Catechin

Cancer rates are lower in Japan's green tea-production centers

Catechin, a type of tannin is an astringent component contained in green tea. Two years ago, during the O-157 epidemic, green tea received attention because of its sterilizing effect. Moreover, it was recently found that the rate of cancer was low in Shizuoka prefecture, which is known as a production center for green tea. There is growing interest in the anticancer action of green tea abroad as well.

At present, the following actions are confirmed as the physiological function of catechin:

1)Anti-acid action
2)Anti-bacterial action and improvement of intestinal bacterium
3)Cariostatic action
4)Deodorizing action
5)Active oxygen eliminative action
6)Cholesterol regulating action
7)Blood sugar regulating action
8)Blood pressure regulating action
9)Antitumor action
10)Antiallergy action
11)Platelet anticoagulation action
12)Ultraviolet ray absorbing action

In the near future, Japan will become a society with a large population of elderly people. It is expected that green tea, which contains ample amounts of catechin, will filter into our life as a familiar form of hygiene in the future. The Saitama Cancer Center had conducted an 8-year follow-up survey concerning the effects of green tea on the prolongation of human life using 8,500 participants in Saitama Prefecture. Those who had more than 3 cups of green tea every day had an average life span of 66 years for males and 68 years for females. However, those who had more than 10 cups of green tea per day had an average life span of 70 years for males and 74 years for females. Based on these surveys, Saitama Cancer Center declared that from next year they were planning to process green tea into tablet form in their laboratories and further develop their research concerning the effects of green tea for cancer prevention.

In addition, except for drinking purposes, a regimen of "eating green tea" has recently received attention. Omori et al., assistant professors at Otsuma Women's College, performed research concerning the influence of ingesting green tea powder mixed in food, utilizing rats that have an inherited growth characteristic. The result was that rats given food comprised of 10 % green tea powder indicated lower maximum blood pressure and less neutral fat than other rats. The various benefits of green tea catechin are becoming more apparent specifically. Furthermore, the role of green tea catechin is revalued in terms of promoting longevity in Japanese. Green tea catechin will appear as a regular functional food in our life.

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