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Reducing Your Breast Cancer Risk With Green Tea
This year, 40,000 women will die from breast cancer, and over 200,000 will be diagnosed with the disease. Researchers are hard at work to determine ways to prevent breast cancer, helping women learn how to protect themselves from this frightening disease.
As it stands today, about 13% of American women will develop breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. A better understanding of the causes of breast cancer and ways to prevent it can help us reduce that number in our lifetime.
We know that a healthy diet and exercise are important to preventing breast and other cancers. In particular, a diet rich in anti-oxidants can help the body age gracefully and avoid diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Anti-oxidants are important because they fight free radicals created in the body as it converts food to energy. These free radicals can cause disease and aging over time. Anti-oxidants and their ability to check free radicals help to keep our bodies young and healthy.
Fruits and vegetables are among the best sources of anti-oxidants. In particular, vegetables such as artichokes, tomatoes, and asparagus along with fruits like blueberries and pomegranates can help reduce your chances of disease and keep you young.
Another significant source of anti-oxidants is green tea. Green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, as does all true tea. Green tea is higher in anti-oxidants than black tea because it is not fermented during processing. The lack of fermentation leaves the tea plantís anti-oxidants in their most natural and protective state, making it one of the most protective substances you can consume.
Scientists have spent years researching the potential of green tea, particularly its ability to prevent, and even treat cancers, including breast cancer. They have learned that green tea offers much potential in prevention of breast cancer.
One study in particular looked at women in Singapore who had a higher than average risk of breast cancer. This study, reported by the UK Tea Council, studied women who had a high level of angiotensin II activity. Angiotensin is an ogliopeptide in the blood that causes blood vessels to constrict, causing high blood pressure. It also releases aldosterone from the adrenal cortex. Aldosterone is a hormone that regulates potassium and sodium in the blood.
Women who have low angiotensin II activity seem to be at a lower risk for breast cancer. Therefore, researchers theorized that women with high angiotensin II activity would be more susceptible to the protective effects of green tea.
So, in this study, researchers looked at 297 women with breast cancer and just over 600 control subjects. The study concluded that among the women with high angiotensin II activity, green tea was able to significantly lower the risk of breast cancer. The green tea did not appear to have a protective effect on the women with lower than average angiotensin II activity.
This study didnít show that it was necessary to consume green tea in large quantities in order to see benefit. The study concluded that women who drank green tea weekly were at a lower risk than those who drank it only monthly or not at all.
This conclusion is on target with other research that has shown that drugs which inhibit angiotensin activity (drugs to treat high blood pressure) reduce a womanís risk of breast cancer over those women whose blood pressure goes untreated. It seems that keeping angiotensin II at bay is effective at reducing blood pressure problems and lowering breast cancer risk at the same time.
This is promising news for those who may be at a higher uncontrollable risk of breast cancer. Angiotensin activity, like some other risk factors for breast cancer, such as family history, cannot be controlled or moderated. But, if green tea can lessen the impact of angiotensin II activity, this may minimize the risk of breast cancer for a large group of higher risk women.
We all know that itís important for each of us to take an active role in protecting our health. And, as more research is performed, it becomes more evident that drinking green tea is an especially simple and effective way to do so.
Adding green tea to your daily life is simple and delicious. Green tea is available loose, in bottles and in tea bags. You can make your own cup of hot tea to warm up a cold night, keep a pitcher of iced green tea in the refrigerator, or grab a bottled green tea on the way to your workout.
You can find green tea flavored with many different fruit flavors to suit any palate. And, if that still doesnít get you enough green tea to help your health, there are green tea supplements, too. Simply pop a green tea supplement with your vitamins each day to help get an extra dose. Keep in mind that it appears that even drinking moderate amounts of green tea can help protect your health.
So, grab a cup of green tea. Youíre certain to enjoy it, and you may be protecting your health, too!
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