Green Tea and Soy as a Preventative Measures against Cancer
Because Green Tea grows in particularly humid climates, it contains numerous polyphenols called catechins. One catechins, called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, is one of the most powerful nutritional molecules against the formation of cancerous cells. It is destroyed during the fermentation required to make black tea but is found in large quantities in tea that hasn't undergone fermentation and thus remains "green." After two or three cups of green tea, EGCG is plentiful in the blood. It spreads throughout the body by means of capillary vessels. They surround and feed every cell in the body. EGCG settles on the surface of each cell and blocks the switches (the receptors) whose function is to set off the production of cancer cells. Once the receptors are blocked by EGCG molecules, they no longer respond to the orders that cancer cells send through inflammation factors to invade tissue and to make the new blood vessels needed to supply tumor growth.
Green Tea also acts as a detoxifier for the body. It activates mechanisms in the liver that can then eliminate cancerous toxins from the body more rapidly. In mice, it has been shown to block the effects of chemical carcinogens responsible for breast, lung, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer.
Finally the effect of EGCG is still more striking when it is combined with other molecules commonly found in Asian diets - for example soy. Studies at Harvard Medical Labratories have shown that when taken together, the combination of green tea and soy enhances the protective effects observed when each is taken separately. This has been proven for both prostate and breast cancer. Their study suggests that soy phytochemicals plus green tea may be used as potentially effective dietary regimen for inhibiting progression of estrogen dependent breast cancer.