June 23, 2003
Green Tea Protects Against Gastritis, Stomach Cancer
SAFAT, Kuwait--Researchers from Kuwait University reported thatgreen tea may have both protective and preventive benefits against gastritis(inflammation of the stomach's mucous membrane) and stomach cancer; theseresults appeared in the June issue of Nutrition (19, 6:536-40, 2003) (www.sciencedirect.com).Green tea's effects were investigated in terms of the intestinal mucosa, aphenomenon that, according to the study's authors, had not been previouslystudied.
Two sets of experiments were performed. In the recovery set, rats fasted forthree days followed by free access to water, black tea, green tea or vitamin Efor seven days. On day eight, researchers examined the animals' small bowels. Inthe second experiment, the pretreatment set, rats were allowed a normal diet butthe water supply was replaced with green tea, black tea or vitamin E for 14days. They were then put on a fast for three days, followed by having theirsmall bowels examined.
In the recovery set, fasting caused the villi (a hair-like projection in themucous membrane) to shorten and the mucosal villous architecture to fragment,leading to a reduction in the length and surface area of the villi. However,green tea and, to a lesser extent vitamin E, helped the villi return to normal;black tea had no effect. In the pretreatment set, pretreatment of green tea,black tea or vitamin E protected intestinal mucosa from damage.
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