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Green Tea

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Also known as: Camellia sinensis, green tea polyphenols, EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate).

Potential uses: EGCG, the primary polyphenol in green tea, may reduce the risk of breast and other cancers. To make green tea, producers steam or heat fresh Camellia sinensis leaves shortly after harvesting, which preserves the plant’s natural polyphenols. These compounds serve as natural antioxidants that may prevent cell damage that can lead to cancer.

Usual dose: About 3 to 4 cups per day. Green tea is also available in capsule form, although most research has studied it as a brewed beverage. One cup of green tea contains approximately 25 to 50 milligrams of caffeine and 80 to 100 milligrams of polyphenol content, depending on the strength and size of cup.

Are there any risks? Green tea has about 25 milligrams of caffeine per cup — less than black tea and coffee. But if you're sensitive to caffeine, it can make you jittery and nauseated.

What does the research show? In laboratory and animal studies, EGCG has been shown to limit the growth of breast cancer cells and other types of cancer cells. One study of Asian-American women found that those who drank more green tea were less likely to develop breast cancer. But much more research is needed on how green tea consumption may influence breast cancer risk.

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