You might not be hearing a lot about the health benefits of green tea unlike other superfoods like ginger and turmeric. But did you know that green tea continues to quietly prove its health value in research? A recent study at the University of Salford found that matcha, a particular kind of green tea, can kill breast cancer cells effectively.
A process known as metabolism phenotyping on breast cancer stem cell lines was used by the scientist at the university’s Biomedical Research Center. The results showed that matcha is able to “shift cancer cells towards a quiescent metabolic state” while stopping them from spreading. Best of all, this was achieved using a rather low concentration of just 0.2 mg/mL.
Furthermore, matcha was also found to affect the signaling pathways that promote cancer stem cells in a way that may make it a viable alternative to chemical cancer drugs like rapamycin.
According to the scientists, the tea essentially suppresses oxidative mitochondrial metabolism thereby preventing these cells from refueling, making them inactive and eventually die. Findings of this study were published in the journal Aging.
Michael Lisanti, University of Salford Professor of Translational Medicine commented that:
“The effects on human breast cancer cells were very striking; the active ingredients in Matcha having a surgical effect in knocking out certain signaling pathways. Our results are consistent with the idea that Matcha may have significant therapeutic potential, mediating the metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells.”
If you are interested in natural treatments for cancer, this would be good news for you. The scientists who were involved in this research specialize in finding nontoxic ways of killing cancer stem cells. Their team also discovered that bergamot, an ingredient, and Earl Grey tea, has the ability to kill cancer cells and serve as an anti-cholesterol agent.
What Is Matcha Green Tea?
Matcha, a variety of green tea, is made using the young leaves of the Camellia Sinensis. Before being harvested, they are left in the shade for two to four weeks and then ground up into a bright green powder that is whisked with hot water and consumed.
It is so beneficial to keep them in the shade for so long because it will dramatically raise its chlorophyll and antioxidant levels.
Found in matcha are levels of antioxidants that are 14 times than those found in wild blueberries. It contains a high amount of an enzyme known as EGCG, which can help patients with cancer, type 2 diabetes, high levels of cholesterol, and heart problems.
If you’re making yourself matcha, see to it that you do not boil it because it may compromise its antioxidant effects. Look for the brightest shade you can find; a darker green matcha means that it is older and over time, its beneficial properties do degrade. Also, put in mind that it contains a lot of caffeine – slightly more than traditional green tea but less than espresso. But, due to the presence of L-theanine in matcha, its mood-boosting effects last longer.
Once whisked with hot water, matcha has an earthy, pleasant flavor. You can mix it with yogurt, consume with milk, or incorporate with smoothies and salad dressings.
Now that you know matcha’s many great benefits, maybe its time for you to give this ancient drink a try!