened tea. I rarely go a day without several cups of tea. Most restaurants offer black tea as their staple. Nothing wrong with black tea, it is same as green (or white) tea, but the tea leaves have matured more.

Why not consider at least one glass of green tea daily to help fight inflammation and possibly reduce your risk of colon cancer.

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