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Theaflavin and black tea against cancer

Theaflavin and black tea against cancer

February 18, 2021
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In recent years, the attention of scientists has been focusing more and more on diet and lifestyle to prevent or help combat various diseases, including cancers. And it is always from the natural world that different active ingredients are extracted for the actual treatment of cellular degeneration, as is the case with some anticancer drugs based on substances obtained from the bark and from needles of yew trees. Therefore, nature and nutrition can become truly valuable allies in the fight against cancer. And now this scenario is enriched with a precious piece. Thanks to the review we are talking about today, in fact, we know that black tea, thanks to its theaflavin content, shows a powerful anti-cancer action. The research was published in the journal Molecules by a team of Canadian scientists (O’Neill et al, Molecules, 2021).

Black tea is considered not only a pleasant drink but a powerful component of the diet capable of acting for the well-being of the body as well as showing valuable anticancer properties. These characteristics are due to the presence in black tea of ??antioxidant compounds such as catechins and theaflavins. In particular, the article in question focuses on the action of theaflavin and presents the results of previous studies about its anticancer properties. What emerges is that theaflavin shows a clear anti-cancer action. In fact, theaflavin is able to inhibit the proliferation, survival and migration to other parts of the body of cells that have undergone degeneration. Not only that, theaflavin promotes apoptosis, that is the programmed death of diseased cells, and inhibits angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels that would carry nourishment to diseased cells. The antitumor action of theaflavin has been observed on various types of tumors, such as that of the breast, ovaries, prostate, lungs, liver and blood.

The studies reported in the review involved either laboratory testing or oral administration of concentrated black tea extracts. In fact, theaflavin is not very bioavailable and the intake of black tea in the form of a drink would not allow to reach the concentrations required to show a clear anticancer action. Thirty cups of black tea a day indeed are not able to bring the amount of theaflavin in bloodstream deemed necessary to implement its anticancer action. However, here we are speaking of theaflavin as a cure and treatment for already existing cancers and it would be unrealistic to think that a couple of cups of black tea could counter these illnesses. It is therefore clear that black tea should be seen as a healthy drink to be included in a healthy and varied diet in which many foods contribute to the prevention of cellular degeneration. In short, the study shows that black tea is a small piece inside the great puzzle of healthy anti cancer eating.

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