Did you know 1 in 8 women in the U.S. gets diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? And the odds are the same for men to get diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. One in 5 Americans will get skin cancer, which is the most common cancer in the U.S. These odds suggest to us that we need to ACTIVELY change the odds. We will take a look at how Green Tea can help to reduce the risk of cancer with a special emphasis on the relationship between stress and cancer.
What increases the cancer risk?
There is no single cause for cancer. Scientists believe there are multiple factors intertwined to end up developing cancer, such as:
- Choice of food that harms the system
- Lack of movement
- Exessive alcohol intake
- Exessive exposure to toxicity
- Longterm mental/psychological stress
- Some viruses
- Family history/genetic predisposition
Why do these factors increase the risk?
There are a number of ways that each factor affects the odds. Simply put, these factors contribute to changing your system to a pro-tumor environment. To make matters worse, cumulative effects cause downstream reactions that create a vicious circle which makes a more difficult reversal.
Here are some examples of the mechanisms of the disruptions:
- Unhealthy choice of food
Food is not only the fuel for your physical energy but also for your hormones and gut system, which affect your emotional health significantly. Examples of poor options of food include:
Foods with artificial additives. They disrupt your gut health, which consists of 90% of serotonin that supports a sense of your well-being.
Imbalanced nutrition that lacks a variety of phytochemicals of real vegetables and fruits. Phytochemicals serve you in two different ways: 1) Activate positive healthy reactions in the system, and 2) Clean up toxins and ROS/free radicals, which may damage healthy cells and activate harmful reactions in the system
There is consistent evidence that a higher amount of fat is associated with an increased risk of a number of types of cancer, including breast cancer. Obesity is a chronic inflammatory condition that leads to DNA damage. Fat tissues also disrupt the hormone balance, including estrogen and insulin, and affect cell growth regulation.*
- Longterm Mental/Psychological Stress
As stress is part of our life, the effect is often overlooked. However, studies have been observing chronic stress can promote cancer development. Recently, scientists found that stress awakens dormant cancer cells. Let’s take a look at how chronic stress affects our health.
How stress increases cancer risk
We have a great coping system for “acute stress.” The automatic response increases mobility and responsiveness to deal with emergencies without thinking.
When this “fight or flight” mode is prolonged, the condition becomes chronic, which is problematic. Chronic stress can cause insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders, anxiety, mental illness, depression, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. For example, increased stress-related hormones activate multiple processes in the metastasis of breast cancer. Stress hormones have been observed in breast cancer tissues. Studies found stress hormones induce prostate and pancreatic cancers. Recent research has found chronic stress is one of the major causes of cancer in young people, 20 to 30 years old.
The relationship between cancer and chronic diseases is tied to stress hormones. Science has observed the following effects of stress hormones, including
- Trigger DNA damage and accumulates the damage
- Weaken P53, an important tumor suppressor protein
- Activate the interaction between inflammatory cells and cancer cells
- Increase neuroinflammation, which impairs the brain’s ability to process stress, causing a vicious circle
- Reduce gut flora diversity and increase harmful bacteria and reduce beneficial bacteria, which affects digestive health, mental health, and immunity
- Increase angiogenesis, which forms new blood vessels for the tumors to grow
- Affect pH levels of blood that negatively affect the performance of a number of enzymes
- Affect immune process
How stress messes up immunity
When you are stressed, inflammation increases. To combat inflammation, the immune system needs to be strong and healthy. But being in a chronic stress mode traps our system thoroughly by weakening the immune process. The weakened immune surveillance increases the risk of cancer invasion and metastasis. Furthermore, it reduces the efficacy of an anti-tumor regimen.
Stress is not just suppressing immunity. Stress causes immunity to behave oppositely, which means the affected immunity acts to help bad tumors to grow. An example of this type of alteration was observed when researchers were studying a link between stress and cancer recurrence.**
In this new study, a stress hormone triggered a chain reaction in immune cells that prompted dormant cancer cells to “wake up” and form tumors again. The research team created dormant cancer cells with a common chemotherapy drug. In lab dishes, dormant cells didn’t grow when mixed with immune cells. But they started growing again when mixed with “affected” neutrophils.
Neutrophils are a kind of white blood cell, a part of the body’s first line of defense against infections. The researchers found stress hormones like adrenaline and norepinephrine set off a chain reaction that turns neutrophils “rogue.” In lab dishes, stress hormones caused neutrophils to spit out a certain kind of proteins, which made neutrophils produce certain lipids that awakened dormant cancer cells.
Dr. Michela Perego, Ph.D., of The Wistar Institute Cancer Center, who lead this study, says, “What’s happening is a type of cascade.” None of the components alone wakes up dormant cells. “Several intermediate steps need to occur so it doesn’t mean your cancer is coming back if you are stressed,” said Dr. Perego. At the same time, she added, “There could be many different ways to wake dormant cells. We’ve shown one mechanism, but I’m very confident this is not the only one.”
How Green Tea helps to reduce cancer risk
Our system is comprised of an integrated network of cells and microorganisms whose dynamic interactions react and respond to each other and to environmental pressures. A number of studies clearly show the benefits of Green Tea, but one discovery opens up 10 more questions. It is likely more beneficial than we understand now.
At the beginning of this article, we talked about the pro-cancer factors. All of them affect the system so that the system becomes pro-tumor and pro-cancer, one cell at a time. We need a conscious effort to change the direction. The following is the list of the abilities of Green Tea to reduce the risk of cancer:
- Provides antioxidants, which cleans up ROS/free radicals/toxins
- Enhances immunity
- Optimises hormone balance
- Reduces hyperactive stress hormone
- Decreases inflammation
- Repairs DNA and supports mitochondria health
- Slows down wear and tear of Telomere (protector of the chromosome)
- Apoptosis (programmed cancer cell death)
- Differentiates healthy cells and cancer cells (so that they only attack cancer cells)
- Discourages angiogenesis
- Enhances immunity and mental health
- Increases good bacteria in gut flora (that also improves the immune system and mental health)
- Helps to generate short-chain fatty acids (that improves the bidirectional communication between brain and gut)
- Enhances mood
- Strengthens cognitive health
- Restores neurotransmitters’ system (Monoaminergic systems)
- Inhibits oxidation of neurotransmitters (MAO inhibitor)
- Antioxidant activities and other benefits
- Supports weight control
- Promotes skin health
- Promotes oral hygiene
- Promotes bone health
These actions, directly and indirectly, support health and reduce the risk. This long list may sound “too good to be true.” But when you know how dynamic, inclusive, and wholesome nature is, it totally makes sense.
Long-term consumption of Green Tea reduces the risk of cancer recurrence
We just talked about how chronic stress indirectly and directly increases the risk of waking up “dormant breast cancer” cells. And there is great news: A new study found compelling evidence that long-term consumption of EGCG, the main antioxidant in green tea, could counter several harmful aspects of dormant cancer cells.
These attributes of EGCG could also be linked to improvement in immune functions and a reduction of loss in microbial diversity of gut flora. This report concludes, “It is evident that EGCG consumption has several unique and multifaceted cellular senescence mitigatory attributes which may improve both longevity and healthspan.”
How to reduce cancer risk with Green Tea
So, what is the best way to use Green Tea to maximize its potential ability?
- Choose organic tea. –No matter what they say, “conventional teas” or non-organic teas have pesticide and herbicide residues. You would also like to avoid “natural flavors” often used to make flavored varieties. It simply does not make sense to add more toxins.
2. Choose powdered tea. –The dynamic green tea benefits come from the variety of phytochemical components of tea leaf. However, not all the components are water soluble. The majority of them, some 78%, are left in the tea leaf, even if you brew the same leaf three times. When you ingest the whole leaf, you ingest 100% of its nutrition. Our Edible Green Sencha Powder offers more antioxidants and less caffeine than Matcha. Edible Green Sencha Powder is available in regular and water-process-decaf. This unique product is the preferred option for you to enjoy over Matcha, especially if you are fighting chronic health challenges, according to Dr. Michelle Loy at Weill Cornell Medicine.
3. Drink daily. Drink a cup 3-4 hours apart. –Consistency is important! So, drink green tea every day. If you are drinking more than a cup a day, you might want to space 3-4 hours apart to get the maximum benefit. A study shows EGCG remains in your system for 3-4 hours, and then quickly disappears as it neutralizes free radicals. In order to replenish fresh antioxidants, you may want to drink a cup every 3-4 hours.
4. Use your tea time as a “tea ritual” or “tea meditation.” –More and more studies are discovering the link between meditation and mental health. Meditation is a way to train your brain to increase the ability to cope with stress and find your calm center. A cup of tea will give you positive effects, but if you could use the tea time to reinforce the effect, why don’t we? Especially if you already have tea time each day for health reasons, upgrade the daily tea time to tea meditation time. Here is how to conduct a tea ritual: “Tea Ritual Guide.”