Sunday, January 13, 2013

Theaflavin: Anti-Cancer Food Chemical in Black Tea Diet

Whether it is green, white, oolong or black, the tea drink is certainly one of the healthy things to eat (or drink) on a daily basis. Tea has been known to be a power-house of anti-oxidants that have been discovered long ago to have both anti-cancer and non anti-cancer abilities. Because the discussion of tea in general is such a broad topic, this review will be taking a look at the anti-cancer perspective of black tea.

Black tea is a type of tea that is (just like the other kind of teas) made from leaves of a shrub called camellia sinensis. The black tea is the most popular kind of tea taken all over the world and it comes in different brands, the most popular been produced by Lipton. The black tea has a rich, long-lasting flavor than other teas and is more the most oxidized tea. This has to do with its method of production. All teas come from the same kind of leaf; the difference is the method of production. Black tea is produced when the leaves are withered, rolled into shape, fermented, fired and dried to give it its characteristic black/brown color and flavor.

Studies after studies have shown the health benefits of black tea even though the green has gained more popularity over the years. Most common of these studies show that black tea is laced with food chemicals that can help reduce the production of Low-Density Lipoprotein or LDL- the bad kind of cholesterol that can lead to stroke and heart attack. Similar studies have shown that men who drank 4 or more cups of black tea daily have significantly lower risk of stroke as compared to those who drank lesser.

Furthermore, research studies have reported that the food chemical found in black tea has shown anti-cancer activity in slowing growth in liver, prostate, colon and breast cancer cell lines. Scientist have tried to investigate this food chemical in black tea that has anti-cancer qualities that is quite distinct from that in green tea and they discovered that this anti-cancer food chemical found in black tea is theaflavin called theaflavin-3’-monogallate or TF-2. TF-2 is a derivative of theaflavin, the food chemical that is found more in black tea than green tea. This again has to do with the way black tea is produced. As black tea’s secret anti-cancer weapon, research work shows that TF-2 has shown anti-cancer properties against colon cancer.
Studies in the area of anti-cancer activities of black tea reveal that the food chemical responsible for its anti-cancer properties may fight or prevent cancer in two ways.

1.       Induce cell apoptosis
The anti-cancer property of TF-2 in black tea is evident in its ability to cause cancer-infected cells to kill themselves. A research study carried out by a certain Dr. Kuang of the Rutgers University, New Jersey, added TF-2 derivatives to both normal healthy cells and colorectal cancer cells. While the normal body cells flourished, the cancer cells underwent programmed cell death or apoptosis.

Another anti-cancer activity of the food chemical, TF-2, in cancer-fighting and prevention is its ability to interfere and suppress the activities of certain genes that can trigger cancer formation. The gene suppressed in this case is the well-known COX-2 gene. This gene is responsible for inflammation in cells and when triggered can set off a sequence of events that can turn normal cells to cancer cells. A relationship between COX-2 gene and colon cancer has already been established. The presence of TF-2 in black tea prevents this action.



  1. I would like to thank for creating this interesting blog and i think most of the peoples are getting good knowledge from here get more about anticancer .Anticancer Manufacturer in India

  2. This is a very valuable information for the cancer patients and also for other people who want to keep cancer cells at bay. Thank you for sharing it!

  3. I think everyone should be shared with this information. Cancer is increasing rapidly and destroying many lives i did not before a simple black tea can be so helpful to treat cancer. Its really very informative blog.


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