Matcha tea can be a valid ally in the fight against tumours, even the most aggressive ones. This is what emerges from a very recent scientific research published a few days ago in the journal Nutrients by a team from Qatar (Sokary et al, Nutrients, May 2023).
Matcha tea, an elixir of life
Matcha tea is a special Japanese green tea because, unlike other varieties of green tea, it is not filtered after the infusion time but is drunk together with the water in which it is dissolved. In fact, matcha tea comes in the form of a powder that is dissolved in a cup of water. Matcha tea is particularly rich in caffeine and amino acids and, once it is dissolved in water, it is able to release a quantity of catechins, which are precious antioxidants, up to three times more than other types of green tea leaves. Thanks to these characteristics, matcha tea has been shown to improve cognitive function and attention, to reduce cholesterol, the accumulation of fat, including visceral fat, and inflammation. In short, a real elixir in the cup. But that is not all. Precisely because of the richness of antioxidants, it has been hypothesized that matcha tea can also help prevent and fight tumors. However, this research is currently only in its initial stages, in fact, only a few studies have been conducted to try to shed light on a possible anti-cancer action of matcha tea and only three studies, all in vitro, have been devoted to the possibility that matcha tea is able to fight breast cancer. The research we are talking about today is the first of its kind as, for the first time, the anticancer action of matcha is tested in its entirety, and not in the form of isolated extracts, in doses and intake time compatible with tea that we can assume in our daily life, and on living organisms.
Matcha tea fights tumors, the study
As mentioned, the research analyzed the properties of matcha tea without using isolated compounds but the tea obtained after dissolving the matcha powder in hot water. The research used, as a study sample, zebrafish, which are small fish widely used in cancer research as they are genetically very similar to humans. Larval zebrafish have been genetically manipulated to develop different types of breast cancer, even in the most aggressive variants.
Then, the specimens were given matcha tea for two days, in a dose comparable to that which a human being can take within a varied and balanced diet. Well, what emerged excited the scientists as in just two days it was possible to observe a reduction in the size of the tumor and a suppression of metastases.
Conclusions and warnings
The study is really promising even if other research will have to be carried out to evaluate how humans react, what are the long-term effects, the exact dose of matcha that can give the greatest benefits and at the same time be safe for humans. Additionally, it is important to note that the article is not claiming that matcha tea can be used on a par with medicines and treatments. Perhaps, one day soon, matcha tea will become an adjuvant in therapies, always under medical supervision. At the moment, however, we know that matcha can be included in our daily diet, without excesses, aware that this bright green drink can help counteract overweight, excess cholesterol but also, and above all, inflammation and cellular degenerations. Matcha, as indicated, contains caffeine and therefore a good choice is to avoid it in the afternoon and evening hours but prefer it in the morning.
As for the preparation, a lot depends on the quality. Some matcha teas can even be dissolved in cold water, while others need to be added to hot water, around 40° C.
Then, whether the matcha is added to hot or cold water, the drink must be mixed well, with a whisk for example, for at least half a minute, then it can be drunk without filtering it. Ask your doctor for advice if you are taking medications, as green tea polyphenols can interfere with some medicines such as antidepressants, blood thinners, antihypertensives and some chemotherapy.