Coffee & Green Tea - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Monday, June 9, 2003

Coffee & Green Tea

I'm Dr. David Vastola and Patrick and I are getting ready to go out in the sun. We have our suntan lotion, he's got his sun-repellant hat on and clothes that cover him up. He's ready to go out there, but there may be something else we take for granted that may be very useful - something on the horizon. It has to do with green tea and coffee. How can that help? Let me show you.

Researchers at Rutgers University took the active ingredients out of here and made a paste out of it. The ingredient in the coffee was caffeine and in the green tea it was EGCG. They put it on mice 5 times a week for 20 weeks and then exposed the mice to ultraviolet light twice a week, which would be the same for us as a good suntan. Then they looked at the tumors it produced. The caffeine prevented benign tumors in about 44% of the cases and malignant tumors in 75% of the cases. When it came to the green tea and the EGCG, it prevented benign tumors in about 55% and malignant tumors in about 65%. That means that caffeine or the green tea extracts can prevent cancers that are induced by sunlight. It's not there yet, it's not available, but it will be and it makes sense.

What about drinking them? There's no evidence that it does prevent these types of tumors, but it couldn't hurt. The other thing is, unless you have acid peptic disease, caffeine is not going to hurt you. EGCG is only going to help you. It helps prevent breast cancer, prostate cancer and also heart disease. So, the bottom line? When going outside make sure you dress like Patrick here, and use that sunscreen. But in the future you're going to see green tea and caffeine It's in the cards and it just may work.

And I'm Dr. David Vastola and that's life.

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