Study Finds Green Tea; Mushrooms May Help Lower Cancer Risk by Drs. Kay Judge And Maxine Barish-Wreden
Hundreds of studies have looked at the potential of mushrooms to
prevent and treat cancer, and green tea is widely used in the world
as a health booster. Could mushrooms and green tea together provide
an added benefit for cancer protection? Are other foods also
valuable for cancer prevention?
A recent case-control study published in the International
Journal of Cancer looked at the intake of mushrooms and green tea
in 1,009 pre- and postmenopausal Chinese women with breast cancer
and compared this with a matched group of 1,009 healthy Chinese
women without breast cancer.
The findings: Women who regularly ate fresh mushrooms and also
drank green tea had a much lower cancer risk than women who
How might mushrooms and green tea reduce cancer risk? Among
other things, mushrooms contain lentinian, a compound that
stimulates the immune system, which in turn can slow tumor growth.
Green tea contains polyphenols called catechins that may help to
stop the spread and invasion of cancer cells to healthy
A cautionary note: This study does not prove cause and effect.
Other cancer-reducing factors may have been present. It is too
early to assume that ingesting both green tea and mushrooms will
reduce breast cancer.
Some cancer researchers estimate that 50 percent or more of
cancers could be prevented with better nutrition.
So what can you do to reduce your risk of cancer or reduce your
risk of cancer recurrence after treatment? (And with these changes,
you'll reduce your risk of other diseases as well.) Try the
- Add mushrooms to your daily diet when you can.
- Drink two or three cups of green tea a day.
- Reduce your intake of animal food, especially fatty meats that
have been raised with hormones, pesticides and antibiotics.
- Eat as much produce as you can - blue, purple, red, orange,
yellow and green fruits and veggies are loaded with nature's
antioxidants. Shoot for eight to 10 servings per day.
- Get your omega-3s from fish, fish oil capsules or ground
- Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates, especially
- Take your vitamin D - about 1,000 units per day for
- Consider cooking with turmeric, a spice that is widely used in
India, where the cancer rate is much lower than in the United
(Drs. Kay Judge and Maxine Barish-Wreden are medical directors
of Sutter's Downtown Integrative Medicine program.)
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