Green Tea Protection Against Stomach Cancer
Over the last few years, scientists have discovered compelling evidence that green tea protects our bodies against many serious diseases, including cancer. Though the research continues, it seems that it’s safe to conclude that adding green tea to your diet is likely a great way to protect your health.
One of the most serious cancers in our time is stomach cancer. Though its incidence has declined in recent years, it is still the second most common cancer in the world. In addition, chronic gastritis is a common problem today, and many doctors believe that those with chronic gastritis are more likely to develop stomach cancer in the future.
In Yangzhong, China, researchers from the UCLA School of Public health studied a total of 732 patients. 133 of these patients had stomach cancer, 166 had chronic gastritis and 433 were healthy and used for control purposes.
After adjusting the study for age and other factors like smoking, heavy alcohol consumption and body mass index, the study concluded that drinking green tea did, in fact, reduce your overall risk of developing gastritis and stomach cancer. *
This news is very exciting; particularly to those who are at high risk for developing gastritis and stomach cancer.
Who should be concerned about developing stomach cancer?
As with any other disease, there are certain factors that make you more susceptible to developing stomach cancer. Following are risk factors for developing this type of cancer. You can better assess your risk by seeing how many of these risk factors apply to you.
Helicobacter pylori infection: This infection of the stomach is fairly rare in the US, but can be found among many people in other countries, including Eastern Europe. Many doctors believe that long term infection with this bacteria is a major contributor to development of stomach cancer. The infection usually leads to chronic gastritis and makes changes to the lining of the stomach, which can cause cancer.
Diet – Those who eat a large amount of smoked foods, salted fish and meats and pickled vegetables have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer. These products contain large amounts of nitrites, which are believed to lead to cancer. On the other hand, if your diet is rich with fresh fruits and vegetables, you can reduce your risk of stomach cancer.
Tobacco and alcohol abuse: Your risk of developing stomach cancer doubles if you smoke. In addition, it is believed that alcohol abuse also contributes to stomach cancer, though this has not been proven.
Obesity: Obesity increases your risk of developing stomach cancer, particularly in the part of your stomach closest to your esophagus.
Having Previous stomach surgery: Certain types of stomach surgery, including surgery to remove part of the stomach for treatment of ulcers or other diseases, increases the risk of developing stomach cancer later on.
Having Type A Blood – Scientists don’t really know why, but people with Type A blood have a slightly higher risk of developing stomach cancer.
History of Cancer in your family – If you have first degree relatives who have had stomach cancer, colorectal cancer or breast cancer, you have an increased risk of developing stomach cancer. There are certain inherited genetic disorders that make you more prone to certain cancers. If your family members have had these other cancers, you may possess this genetic disorder.
Stomach polyps: Polyps are non-cancerous growths on the lining of the stomach that can turn into cancer. One particular type of polyps, called adenomas appear to increase your risk of developing stomach cancer.
Geography: Stomach cancer is most common in Japan, China, Southern and Eastern Europe, and South and Central America. It is least common in Northern and Western Africa, South Central Asia, and North America.
Epstein-Barr virus: This is the virus causes infectious mononucleosis. Almost everyone is infected with the virus at some time in their lives, and it has been linked to some forms of lymphoma. But, it has been detected in 5-10% of people with stomach cancer, too. It usually causes a slow growing, less aggressive cancer. Doctors don’t quite understand the relationship between this virus and cancer.
Other Factors: Stomach cancer is more than twice as common in men as it is in women, and is more common in Hispanics and African Americans than in non-Hispanic whites. It is most common in Asians and Pacific Islanders. It is also more common after the age of 50, with a significant increase in incidence once you reach your late 60’s.
If you have more than three of these risk factors, you may need to be concerned about the development of stomach cancer later in life. Drinking green tea, along with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be one of the most important things you can do to protect your health.