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Drinking Japanese Green Tea to Fight Cancer

According to the Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report 2019, cancer incidence has risen. Between 2015 and 2019, 28,545 people died of cancer, forming Singapore's most significant cause of death. [5]

Japanese green tea is said to help prevent or fight cancer. Is this a fact or a myth? Let's jump in.

This article was last modified December 11th, 2022. by Yuki

Is Japanese Green Tea Effective in Preventing or Fighting Cancer?

There are several types of cancer, and that makes cancer a complex topic to tackle. Here are some data that shows the effectiveness of Japanese Geen Tea on different types of cancer.

The first research shows that Green Tea Catechins inhibit cancer growth in prostate cancer.

The research was conducted on patients with High-Grade Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PIN), considered a pre-cancer prostate because it may turn into prostate cancer over time.

The patients with PIN who took 600 mg of green tea catechin capsules daily had significant positive outcomes.

Only 3.3% of the patients taking the catechin capsules were diagnosed with prostate cancer, as opposed to 30% of the patients who were not. [1]

In a different experiment conducted by the National Cancer Center of Japan, drinking five or more cups of green tea contributed to a significantly decreased risk of gastric cancer. [3]

In another large-scale study of 313,381 people, the effects of green tea on mortality rates of all causes were studied. In this study, green tea consumption reduced cancer mortality in women by 9% for those who drank three to four cups daily and 11% for cohorts who drank 1-2 cups daily. [4]

While several pieces of research show that green tea has positive effects in reducing cancer, not all research results are consistent.
Human-based studies have a wide range of variables, including the type of tea, temperature, thickness, and differences in people's DNA and daily habits.

While it is still premature to conclude Green Tea has definite effects in reducing cancer, substantial evidence suggests its possibility.

How Japanese Green Tea Impacts Cancer

Let's jump into some mechanisms by which green tea can help cancer.

The critical nutrient at play is the EGCG or the Epigallocatechin Gallate. It's one of the essential Green Tea Catechins in the tea leaf and is especially strong in Japanese green tea.

There are several mechanisms by which EGCG helps reduce cancer. We'll introduce two of them here.

The first mechanism is its properties as a potent antioxidant.

Cancer is caused by DNA damage in the human cell. Often, DNA damage is caused by a free radical called ROS or Reactive Oxegen Species. EGCG's antioxidant properties help remove ROS and reduce the DNA damage inflicted.

The second mechanism is how EGCG causes cell death in cancer cells.

EGCG connects to a protein in the human body cell called 67LR. This characteristic of EGCG triggers several of green tea's health benefits.

Cancer cells possess higher amounts of 67LR sensors. Therefore cancer cells absorb higher levels of EGCG, which causes cell death or inhibits reproduction.

Finding The Right Type of Tea to Maximize EGCG

EGCG is contained the most in the tea's most natural form.

That's why oxidized tea, such as black tea, or oxidized tea, such as oolong tea, has significantly fewer amounts of EGCG in the tea compared to green tea.

Even within Green Tea, there are several different types of tea. Teas such as Sencha and Tamaryokucha are the most suitable for maximizing EGCG.

High-quality tea such as Matcha and Gyokuro have reduced amounts of EGCG to reduce the astringency and improve the tea's umami. Other Japanese tea, such as Houjicha and Iribancha, reduces the amount of EGCG during their roasting process.

Sencha and Tamaryokucha are the most basic forms of Japanese green tea and contain the most EGCG.

We have a Tamaryokucha product with a measured amount of EGCG and total green tea Catechins, which is also an option if you're looking for a tea with high EGCG. If interested, please take a look at Misty Crane's EGCG Green Tea.

Preparing the Tea to Maximize EGCG

How to prepare the tea to maximize EGCG is essential too. Singapore's climate is hot, and it may be tempting to cold brew your tea. However, we do not recommend this if you are trying to maximize EGCG.

EGCG is soluble best in hot water of more than 80 degrees Celsius. The nature of this substance means that you should use boiling water to get the most out of your tea.

Author Yuki


Yuki is the Editor-in-Chief AND Community Manager at Tealife. He bleeds Japanese Tea and loves being a part of the Japanese Tea journey of others. Writes, does events, conducts tasting sessions, drinks, drinks and drinks tea! Easily accessible - hit him up on whatsapp (+65) 85882980.



[1] Bettuzzi S, Brausi M, Rizzi F, Castagnetti G, Peracchia G, Corti A. Chemoprevention of human prostate cancer by oral administration of green tea catechins in volunteers with high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia: a preliminary report from a one-year proof-of-principle study. Cancer Res. 2006 Jan 15;66(2):1234-40. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-1145. PMID: 16424063.

[2]Tachibana H, Koga K, Fujimura Y, Yamada K. A receptor for green tea polyphenol EGCG. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2004 Apr;11(4):380-1. doi: 10.1038/nsmb743. Epub 2004 Mar 14. PMID: 15024383.

[3] Inoue M, Sasazuki S, Wakai K, Suzuki T, Matsuo K, Shimazu T, Tsuji I, Tanaka K, Mizoue T, Nagata C, Tamakoshi A, Sawada N, Tsugane S; Research Group for the Development and Evaluation of Cancer Prevention Strategies in Japan. Green tea consumption and gastric cancer in Japanese: a pooled analysis of six cohort studies. Gut. 2009 Oct;58(10):1323-32. doi: 10.1136/gut.2008.166710. Epub 2009 Jun 7. PMID: 19505880.

[4] Abe SK, Saito E, Sawada N, Tsugane S, Ito H, Lin Y, Tamakoshi A, Sado J, Kitamura Y, Sugawara Y, Tsuji I, Nagata C, Sadakane A, Shimazu T, Mizoue T, Matsuo K, Naito M, Tanaka K, Inoue M; Research Group for the Development and Evaluation of Cancer Prevention Strategies in Japan. Green tea consumption and mortality in Japanese men and women: a pooled analysis of eight population-based cohort studies in Japan. Eur J Epidemiol. 2019 Oct;34(10):917-926. doi: 10.1007/s10654-019-00545-y. Epub 2019 Aug 7. PMID: 31392470.