Catechins form an integral ingredient of the green tea. They seem to be preventative against certain kinds of cancer and are helpful in treating non-cancerous diseases like viral infections, arthritis, and bacterial infections. Catechins may be useful, but then again, some research indicates that it may not be healthy to take (1).
The most common catechin seen in green tea is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It has found to have health benefits, including altering the course of carbohydrate metabolism, acting as an antioxidant, and helping metal ions absorb in the GI tract. When it comes to cancer, its effect is controversial.
By decreasing inflammation, the catechins in green tea have been found to be anti-inflammatory and secondarily can lead to less cancer. They were also found to treat liver cancer in animal models. Clearly more needs to be assessed for its full benefit in humans with cancer can be understood.
- Chacko SM, et al. Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review. Chin Med. 2010; 5: 13.
Published online 2010 Apr 6.
Dr. Adem Gunes