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The benefits of matcha in lowering the risk of cancer [Free article]

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

Cancer has met its matcha!

Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality worldwide. Overall, cancer has become increasingly frequent; in 2014, around 1,665,540 people were diagnosed with cancer in the United States, with 585,720 dying. As a result, cancer has become a serious public health concern that affects all human communities. Unfortunately, it is a variety of disease at the tissue level. This variation is a significant barrier to its specific diagnosis, followed by therapeutic efficacy. The prostate, lung and bronchus, colon and rectum, and urinary bladder are the most common cancer types in men. The most prevalent cancers in women are breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, colon and rectum cancer, uterine corpus cancer, and thyroid cancer. The most common types of cancer in children and adolescents are blood cancers and brain and lymph node cancers. Cancer is caused by a series of gene mutations that disrupt the activities of the cell.[1].

Taken from Flickr under limited license on 22nd June 2021

Matcha is a form of Japanese green tea created by grinding young tea leaves into a fine powder. After that, the powder is whisked with hot water. This form of green tea differs from ordinary green tea, which involves infusing the leaves in water and then removing them. Matcha can be enjoyed as a drink in various ways, such as in latte, smoothie and blended drink. We can also eat it in the form of frozen yoghurt, pudding, or lava cake.

Interestingly, some recent research has revealed that matcha may have anti-proliferative and chemo-preventive properties[2]. It has been shown that one of many catechins present in matcha, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), acts as an anti-oxidant and has anti-tumour properties against breast cancer cells. Moreover, green tea catechin content is substantially higher than black tea catechin content, ranging from 5.46–7.44 mg/g against 0–3.47 mg/g in black tea. Thus, matcha consumption may help to explain why Asian-American women have a lower chance of acquiring breast cancer[3]. Matcha ECGC therapeutic effects on breast cancer have recently been studied utilising preclinical models and clinical trials[4]. According to a meta-analysis of an epidemiological study published in 2006, matcha may also reduce the risk of colon cancer[5]. Not only that but matcha has been found to reduce the incidence of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and prostate cancer[6,7]. Matcha may also combine with other items in the diet to provide cancer-prevention benefits, such as natural chemicals present in soy and mushrooms.[8,9].

Matcha has a relatively higher amount of caffeine compared to other green teas[10]. Caffeine is an essential component of matcha whereby it gives its taste and aroma. At the same time, caffeine is an anti-oxidant. The caffeine content of matcha is related to the time of harvest and the age of the leaves; the older the leaves are, the less caffeine they contain. Furthermore, the amount of caffeine in tea varies depending on the type of tea, the weather conditions throughout the growing season, and the brewing process. When taken in regular doses, the caffeine in matcha will reduce oxidative stress in our body, bringing down the prevalence of free-radical related diseases such as cancer[11].

Another potent anti-oxidant in matcha is Vitamin C. It strengthens the body's immune defences due to its characteristics. Therefore, it is a vital micronutrient in human nutrition that should be consumed in sufficient proportions daily[12]. Depending on the temperature of the water used to produce the infusion and the variety of tea, matcha tea infusions contain 32.12 to 44.8 mg/L of vitamin C. Other green teas have less than half as much vitamin C as this one.

To sum it up, matcha has many substances contributing to its anti-cancer effects, particularly from the high amount of anti-oxidants it contains. Matcha can be enjoyed in many forms, especially popular as an aromatic drink to relieve the stresses of your day. In whatever way you enjoy matcha, know that it helps in lowering your risk of cancer. For indeed, cancer has met its matcha.



1. Hassanpour, S.H., and Dehghani, M. (2017). Review of cancer from perspective of molecular. J Cancer Res Pract 4, 127–129.

2. Schramm, L. (2013). Going Green: The Role of the Green Tea Component EGCG in Chemoprevention. J Carcinog Mutagen 04.

3. Wu, A.H., Tseng, C.-C., Berg, D.V.D., and Yu, M.C. (2003). Tea intake, COMT genotype, and breast cancer in Asian-American women. Cancer Res 63, 7526–9.

4. Kavanagh, K.T., Hafer, L.J., Kim, D.W., Mann, K.K., Sherr, D.H., Rogers, A.E., and Sonenshein, G.E. (2001). Green tea extracts decrease carcinogen‐induced mammary tumor burden in rats and rate of breast cancer cell proliferation in culture. J Cell Biochem 82, 387–398.

5. Sun, C.-L., Yuan, J.-M., Koh, W.-P., and Yu, M.C. (2006). Green tea, black tea and colorectal cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies. Carcinogenesis 27, 1301–1309.

6. Parodi, S., Merlo, D.F., Stagnaro, E., and Italy, on behalf of the W.G. for the E. of H.M. in (2017). Coffee and tea consumption and risk of leukaemia in an adult population: A reanalysis of the Italian multicentre case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol 47, 81–87.

7. Sawada, N. (2017). Risk and preventive factors for prostate cancer in Japan: The Japan Public Health Center-based prospective (JPHC) study. J Epidemiol 27, 2–7.

8. Wu, A.H., Ursin, G., Koh, W.-P., Wang, R., Yuan, J.-M., Khoo, K.-S., and Yu, M.C. (2008). Green Tea, Soy, and Mammographic Density in Singapore Chinese Women. Cancer Epidemiology Prev Biomarkers 17, 3358–3365.

9. Zhang, M., Huang, J., Xie, X., and Holman, C.D.J. (2009). Dietary intakes of mushrooms and green tea combine to reduce the risk of breast cancer in Chinese women. Int J Cancer 124, 1404–1408.

10. Koláčková, T., Kolofiková, K., Sytařová, I., Snopek, L., Sumczynski, D., and Orsavová, J. (2020). Matcha Tea: Analysis of Nutritional Composition, Phenolics and Antioxidant Activity. Plant Food Hum Nutr 75, 48–53.

11. Stefanello, N., Spanevello, R.M., Passamonti, S., Porciúncula, L., Bonan, C.D., Olabiyi, A.A., Rocha, J.B.T. da, Assmann, C.E., Morsch, V.M., and Schetinger, M.R.C. (2019). Coffee, caffeine, chlorogenic acid, and the purinergic system. Food Chem Toxicol 123, 298–313.

12. Carr, A.C., and Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients 9, 1211.


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