Green Tea May Improve Function in Alzheimer's Disease and Combats the Illness in a Number of Ways

October 14, 2004

The current mechanism of action of approved drugs for Alzheimer's disease is the inhibition of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase in the brain. This increases the level of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is needed for learning, thinking, and memory. This strategy is useful for aiding the patient on a day by day basis improving thinking and memory but may not prevent worsening of the disease. Drugs currently in development block the deposition of beta-amyloid, the sticky plaque that reaches out and destroys everything in its path in the Alzheimer's diseased brain. Therefore the newer strategy is to attack the disease from different angles to help thinking while decreasing disease progression. As it turns out giving green tea inhibits acetylcholinesterase activity and blocks the enzyme beta-secretase that frees beta-amyloid allowing it to create the brain plaque. Green tea has the activity of both classes of medication. The study appears in the October 8th, 2004 issue of Phytotherapy Research.

Green Tea Improves Cancer Survival - Ovarian Cancer

254 women with epithelial ovarian cancer were recruited into a study in the years 1999 to 2000, and they were followed for 3 years. At the end of the study 77.9% of the women who drank green tea survived versus 47.9% of the non-tea drinkers. The greater the intake of green tea the greater was the chance of survival. The study is published in the November 10th, 2004 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

Green Tea Improves Cancer Survival - Breast Cancer

472 patients with stage I, II, or III breast cancer were enrolled into a two part study. In part one of the study it was found that the more green tea a woman consumed the less number of metastasis she had to the axial lymph nodes in stage I or II breast cancer among premenopausal women, and the more treatable the breast cancer was in post menopausal women.

In the second phase of the study increasing levels of consumption of green tea was correlated with a decreased risk of breast cancer recurrence in stage I or II breast cancer after seven years (a 44% decreased risk of recurrence). The study is published in the March 1998 issue of the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research.

Green Tea Protects the Digestive Tract

Green tea is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-atherosclerotic, and antibacterial. In the gastrointestinal tract Green tea prevents the formation of carcinogens out of pro-carcinogens. Green tea activates cellular antioxidants that protect the digestive tract and it cancer cell proliferation in the digestive tract. Green tea decreases the risk of stomach and colon cancer. Green tea may prevent digestive tract disorders. The study is published in the October 1st, 2004 issue of the European Journal of Pharmacology.