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The Gastrointestinal Effects of Green Tea

Green Tea

The Gastrointestinal Effects of Green Tea

Green tea has a whole range of health benefits, having been used medicinally by people in the Far East for centuries. Recently, numerous scientific studies have been undertaken to see if the effects can be proven, and the results are promising. One such area where green tea has been found to have an effect is in relation to the gastrointestinal system (the stomach, intestines, bowel etc).

One such study was conducted by Shibata et al at Fukuoka University in Japan, with the results being published in 2000 . The study looked at the relationship between green tea and chronic atrophic gastritis, or CAG, a precancerous stomach lesion. It took 636 participants and analyzed their lifestyle and diet choices, including their consumption of green tea. The study found that high green tea intake (more than 10 Japanese cups per day/about 6 cups in the USA due to different sized cups) was negatively associated with CAG risk, meaning that drinking high levels of green tea can be a great way to prevent the onset of CAG.

Another study, this time conducted by Chi et al at the Research Institute of International Medical Centre of Japan, looked at the effect of green tea on gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) . The research team noted that a lot of patients with GISTs became resistant to the main drug used to treat them (Imatinib), calling for a new treatment to be developed. The team focused their studies on epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, a primary green tea catechin that’s been shown to have significant anti-tumor effects on a lot of cancer cells.

To conduct the study, they took a particular strain of GIST cells and exposed them to different levels of EGCG. They found that after GIST cells were treated with EGCG their growth was suppressed, and after enough exposure cell death was apparent. The same was even true of GIST cells that were resistant to Imatinib, showing just how much of an impact green tea can have. From their study, the team suggested that green tea could be used as an associated treatment for GISTs.

But why does green tea have so much of an effect? As the above study demonstrates, it’s likely to be caused by the antioxidants, or catechins, contained within it. Another research team from the University of Hong Kong looked even more closely at it. Koo and Cho  noted that several studies indicate an inverse relation between green tea consumption and colon and stomach cancers. They suggest that it’s because the catechins in green tea are so easily absorbed by the intestinal tract that they have so much of an impact.

So, green tea really can offer significant benefits to the gastrointestinal system. It can even be used to help the most serious of conditions such as cancer, and with studies continuing to be conducted into its effectiveness the benefits found can only increase.

We invite you to re-post this recipe on your own web site with the following hyper-linked attribution
“Republished with permission from EatGreenTea.com, the original edible green tea.”


1] Shibata K, Moriyama M, Fukushima T, Kaetsu A, Miyazaki M, Une H. Green tea consumption and chronic atrophic gastritis: a cross-sectional study in a green tea production village. J Epidemiol. 2000 Sep; 10(5):310-6.
2] Chi HT, Vu HA, Iwasaki R, Thao le B, Hara Y, Taguchi T, Watanabe T, Sato Y. Green tea (-)-epigalocatechin-3-gallate inhibits KIT activity and causes caspase-dependent cell death in gastrointestinal stromal tumor including imatinib-resistant cells. Cancer Biol Ther. 2009 Oct;8(20):1934-9. Epub 2009 Oct 22.
3] Koo MW, Cho CH. Pharmacological effects of green tea on the gastrointestinal system. Eur J Pharmacol. 2004 Oct 1;500(1-3):177-85.

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