KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A Great Reason to Drink Green Tea

Both fans of green tea and proponents of alternative medicine have long said that green tea has cancer-fighting effects. A news report today explains that mainstream science has discovered how it does so:

Researchers at the University of Murcia in Spain and the John Innes Center in Norwich, England have shown that a compound called EGCG [epigallocatechin gallate, a potent antioxidant] in green tea prevents cancer cells from growing by binding to a specific enzyme.

“We have shown for the first time that EGCG, which is present in green tea at relatively high concentrations, inhibits the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, which is a recognized, established target for anti-cancer drugs," Professor Roger Thorneley, of JIC, told Reuters.

“This is the first time, to our knowledge, a known target for an anti-cancer drug has been identified as being inhibited by EGCG,” he added. . . .

The scientists decided to look at ECGC after they realized its structure was similar to a cancer drug called methotrexate.

I've been drinking green tea for years, because of both its good taste and what was then its unproven ability to stop cancer. I also savor white tea, which is less processed than green tea (which in turn is less processed than black tea). It has a very delicate flavor and very likely has even higher concentrations of beneficial compounds such as EGCG. This article by researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute (named a Center of Excellence for Research On Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine) of Oregon State University explains.

I've not ever found white tea sold by the tea bag—only as whole tea leaves. Once I started drinking whole-leaf tea, both green and white, I didn't want to use tea bags anymore. Whole-leaf tea tastes fresher because it hasn't been crushed the way tea for tea bags is. My favorite place to order tea online is SpecialTeas—and no one there asked me to say so, either.

Another reason


angela buckley said...

Re. tea bags, my husband is a serious tea drinker and until recently was a high school teacher. He used tea to teach world geography to his students, and he told them that the tea found in bags generally is the dust from the tea factory floor. They thought he was just being dramatic. But one of his former students later traveled to some tea-producing countries and visited a tea factory. Just as my husband had said, the dust was swept up for tea bags.

Katharine said...

Ew! Yet another reason to use whole tea leaves.

Katharine said...

In the service of providing as much info as possible, I have to report this: It turns out that since the last time I searched (over a year ago), white tea has become available in tea bags. But if any of you want it, you'll have to search for it yourself. I won't buy it in that form.

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