Green Tea As A Benefit For Smokers
NEW YORK (CBS) Previous studies have indicated that green tea can protect against cancer. But it may be even more beneficial to smokers. CBS 2's Michael Pomeranz has the details.
There's something interesting brewing for smokers who haven't yet kicked the habit.
Green tea! Researchers at the University of Rochester have zeroed in on two chemicals in the tea that help protect against harmful cigarette smoke.
"We did experiments with concentrations that would be present perhaps in one cup of green tea and that was very effective in blocking the effects of these tobacco smoke constituents," says Thomas Gasiewicz, Ph.D.
The researchers tested extracts of green tea on the a-h hydrocarbon receptor - a key protein that tobacco relies on to cause cancer. Two of the tea's potent chemical compounds - abbreviated e-g-c-g and e-g-c - shut down the toxic protein in the cancer cells of mice. Now there's some evidence it may work the same in human cells.
"It's hard to say what, how effective these concentrations could be in, in humans. So there's still a lot more that needs to be done," says Christine Palermo.
"We don't really know how many cups would be effective against how many cigarettes that are smoked for example," adds Gasiewicz,
Make no mistake, green tea is not an antidote for smoking. The best thing for your health is to quit. But until then, researchers suggest drinking three to four cups of green tea per day. A little protection from lung cancer could be in the bag.