Matcha tea seems to be the latest global trend. Its popularity has gotten so big, that even companies like Starbucks and Lipton are trying to capitalize on it. While it is advertised as providing several health benefits, scientists are exploring another possible property, anti-cancer capabilities.
In case you haven’t heard, matcha is basically finely ground green tea leaves grown and harvested under some special conditions. Lately, it’s seen a lot of attention as a natural supplement for a number of diets and nutrition regimens, including weight loss, cardiovascular or liver problems.
A recent study looks to further the list of health benefits the tea can provide by examining claims that it can fight cancer. Laboratory trials involving matcha green tea (MGT) and breast cancer samples revealed some fascinating results. While the whole process is still unclear, it seems that MGT has an effect on mTOR signaling pathway, which plays an important role in cancer cell metabolism.
Another interesting revelation was that “MGT is sufficient to suppress both oxidative mitochondrial metabolism (OXPHOS) and glycolytic flux, shifting cancer cells towards a more quiescent metabolic state”. Matcha compounds are essentially inhibiting the tumor from drawing its necessary energy and making the mutated cells become inactive. It’s been observed that MGT also weakens ribosome, crucial in cell protein synthesis.
The fact that matcha tea is a great natural supplement full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals is well beyond doubt. It has significant therapeutic potential, yet it’s still too early to draw a definite conclusion in regards to its anticancer abilities. Results so far are promising, but much more research is need before being adopted as actual medicine