Drinking Tea Can Improve Your Genes
Women who drink tea change their genes in a way that reduces cancer risk. We have known for a long time that regular tea consumption is linked with a range of health benefits. Some of these include reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and dementia. Now studies have shown tea causes epigenetic changes; that means it can change the way your genes behave. The effects seem to be more powerful in women than men. This research comes from Uppsala University and is published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.
Epigenetic changes can turn some genes on, while turning others off. Many different environmental factors affect your genes; environmental pollution, cigarettes, stress and unhealthy foods can all cause harmful epigenetic changes, raising your risk of developing health problems. It’s good to know that a delicious beverage like tea can lead to positive gene changes.
In this specific study, tea was found to particularly affect the genes that control estrogen metabolism and cancer risk. Faulty estrogen metabolism can increase the risk of hormone-dependent tumors such as breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. The lead researcher has stated "Previous studies have shown that tea consumption reduces estrogen levels which highlights a potential difference between the biological response to tea in men and women. Women also drink higher amounts of tea compared to men, which increases our power to find association in women". In this particular study no such hormonal effects were seen for coffee consumption.
All tea has health benefits, however green tea is higher in potent antioxidant compounds. Tea is an infusion of the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Green, white, oolong and black tea are all produced from the leaves of the same plant. Different processing methods yield the various types of tea. All tea contains some flavonoids, caffeine, fluoride and theanine. Green tea contains the antioxidant catechins called EGCG and ECG.